Making an Impact - Public Legal Education in Canada

In October 2012, PLEI Connect members Ontario Justice Education Network and Community Legal Education Ontario hosted a national conference in Toronto called Making an Impact – Public Legal Education in Canada. The conference was attended by PLEI practitioners from across the country, including PLEAC members who had held their AGM earlier that week.

This two day conference focused on the impact of PLEI and provided a great opportunity for sharing, learning and networking. Here's the agenda from the conference, including links to conference materials.

Thursday October 25, 2012

Designing for Impact: Showcase presentations
We will be setting the tone for this collaborative event by inviting attendees to visit individual stations showcasing innovative project designs from selected PLE organizations across the country.

Communicating for Impact: Reaching our target audiences in different ways
A discussion on how panelists reach people with the legal information they need.

  • Brenda Rose (Clicklaw Project Coordinator, Courthouse Libraries BC) - presentation, legal jeopardy
  • Hubert David (Head of Partnerships and Innovation, Éducaloi) - presentation
  • Maria Franks (Executive Director, Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia) - presentation

Communicating for Impact: Presenting the PLE case
A panel discussion highlighting how PLE organizations can most effectively communicate for funding and organizational purposes.

  • Cathy Mann (President, Cathy Mann & Associates) - presentation
  • Nathalie Roy (Executive Director, Éducaloi)

Collaborating for Impact: Making the most of our sector
A panel discussion on how PLE organizations can collaborate more effectively.

  • Carol Lee Smith (Counsel, Social Justice Tribunals Ontario; formerly CLEO lead in Connecting Communities model) - presentation
  • Diane Rhyason (Executive Director, Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta) - presentation
  • Gary Stein (Executive Director, South Ottawa Community Legal Services) - presentation
  • Sarah McCoubrey (Executive Director, the Ontario Justice Education Network) - presentation

Learning Networks: Sharing promising practices in public legal education and information
A presentation of two new learning networks in Canada, PLEI Connect and the PLE Learning Exchange.

Wednesday October 26, 2012

Researching for Impact
A panel discussion featuring a range of PLE‐related research initiatives.


  • Patricia Hughes (Executive Director, Law Commission of Ontario)
  • Megan Spasevski (Research Coordinator, Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services)
  • Julie Mathews (Executive Director, CLEO) - presentation
  • Sarah Rimmington (CLEO Researcher) - presentation

Show & Tell Learning Session
Succinct presentations on specific tools that different organizations use to measure impact.

Measuring for Impact: Evaluation as a Tool
A panel discussion on developmental evaluations in a PLE context.


  • Susan McDonald (Principal Researcher, Department of Justice) - presentation
  • Michelynn Laflèche (Director of Research, Public Policy & Evaluation, United Way Toronto) - presentation
  • Sarah McCoubrey (Executive Director, OJEN) - presentation

Keynote Address by the Honourable Justice Cromwell, Supreme Court of Canada

Making it Happen: Bringing our new ideas home
The development of a conference report (through breakout discussions in small groups) that includes key learning points and ideas on how to move forward.

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