Provides legal assistance to individuals whose HIV status is the cause of his or her legal difficulties. Legal issues may relate to employment, discrimination, immigration, insurance, public benefits as well as other topics.
Toll-free hotline in Illinois: 866-506-3038
Legal information is not provided by e-mail.
A free service that answers civil (not criminal) legal questions for low-income residents of Illinois. After logging in to the website, answer a few questions to see if you qualify to use this service. Those who qualify can ask volunteer attorneys a specific question about your civil legal issue. You’ll receive an email telling you when your question receives a response, and then can log back in to see the response to your question and ask more questions.
The ACLU of Illinois provides legal assistance to residents of Illinois whose civil liberties or civil rights have been violated. The website states that “The ACLU of Illinois’ Intake Department is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Thursday. During those hours an intake counselor is available by phone if you wish to explain your problem. Our counselors are dedicated volunteers, but they are not lawyers and cannot give you legal advice, but will simply obtain the facts pertaining to your problem. Depending on the nature of your problem, the counselor may give you an appropriate referral or present the facts of your case to a staff attorney for review. The ACLU cannot refer you to individual private attorneys. Contacting the ACLU to describe your problem will not guarantee the ACLU will represent you.”
Bluhm Legal Clinic is staffed by Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law students, under the supervision of experienced faculty members. There are 14 centers, addressing a variety of legal issues, many of which accept cases at low or no cost, if the case is accepted by the Clinic. The Centers include the Appellate Advocacy Center, Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy, Center for Criminal Defense, Center for Externships, Center for International Human Rights, Center on Negotiation and Mediation, Center on Wrongful Convictions, Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, Children and Family Justice Center, Civil Litigation Center, Entrepreneurship Law Center, Environmental Advocacy Center, Investor Protection Center, MacArthur Justice Center, and Prison Reentry Strategies.
The CARPLS Legal Aid Hotline helps thousands of low-income families find answers to everyday legal problems including housing, employment, education, consumer debt, divorce, guardianships, estates, injuries to person or property, public benefits, health care and more. Whatever the legal problem, CARPLS’ experienced attorneys can help clients better understand their rights and the remedies available to them under the law. Our attorneys do not represent clients in court. If in-court representation is required, the CARPLS attorneys will assist with a referral to an appropriate full-service legal aid agency if one is available. The Hotline service is free to low-income residents of Cook County. The CARPLS’ Hotline is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM, and on Monday and Wednesday evenings until 7:30 PM.
Oversees more than 150 programs in Cook and Lake counties, serving families and individuals of all ages. Service Programs. Evanston residents are not limited to, but may first contact North Region, 1717 Rand Rd., Des Plaines, IL, 847-376-2121.
A nonprofit organization which provides legal services to low-income residents of Cook County, Illinois who are either elderly or who have permanent disabilities.
CDEL volunteer attorneys represent eligible individuals with a broad range of civil legal matters, including: Powers of Attorney, Guardianship, Wills & Probate, Landlord/Tenant, Collections, Special Education, Real Estate & Mortgage Foreclosure, Family Law, Financial Elder Abuse, Family Law, ADA Discrimination, and Consumer Fraud.
If you are looking for a lawyer in Cook County or one of the surrounding counties, the Chicago Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service has over 300 prescreened, qualified lawyers experienced in almost every area of law. The service can refer you to attorneys experienced in over 40 areas of law, including the following:
– Domestic Relations (including divorce, custody, support and other family law matters);
– Personal Injury (including auto accidents, slip and falls, products liability, wrongful death, malpractice and other types of injury cases);
– Estate Planning (including will drafting, trusts, probate and will contests);
– Real Estate (including buying or selling real estate, foreclosure defense, and landlord-tenant issues);
– Employment Law (including wrongful termination, harassment and discrimination); and
– Numerous other areas of law.
The Chicago Legal Clinic is a not-for-profit organization which offers low cost legal services on a sliding-scale, based on ability to pay, to residents of Cook County. Services available in English and Spanish at several Chicago neighborhood locations.
Programs and Services and Legal assistance: adoption, bankruptcy, child custody and support, debt elimination, divorce, employment, environmental issues, guardianship, immigration, landlord-tenant, real estate transactions, Social Security benefits, traffic accidents, wills and probate, worker compensation.
CVLS is an organization of over 3,000 volunteer attorneys who donate free legal services to thousands of low-income Chicagoans. Our services are free, accessible and real.
With 22 legal clinics across the Chicago area, hosted evenings and weekends at community organizations and churches, where you can talk with an attorney about your legal problem, CVLS works to ensure that everyone has access to justice, not just those who can afford it.
