Case in point

tipsAre you preparing public legal education (PLE) print materials? Consider including stories about people – case studies – to help introduce common legal situations in a way that your audience can identify with.

See, for example, the Workers’ Action Centre‘s fact sheet called Job Scams: Is this a real job? The case study in this fact sheet illustrates the need to watch out for employers that ask you to pay for training to get a job.

Some tips for using case studies in your PLE:

  • Keep the case studies short.
  • Think about what you are trying to achieve by using case studies.
  • If trying to illustrate a legal point or show how a process works, be careful not to overload people with too many details.

Sometimes readers can be confused by the change in writing style when you switch to a case study. Some ways to avoid confusion:

  • Use a text box or other graphic display function to set the case study apart from your main text.
  • Consider explaining clearly why you have included the case study. For example: “Wondering what a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board is like? Ahmed’s story explains what happened at his.”
  • Don’t include anything in the case study that isn’t covered somewhere else in the text – some people just don’t read case studies.

See CLEO’s Better Legal Information Handbook for more information on preparing plain language print materials.

Have you used any case studies in your PLE materials? Please share your examples here!

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