Research and evaluation


We see research and theory as two of the essentials of better public legal education. Only by improving research, both theoretical and empirical, and growing the body of researchers interested in the subject, will PLE develop as a unique discipline.

We aim to encourage inter-disciplinary learning and relationships, and encourage researchers and scholars to contribute to the public legal education movement. Our approaches are multidisciplinary and reflect the diversity of theoretical underpinnings.

Here you can find a selection of our own commissioned research, research completed by Law for Life’s forerunner (the Public Legal Education Network), and studies by colleagues in PLE and associated fields.

If you have some research you would like to share here, please contact us.


Evaluation is vital for public legal education projects.  We need to know what works and we need to demonstrate that PLE is effective in helping people to navigate the hazards of modern life.

Law for Life’s evaluation framework for public legal education, produced jointly with the University of Bristol, is based on a clear conceptual model of legal capability – what people need to know and be able to do in order to deal with law-related issues.

We are continuing to develop and refine this model through ongoing community education projects.


Published: 20 November 2019

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