The Law Offices of Chicago-Kent is a teaching law firm with a dual mission—to provide high-quality clinical education to more than 150 student interns and externs who enroll each semester, and to deliver outstanding and competitively priced legal services to our clients.
We offer client legal services in the following practice areas – please note that all of the attorneys charge legal fees for their services:
Criminal Defense Litigation
Plaintiffs Employment Discrimination
Civil Rights Litigation
Health and Disability Law (Vaccine Injury Law Project)
Our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Offers a wide range of CNE programs designed for young children and their families, teachers and caregivers. These include CNE Early Head Start as well as other programs for special needs children, low income families and children at risk of not succeeding in school. Maintains Family Child Care Home Referral List and a Guide to Early Childhood Resources in Evanston.
Victim Services provides social services to crime victims and witnesses and to residents seeking social service assistance in non-crime situations.
Additionally services provided include:
- Crisis Intervention Counseling, Information and Resources for Crime Victims and Witnesses
- Medical Advocacy for Sexual Assaults, Domestic Violence and Physical Abuse cases.
- Referrals or Assistance in obtaining Orders of Protection
Court Advocacy to assist victims and witnesses through the criminal justice system, including status on court dates and meetings with State’s Attorney
- Assist Domestic Violence Victims with Warning Signs of Domestic Violence, Safety Planning and provide Shelter Referrals.
- Assist eligible Victims with filing for Monetary Reimbursement under the Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Act
- Personal Advocacy such as interceding with employers so that Victims and Witnesses may attend court and intervening with medical billing issues related to injuries sustained during crime
- Legal Resources and Referrals regarding Domestic Violence & Custody Issues
Civic Legal Corps is a non-profit law firm with attorneys who provide affordable legal services (including full representation in court) to low- and middle-income individuals in the Chicago area. Civic Legal Corps can help with legal matters in the areas of family law, criminal law, housing law, and immigration law. CLC can help with specific parts of a legal issue or help on legal matters from beginning to end. A free screening will determine whether CLC can assist you. After that CLC will charge a flat rate based on your income.
The Self Help Center has links to resources for self-represented (pro se) litigants appearing before the Circuit Court of Cook County. Topics include Going to Court; Finding An Attorney; Wills, Estates & Guardianships; Family and Juvenile; Lawsuits, Injuries, Money & Debt; Criminal & Traffic; Housing; and Small Claims.
Cook County Public Law Library
The public can access the law library catalog online, access self-help legal resources, conduct legal research online, view Cook County Ordinances online, contact reference staff for assistance with legal research, or visit the law library to access electronic resources such as Westlaw and Lexis, and to visit the library’s Self-Help Web Center. Hours: M-F: 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Open Sat: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for attorneys presenting a current ARDC card and current photo ID, and for litigants presenting official court papers stamped within a year and current photo ID. Sun: Closed.
See also: Skokie Branch:
5600 Old Orchard Road
Skokie, IL 60077
Telephone: (847) 470-7298
Hours: M-F: 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Sat-Sun: Closed
The Public Defender is appointed by the judge when an individual is not able to afford an attorney (55 ILCS 5/3-4006). A Public Defender should be available to individuals at the time of the first court appearance. The Public Defender provides legal representation in the areas of criminal, misdemeanor, juvenile justice, child protection, paternity, appeals, post-conviction and traffic cases.
Provides free legal assistance to Migrant and seasonal workers, Landscaping workers, horticultural workers, Agricultural workers, Greenhouse workers, and Nursery workers in Illinois. (Abogados para Trabajadores Agricolas y Jardineros.) FLAP’s mission is to improve working conditions for migrant and seasonal workers in the agricultural and landscaping industries in Illinois. FLAP carries out this mission through: Litigation, Outreach and Community Legal Education.
Among the many violations that our clients are exposed to are:
– Nonpayment of wages (“wage theft”)
– Denial of overtime wage rates
– Illegal pesticide exposure
– Hazardous housing
– Unsanitary working conditions
– Illegal deductions from wages [for visa, travel, housing, equipment and uniform expenses] No client documentation necessary.
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Information source for consumer frauds and scams, recalled products, filing a consumer complaint, reporting identity theft, getting your free credit reports, registering for the Do Not Call list, and other consumer issues.
FindLaw is a free online resource that provides legal information, lawyer profiles and a community to help you make legal decisions.
