Victoria Legal Aid

Making community legal information

Resources to help make community legal information easy to read and understand.

If you are developing community legal information, the resources on this webpage can help you:

  • scope legal need and plan community legal information
  • think about collaborating with us, or using our community legal information
  • use plain language and other guides to improve accessibility and quality
  • consider the effectiveness of your community legal information.

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions for other resources we could include, please contact usExternal Link .

Community legal information is general information about the law, legal processes and referrals. It can help people understand their rights and responsibilities, how the legal system works and where to get help.

Community legal information comes in many formats – videos, fact sheets, webpages and more.

Victoria Legal Aid, community legal centres and other organisations develop community legal information in response to community needs.

Planning and scoping

Before developing something new, consider whether you can use or adapt existing community legal information to meet the need you have identified.

You might also consider data about your issue or audience using the National Legal Needs DashboardExternal Link . Victorian community legal centres and Victoria Legal Aid can also use the Data Discovery Tool.

The Victoria Law Foundation’s Producing successful CLE – insights from funded projectsExternal Link has information about successful project planning in the legal assistance sector.

Sharing and extending our reach

We are open to sharing our community legal information and avoiding duplication whenever possible.

We encourage you to link to the community legal information on our website. That way, your clients and community can access the most recent information we have.

You may also use or adapt community legal information that we develop. Our community legal information is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. That means you are free to re-use the work under that licence, on the condition that you credit Victoria Legal Aid as author, indicate if changes were made and follow other licence terms. The licence does not apply to any images, photographs or branding, including the Victoria Legal Aid logo.

Please contact us if you have any questions, or to let us know that you are using our content.

Supporting you to extend your reach

We are developing guidelines about when we can electronically share and promote community legal information made by community legal centres. Until then, we will consider any request on a case-by-case basis.

Please contact usExternal Link if you have any queries or would like to request our support.

Plain language and style

Plain language is clear, simple, modern language. It uses only as many words as necessary. It avoids jargon, unnecessary legal expressions and complex language.

Writing in plain language does not mean you need to ‘dumb down’ the law. It means your writing is clear and concise so your audience can understand it.

You are using plain language if your audience can easily:

  • find what they need
  • understand what they find
  • use what they find to meet their needs.

Some of the key writing techniques of plain language are:

  • a logical structure
  • everyday, straightforward language
  • active voice
  • short sentences, not more than 22 words
  • using ‘you’ and ‘we’.

For examples of these writing techniques and other plain language suggestions, read our Plain language writing guide:

We use:

We have developed these checklists to help with drafting content in Word and checking final artwork:

If you are creating digital content, you may find the Victorian government’s best practice guidelines helpful. Visit Writing guidelines and style guideExternal Link .

The Victoria Law Foundation offers free Better information workshopsExternal Link and low-cost Plain language trainingExternal Link for professionals. It also has a library of Helpful communication resourcesExternal Link .

Accessibility and inclusion

We follow the Web Contents Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to make sure all community members can access our online information.

For more information about accessibility standards and guidance on developing community legal information that is accessible and inclusive, visit:

There is a growing body of research and evidence about the effectiveness of community legal education and information.

For Victoria Legal Aid evaluations, go to ‘Project evaluations’ in the Community legal education and information section of our website.

Victorian research:

Australian research:

International research:

Community legal education made easy (pdf, 1.42 MB) is a series of fact sheets developed by the Community Development and Community Legal Education Working Group of the Federation of Community Legal Centres (Vic). Please contact usExternal Link if you need this information in a different format.

Contact us

Please contact us if you have queries, feedback or would like to work together on community legal information.

Email or call (03) 9269 0234 and ask for Community Legal Education.

For updates on our resources and activities, subscribe to our Community Legal Education Update.

Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

We help Victorians with their legal problems and represent those who need it most. Find legal answers, chat with us online, or call us. You can speak to us in English or ask for an interpreter. You can also find more legal information at

Reviewed 29 November 2023

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