Guidelines for Better Legal Information

CLEO’s Guidelines for Better Legal Information offer practical tips for creating and maintaining high-quality legal information in print or online. You can use them when you start to plan or develop legal information, or when reviewing or updating your legal information to make sure that you are following best practices.

You’ll see a snapshot of the Guidelines just below, followed by links to our Guidelines package.

Guideline #1: Indicate the organization responsible for the information or website. People need to know who is responsible for the legal information so they can assess whether it’s trustworthy.  

Guideline #2: Identify and state the intended purpose or audience. Keep your specific audience in mind when you write legal information.  This will help your readers assess whether the information is likely to apply to them.

Guideline #3: Say where the information applies. Indicate that the information applies to Ontario, Canada.

Guideline #4: Have a qualified legal expert review the information. Choose an expert who has practical, on-the-ground experience relating to the area of law.

Guideline #5: Include the date of last review by a qualified legal expert. Review content from time to time, even if the law hasn’t changed. Update it and change the date whenever the law changes.

Guideline #6: Write the information so that your audience can easily understand it. To make sure that it is up to date and reliable, legal information must be written or reviewed by a legal expert with experience relating to the area of law.

Guideline #7: Use clean design to make the information easy to read. Information that is cluttered or visually unappealing can be hard for people to read and understand.

Guideline #8: Include referrals to free or low-cost legal assistance. This will point your user to sources where they can get help with their specific situation.

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