Too much information?

icon-developingpleGetting the level of detail right when preparing public legal education (PLE) materials can be challenging. If there’s a lot of information, it can be hard for your audience to take it all in, and they’ll just end up confused. If there’s too little detail, they may be frustrated because they haven’t found out what they need to know.

A lot of legal information focuses on what the law says and doesn’t really tell people what they need to know about the topic. So, what kind of information does your target audience need?

When someone is trying to solve a problem they need to know what their legal rights are, but they also need to know:

  • when a problem has a legal component
  • where they can get more information that relates to their particular issue
  • how to find help and advice
  • who they should speak to and what to say
  • what’s likely to happen

Having trouble deciding what to include and what to leave out? Consider asking yourself:

  • Are people likely to make the wrong decision if they don’t have this piece of information?
  • Will this detail confuse them instead of making the issue clearer?

See CLEO’s Better Legal Information Handbook for other clear language writing tips.

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