The outcomes of community legal education: a systematic review

This paper reports on a systematic review of research into the effectiveness of face-to-face public legal education and information (PLE). Because of limited research into the effectiveness of PLE, the paper also canvasses comparisons from the literacy on the effectiveness of health education.

The two PLE studies which met the tight criteria for this review - with some examples from Canada - provide evidence that PLE provided to divorcing parents changed participants' behaviour in the short to medium term. The authors also conclude that the health education literature suggests that community education may be more effective in producing changes in knowledge and shorter-term,
simpler changes in behaviour versus longer-term, more complex behaviours. The review also highlighted some factors which may influence the effectiveness of PLE.