The Illinois Attorney General Office Crime Victim Services Division offers programs to support victims and families of violent crime in order to help them meet their challenges and regain peace of mind. These programs include:
The Illinois Crime Victim Compensation Program, the Domestic Violence Fund, the Violent Crime Victim Assistance (VCVA) Program, the Automated Victim Notification (AVN) System, the Statewide Victim Assistance Program, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, and the Illinois Victim Assistance Academy. Other resources include workshops, training & conferences, downloadable resources, and links.
For more information, visit the website at http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/victims.
Illinois Child Support Service, a division of the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services assists with child support service applications, collecting child support, establishing paternity and other issues related to child support.
122 S. Michigan Ave, 7th and 20th Floors, Chicago, IL 60603
File a complaint to the Illinois Department of Public Health regarding quality of care issues, such as allegations of actual or potential harm to patients, patient rights, infection control, and medication errors. Click here for the complaint form.
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
Complaints are limited to hospitals, home health agencies, hospices, end-stage renal dialysis units, ambulatory surgical treatment centers, rural health clinics, critical access hospitals, clinical laboratories (CLIA), outpatient physical therapy, portable X-ray services, community mental health centers, accredited mental health centers (only Medicare Certified), comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities, Free Standing Emergency centers, alternative health care delivery and health maintenance organizations (HMOs).
Independent nonprofit organization provides web-based legal help and information for lower-income Illinoisans. Search by legal issue and zip code; some forms available. Live chat and video aids.
The Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice has approved standardized forms (available at the link), which are required to be accepted in all Illinois courts, in the following areas:
- Expungement and Sealing
- Fee Waiver
- Financial Affidavit Suite
- Interpreter Request
- Mortgage Foreclosure
- Name Change
- Proof of Delivery
Provides direct legal representation in several Legal Programs. The Social Services Program provides outreach, case management, short-term crisis intervention, and individual, family and group counseling. The Redirection Services help clients stay out of trouble and move toward a positive future. Programs serve low-income Evanston youth and their families.
Expungement Help Desk:
Assistance in completing necessary forms to expunge or seal criminal records in Illinois.
Second Muncipal District Courthouse (Skokie)
5600 Old Orchard Rd., Room 136
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Lawyers in the Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) provide lower cost, quality legal services that often include fixed fees and flexible representation options (like unbundled, a la carte services). Many JEP lawyers have fee estimates on their websites, so you can find out what it might cost to hire a lawyer.
Lawyers in the JEP currently assist clients in the following areas:
- Family Law – including divorce, spousal support, child support, custody, visitation and orders of protection
- Landlord/Tenant – including eviction proceedings and security deposit claims
- Consumer Law – including debt collection issues, consumer disputes and Chapter 7 bankruptcy
- Estate Law – including wills, probate and guardianships
- Employment Law – including discrimination and wage claims
- Small Business/Non-profit – including business formation, contracts and intellectual property issues
- Real Property Law – including foreclosure proceedings and real estate purchase/sale
- Criminal misdemeanors, traffic tickets, license suspensions and ordinance violations
- Immigration Law – including visas, residency, naturalization and asylum
The Juvenile Justice Initiative (JJI) is a non-profit, statewide coalition of state and local organizations, advocacy groups, legal educators, practitioners, community service providers, and child advocates supported by private donations from foundations and individuals/entities.
JJI’s mission is to transform the juvenile justice system in Illinois by reducing reliance on confinement, enhancing fairness for all youth, and developing an adequate range of community-based resources.
Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
The Midwest Regional Office accepts Help Desk calls at any time during business hours (M-F 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.).Lambda’s Legal Help Desk staff respond directly to those who are seeking legal information and assistance with discrimination related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and HIV status.
Free legal aid for low income people in Cook County. Priorities are family law, human and civil rights, safety issues, and economic stability. Legal Services
LII is a not-for-profit group that provides open access to legal materials online. Resources include federal law, the Constitution, U.S. Code, the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), Supreme Court cases, Federal Rules, State law resources, State statutes by topic, Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.), Uniform Laws, World legal resources, and the Wex Legal Encyclopedia, which explains legal terms and topics.
Services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors include counseling, assistance with employment, referrals and free legal services.
24-hour crisis line: 1-847-824-4454
Represents entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as individuals who are seeking legal assistance with not for profit organizations. The BLC is committed to providing clients with affordable quality legal services in keeping with Loyola’s commitment to serving the community. Legal services are provided to not for profit organizations on a pro bono basis. The Business Law Clinic adheres to the Rules of Professional Conduct of the Supreme Court of Illinois.
The Civitas ChildLaw Clinic represents children in a variety of settings, focusing primarily on child protection (abuse and neglect) and high-conflict child custody disputes. Other areas of practice include education, immigration, delinquency, and international child abduction.
The Community Law Center Clinic serves clients whose main source of income is public assistance or SSI as well as those classified as the “working poor,” who are people struggling to meet their obligations even though they have jobs.
Cases handled by the clinic focus on family issues, landlord-tenant conflicts and benefit questions.
Mailing: P.O. Box 5164, Evanston IL 60204 (shelter only)
This comprehensive domestic violence program provides crisis intervention, emergency assistance and shelter, transitional housing, legal advocacy, community-based services, violence prevention and outreach and education. All services are offered free of charge.
Toll Free Crisis and Referral Line: 877-718-1868; Crisis and Referral Line: 847-864-8780
Mary Lou’s Place 32-bed residential shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. The only criteria for admission is that the individual or family is fleeing from a dangerous situation. They can stay for up to 90 days; transitional housing services are then available.
For donations of hygiene, household items, non-perishable foods, and diapers, contact 847-864-8445.
Professional association of attorneys dedicated to improving the quality of legal services provided to seniors and people with special needs. Elderlaw Membership Directory can be used for referrals.
The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
NIJC provides pro bono legal services to these groups and advocates for policy reform and broad-based systemic change.
Northwest Center Against Sexual Assault (Northwest CASA) is the only full service agency that provides free services to sexual assault survivors and their loved ones within the North and Northwest suburbs of Cook County.
Crisis intervention and counseling, legal and medical advocacy, education and prevention outreach programs.
24-hour Hotline 888-802-8890
Mailing: 375 East Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
A nonprofit, student-based clinical program affiliated with the Bluhm Legal Clinic. Provides affordable legal services to entrepreneurs, start-up companies and nonprofit organizations; offers affordable legal advice on incorporation, trademark registration, copyright protection, and contract review. Sponsors annual Entrepreneurship Conference.
Open Communities’ mission is to educate, advocate and organize to promote just and inclusive communities in north suburban Chicago. We work with current and prospective residents and local groups to promote economically and culturally diverse communities in north suburban Chicago. We provide fair and affordable housing counseling services, community education, advocacy, and organizing for welcoming communities.
Serving: Highwood, Highland Park, Deerfield, Northbrook, Glencoe, Northfield, Winnetka, Glenview, Kenilworth, Wilmette, Evanston, Skokie, Morton Grove, Park Ridge, Niles, and Lincolnwood.
•Fair Housing Enforcement and Education
•Foreclosure & Predatory Lending Prevention
•Landlord/Tenant Complaint Investigation
Formerly Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs
Hours of Operations: Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
Open Communities fights discrimination through Fair Housing education and advocacy; counsels local homeowners in Foreclosure Prevention; and works to create better living environments through its Landlord and Tenant Advice Program.
Homesharing is a free service which matches persons seeking affordable housing with home providers who wish to remain in their homes.
Recruits and trains immigrants to become active community leaders through Immigrant Integration program. Open Communities trains and sends volunteers into the field to pose as home-seekers – renters or buyers. Volunteers submit factual reports of their experience to help determine if a pattern of discrimination exists. Individuals from all ethnic and racial groups are strongly encouraged to apply. For more information about becoming a Housing Tester: 847-501-4352.
Volunteer advocacy group which promotes and supports restorative justice activities in the community such as Community Peace Circles. The Community Peace Circles facilitate peaceful dialogue to help promote mutual understanding and peaceful alternatives to violent responses among community members who are in conflict.Community Peace Circles work to bring all involved parties toward resolution through respectful and effective communication.
Through the Illinois Department on Aging, the state long term care ombudsman protects and promotes the rights and quality of life for people who reside in long term care facilities (nursing homes). This is done through regional ombudsmen who have a hands–on working relationship with the residents and staff of the facilities within their program areas.
For more information on the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, contact…
the Illinois Department on Aging Senior HelpLine;
a Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program;
a Regional Home and Community Ombudsman Program.
For more information on the Pioneer Approach to Long Term Care and the Illinois Long Term Care Ombudsman program, see also:
Publications related to the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
The Law Project strengthens Chicago area communities by providing high-quality, pro bono (free) legal services to community based nonprofits, small businesses and first-time homebuyers. In fulfilling this mission, The Law Project offers transactional attorneys meaningful pro bono opportunities. Now offering a FREE legal hotline for small business and nonprofit employers who need on the spot employment law advice.
In addition to our direct legal services programs, The Law Project also provides regular workshops and trainings on legal issues affecting nonprofit organizations, small businesses entrepreneurs, and first time home buyers. Check out our events calendar for upcoming events.