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Public Legal Education - Canada

Each province (and one territory) has one or two organizations whose sole purpose is to deliver public legal education (PLE). Public legal education focuses on helping the general public to understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. As well, these organizations connect people with the appropriate legal services in their region. Find out more about  PLE organization serving Canadians in other provinces by following the links below. Also listed here is the national membership association for Canadian PLE organizations.


Suggested Resources

British Columbia

Clicklaw is a website aimed at enhancing access to justice in British Columbia. It features legal information and education, but it is not a site of laws. Instead, Clicklaw features legal information and education designed for the public from 24 contributor organizations, as well as selected others.

Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

The Justice Education Society is dedicated to improving access to the justice system through hands-on, targeted, two-way education between the public and those working in the system. This non-profit organization operates out of British Columbia and provides programs and resources that serve the general public, youth, persons with disabilities, Aboriginals and immigrants in British Columbia, throughout Canada and around the world. These services are designed to help communities better understand how our justice system works and their role in the system.
Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

The Latin American Community Council and MOSAIC, in partnership, have implemented this online multilingual legal resource to provide comprehensive and critical legal information in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Spanish and Vietnamese to Canadian newcomers and community workers in British Columbia.

Related legal topic(s): Criminal law general resources, Family law general resources, Family violence general resources, Health issues, Immigration, Refugees

The People’s Law School provides legal information on a variety of topics in plain language to the people of British Columbia. This is done through publications, events and presentations, Justice Theatre presentations to BC schools, speakers on law-related issues for community groups and working with ethnic media.

Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

Manitoba

Community Legal Education Association (CLEA) is a not-for-profit organization, which provides Manitobans with information about the law. CLEA has existed since 1984. The Association operates the Law Phone-In & Lawyer Referral Program, a variety of community programs (Speakers Bureau, Community Legal Intermediary Training Course, annual law conference), and School's Program (Speakers in the Classroom, Youth Criminal Justice Act Teaching Kit and Mock Trial Kits). Pamphlets, booklets, and education kits are available to order or download. The Association’s website also includes over 300 Frequently Asked Questions on a variety of legal topics.
Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

New Brunswick

PLEIS-NB is a non-profit organization and a registered charity with a mandate to develop a variety of bilingual educational products and services about the law for the public in order to promote access to the legal system. The goal is to assist the public in identifying and understanding their legal rights and responsibilities with a view to improving their ability to deal with legal matters.
Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

Newfoundland and Labrador

Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland (PLIAN) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about legal issues. Services include: Lawyer referral service, Legal information line, School visits, Community information sessions, and Publications.

 

Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

Nova Scotia

The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia (LISNS) is a non-profit organization that provides Nova Scotians with information and resources about the law. The Legal Information Society programs include: a legal information line and lawyer referral service (toll free in Nova Scotia); publications (pamphlets/booklets/videos); Dial-a-Law (pre-recorded legal information); a speakers bureau.
Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

Ontario

Community Law School (Sarnia-Lambton) Inc. is a nonprofit, registered charitable organization dedicated to public legal education. The organization offer workshops, seminars, educational materials, and live and online courses to train frontline workers, community advocates, consumers, grassroots organizations, and members of poor and marginalized communities in a variety of social welfare and consumer protection laws.
Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

CLEO is a community legal clinic, founded in 1974, that specializes in public legal education. Most of the materials are in the form of booklets, pamphlets, fact sheets and manuals, and can be viewed online, or ordered from CLEO. Topics include social assistance, landlord and tenant law, refugee and immigration law, workers' rights, family law, elder abuse, consumer rights, women's issues and laws affecting young people.  Most publications are available in French, and some are available in other languages.

Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

OJEN is dedicated to promoting understanding, education, and dialogue to support a responsive and inclusive justice system. Its objectives include: fostering public understanding of the justice system; and developing, coordinating, or delivering public legal education information and programs to students and others. OJEN has over 200 classroom resources available at no cost, in English or French. They also offer a wide range of community and school programs.

 

Related legal topic(s): Classroom materials, Public legal education organizations

A project of Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario (CLEO), Your Legal Rights is a website of free legal information for people in Ontario. This site has free, practical, and easy-to-find legal information produced by hundreds of organizations across Ontario, covering a wide range of legal topics, in a variety of formats, and available in dozens of languages. It also provides questions and answers to everyday legal problems, an interactive map of key legal and social services across Ontario, public legal education training webinars for service providers and the latest headlines and community events about the law and access to justice.
Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

Prince Edward Island

The Community Legal Information Association of Prince Edward Island, Inc. (often called CLIA) is a non-profit corporation and a registered charity. CLIA's goal is to provide Islanders with understandable, useful information about our laws and our justice system. Services include an inquiry line, lawyer referral service, speaker’s bureau and a wide range of publications.
Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

Quebec

Éducaloi is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inform Quebecers of their rights and obligations by providing legal information in everyday language.

Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

Saskatchewan

The Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA) is a non-profit, non-government organization that exists to educate and inform the people of Saskatchewan about the law and legal system. PLEA can help members of the public by providing general legal information, suggesting resources, and telling people about different options for obtaining legal advice.
Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

Northwest Territories

The Legal Services Board administers the legal aid, court worker and public legal education programs in the NWT.
Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

Yukon

The Yukon Public Legal Education Association (YPLEA) is a non-profit organization devoted to providing legal information to the public and promoting increased access to the legal system. The goal of the Association is to help the public to identify and understand their legal rights and responsibilities in order to improve their ability to deal with legal matters. Services include Law Line (legal information by telephone) and Publications and Forms (some downloadable, some through the office)
Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

Canada/Federal

LEAF is a national, non-profit organization committed to using the provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to promote equality for women. The organization has a two-fold mandate: to ensure that the rights of women and girls in Canada, as guaranteed in the Charter are upheld in our courts, human rights commissions and government agencies and to provide public education on the issues of gender equality. LEAF also undertakes legal action by intervening at the Canadian appellate courts on significant cases that will establish important principles of equality for women.

Related legal topic(s): Charter of Rights, Human rights, Public legal education organizations

Pivot's mandate is to use the law to address the root causes of poverty and social exclusion. Pivot carries out its work through legal campaigns around policing, housing, and sex work that would result in meaningful positive change for people living in poverty.

Related legal topic(s): Affordable housing, Homelessness, Human rights, Legal services, Poverty, Public legal education organizations

PLEAC is the national association for public legal education in Canada. Founded in 1987, PLEAC is a non-profit organization with the following goals:  to support communication and cooperation between individuals and groups interested in public legal education; to encourage the development of knowledge and skills in this field; and to act as a national voice and advocate on issues that concern PLEAC members.
Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations