Helpful Organizations

Helpful Organizations

Free or Reduced Fee Legal Aid

1.

Disability Rights Legal Center

Phone: 1-866-843-2572
Languages: Spanish, English
Send email | View website

The mission of the Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) is to champion the rights of people with disabilities through education, advocacy, and litigation.

The Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) is a national, joint program of the Disability Rights Legal Center and Loyola Law School Los Angeles. The CLRC provides free information and resources on cancer-related legal issues to cancer survivors, caregivers, health care professionals, employers, and others coping with cancer.

A cancer diagnosis may carry with it a variety of legal issues, including insurance coverage, employment and taking time off work, access to health care and government benefits, and estate planning. These legal issues can cause people unnecessary worry, confusion, and stress, and can be overwhelming. When these legal issues are not addressed, people may find that although they have gotten through treatment, they have lost their homes, jobs, or insurance coverage.

Where Do You Turn For Help?

The CLRC has a national, toll-free Telephone Assistance Line (866-THE-CLRC) where callers can receive free and confidential information about relevant laws and resources for their particular situation. Members of the CLRC's Professional Panel of attorneys, insurance agents, and accountants can provide additional assistance.

The CLRC has assisted tens of thousands of individuals on the Telephone Assistance Line (866-THE-CLRC). Since its founding in 1997, the CLRC remains unique, providing invaluable cancer-related legal information and resources to people nationwide. The success of the Center's work is reflected in the enormous need for the information it provides. The CLRC continues to serve patients, caregivers, survivors, and others coping with cancer through the Telephone Assistance Line, conferences, seminars, workshops, education and outreach programs, and other cancer community activities.

For additional questions, please email CLRC@LLS.edu.

Visit www.CancerLegalResourceCenter.org for more information about cancer-related legal issues and services provided by the Cancer Legal Resource Center


2.

Center for Disability and Elder Law
79 W. Monroe
Suite 919 Chicago, IL 60603| View map
Phone: 312-376-1880
Languages: English, Polish, Spanish
Send email | View website

The Center for Disability and Elder Law (CDEL) provides high-quality, pro bono legal assistance to persons marginalized by poverty, age and/or disability. CDEL’s organizational structure consists of a modest in-house staff which supports a network of hundreds of volunteer attorneys and paralegals. CDEL volunteers provide legal representation in a wide range of civil practice areas including: guardianship, simple estate planning, landlord/tenant, consumer fraud, civil rights, elder abuse and real estate. CDEL has also developed a number of limited engagement opportunities for those volunteers that are unable to handle cases that require long-term client commitments.

Adult Guardian Help Desk

CDEL also administers the Adult Guardianship Help Desk at the Daley Center. The Help Desk assists persons who will appear without a lawyer in court proceedings for the adjudication of disability for an alleged disabled adult and appointment of a personal guardian. The staff will help you understand the court process and assist you in filling out required court forms. However, the Help Desk does not give legal advice or provide legal representation.

Help Desk services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on all days that the Circuit Court is in session. Help Desk staff does not provide assistance for proceedings in which a guardianship of the estate may be required or if the guardianship proceeding may be contested. Staff will provide referral information to other resources or to private attorney referral services for representation in these cases.
 


3.

Health and Disability Advocates
205 West Randolph Street
Suite 510 Chicago, IL 60606| View map
Phone: 312-223-9600
TTY: 800-427-0766
Languages: English, Spanish
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HDA is a national non-profit based in Chicago that promotes income security, workforce development, and access to health services and resources for children, people with disabilities and low-income older adults. We do this through a combination of direct client services, training/technical support and advancing a public policy agenda.

HDA provides legal services to children with disabilities and their families in selected cases, and provides training and materials for families. HDA represents children and adults in the areas of Social Security, SSI, Children’s SSI, Medicaid, Medicare, and Insurance law.


4.

Equip for Equality
20 N. Michigan Avenue
Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60602| View map
Phone: 800-537-2632
TTY: 800-610-2779
Toll-free: 800-537-2632
Languages: American Sign Language, English, Spanish
Send email | View website

The mission of Equip for Equality is to advance the human and civil rights of children and adults with physical and mental disabilities in Illinois.  Equip for Equality serves people who have:

  • a developmental disability such as autism, cerebral palsy and mental retardation.
  • a significant psychiatric disability such as depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia (we give priority to individuals at risk for abuse due to seclusion, restraint, and any related serious injuries or fatalities, neglect, or civil rights violations, while residing in residential facilities).
  • a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act other than one that is developmental or psychiatric such as blindness, deafness or hard of hearing, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, paraplegia, quadriplegia and multiple sclerosis.
  • traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

Some of our work involves assistive technology needs, voting access and participation for individuals with disabilities, and vocational rehabilitation services, employment services, and other support services for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities.

How to Request Services

People seeking assistance should call (800) 537-2632 on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. We accept limited calls on Tuesday and Thursday from individuals in institutions (usually when they are emergencies only).


5.

AIDS Legal Council of Chicago
180 North Michigan Avenue
Suite 2110 Chicago, IL 60601| View map
Phone: 312-427-8990
Languages: English, Spanish
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The AIDS Legal Council of Chicago serves economically disadvantaged people in Cook County who: (1) are HIV+, living with AIDS, or perceived as such; (2) have legal claims that are HIV/AIDS-related; and (3) have annual household income under 300% of the federal poverty level.**

We offer counseling and direct services related to the following issues, when those issues are related to the individual's HIV status:

  • public benefits, including SSI, SSDI, TANF
  • Medicaid and Medicare 
  • employment discrimination
  • immigration
  • returning to work
  • confidentiality and testing violations
  • health care provider discrimination
  • health, life, and long-term disability insurance
  • guardianship, standby guardianship, adoption
  • housing discrimination
  • bankruptcy, debtor-creditor issues
  • wills and powers of attorney


** The income limits are flexible. Individuals with higher incomes may be represented if their economic circumstances and/or the complexity of their case, make it unlikely that they can afford private counsel. In addition, the Council represents individuals with higher income who are eligible under a special grant, for example, our Ryan White grants support services to medically indigent clients, regardless of income. There are no income limits for people with HIV whom we can advise with a brief telephone consultation.

View current federal poverty levels


6.

Access Living
115 West Chicago Avenue Chicago, IL 60654| View map
Phone: 312-640-2100
TTY: 312-640-2102
Languages: English, Spanish, American Sign Language
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Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago is a cross disability organization governed and staffed by a majority of people with disabilities.  Its Civil Rights Team enforces federal, state and local civil rights laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities.  The Team counsels persons with disabilities about their civil rights and provides representation in cases implicating important disability rights issues.  Cases focus on access to housing, government services, and public accommodations (e.g., businesses).


7.

LAF (Legal Assistance Foundation)
120 S. LaSalle St.
Suite 900 Chicago, IL 60603| View map
Phone: 312-341-1070
TTY: 312-431-1206
Toll-free: 800-824-4050
Languages: Chinese/Mandarin, English, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish
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LAF (formerly The Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago) provides free civil legal services to individuals and families in Chicago and suburban Cook County who are unable to afford an attorney. Households with limited assets and income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty line may qualify for free legal help. 

We have higher income limits for homeowners at risk of foreclosure, seniors, veterans, people living with HIV-AIDS, and domestic violence survivors seeking protection from an abuser.

In addition, a person must be a:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Lawful Permanent Resident
  • Asylee, Refugee, or a person who has been granted Withholding of Removal
  • An Adjustment of Status applicant who also has a U.S. citizen spouse, parent, or child (under 21)
  • A victim of human trafficking
  • A victim of domestic battery (including domestic violence), sexual assault, extreme mental cruelty, or a number of other crimes which are included in the U visa laws

We can provide limited services for

  • H2A (agriculture) or H2B (forestry) workers
  • Lawful temporary residents
  • Individuals seeking assistance under the Hague Convention (related to child abduction)

While we cannot provide legal assistance in all immigration cases, we can talk to you to find out what kind of help you might need, and refer somewhere where we think you can get that help.

View current federal poverty levels


8.

Self Help Web Center
Richard J. Daley Center
50 West Washington
Room 602 Chicago, IL 60602| View map

Languages: English, Polish, Spanish
Send email

The Self Help Web Center provides free computer workstations at the Daley Center Courthouse where people who cannot find an attorney can access legal resources over the internet in many areas of law.  These internet resources include:

  • Online programs that create court forms
  • Legal information in 25 areas of law, including step-by-step guides, articles, and video trainings
  • A search tool for free and low-cost legal help


The Self-Help Web Center cannot give legal advice, but law students from Chicago-Kent College of Law help people find the information they need.  Hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.


9.

Center on Halsted Legal Program
3656 North Halsted Street Chicago, IL 60613| View map
Phone: 773-472-6469
TTY: 773-472-1277
Languages: English, Spanish
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The Legal Program at  Center on Halsted provides members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community with referrals to attorneys specializing in areas such as discrimination, adoption, custody, personal injury, criminal cases, harassment, contracts, wills, and bankruptcy. Referrals are made to attorneys who are sensitive to, and experienced in matters related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues.

By appointment only, volunteer attorney's offer free, in person, legal consultations Wednesday evenings at Center on Halsted. This is a setting where LGBTQ people can come speak with a volunteer lawyer one-on-one about specific, immediate needs for specific situations and receive appropriate referrals. For more information about the Legal Program, or to make an appointment, please call 773.472.6469 X 436.

Other services provided at Center on Halsted include support groups for youth and seniors; psychotherapy services; a hotline for HIV and STD concerns; support related to domestic, sexual, and hate violence; LGBTQ cultural competence training for service providers and community organizations; and a range of life-enrichment programs.


10.

Catholic Charities Legal Assistance
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
651 W. Lake Street
Suite 403 Chicago, IL 60661| View map
Phone: 312-948-6821
Languages: English, Spanish
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The mission of Catholic Charities Legal Assistance (CCLA) is to provide access to compassionate and competent legal assistance to the economically disadvantaged in the Chicago area. 


Services provided: CCLA provides legal advice over its Legal Advice Line and evaluates cases for direct representation in the areas of family law, consumer law, housing law, and immigration.  CCLA also provides Legal Educational Seminars,  Referrals to other Legal Aid Organizations, and Access to a Pro Bono Network for limited cases.

Our services are free to low-income clients. Clients who do not qualify for free services may be charged a $25 or $35 fee.

Spanish speaking staff available.

Intake Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


11.

Markham Courthouse Help Desk
16501 S. Kedzie Parkway
Next to Courtroom 204 Markham, IL 60428| View map

Languages: English
Send email

The desk is open on Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


12.

Midwest Center on Law & the Deaf
P.O. Box 804297 Chicago, IL 60680| View map
Phone: 800-894-3653
TTY: 800-894-3654
Languages: English, American Sign Language
Send email | View website

MCLD provides information to the general public on the rights of deaf and hard-of-hearing people, and helps deaf and hard of hearing people find attorneys willing to provide accessible legal services.  If you or a deaf or hard-of-hearing person you know needs a lawyer, please call MCLD to help you find one.


13.

CARPLS

Phone: 312-738-9200
Languages: English, Spanish
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CARPLS is an innovative legal aid service that offers an immediate response to the everyday legal problems confronting impoverished families throughout Cook County. Our legal aid hotline and court-based advice desks give low-income clients direct access to experienced attorneys who are trained to quickly assess and respond to a wide range of civil legal problems. CARPLS attorneys resolve over 85% of all cases in-house by providing information, advice and brief services including the preparation and review of legal documents. Clients with more complex needs are referred by CARPLS to a network of specialized legal and social service providers.


14.

Northwestern Bluhm Legal Clinic
Northwestern Bluhm Legal Clinic
357 East Chicago Avenue Chicago, IL 60611| View map
Phone: (312) 503-8576
Languages: English, French, German, Spanish
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The Children and Family Justice Center of the Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law represents children between the ages of six and eighteen in juvenile delinquency hearings, school expulsion hearings, and juvenile record expungement cases.


15.

Kane Legal Clinic
1850 West Roosevelt Road Chicago, IL 60608| View map
Phone: 312-666-1331
Toll-free: 312-666-8874
Languages: English
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The Kane Legal Clinic operates out of the Chicago Lighthouse at 1850 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago IL 60608. We provide free legal services for people with vision impairments who cannot afford a lawyer. Please call 312-666-1331 and ask for Judge Pomaro. In most cases, you will need to come to the clinic, however when you speak to the clinic director by phone, that can be determined. Appointments are generally on Monday or Thursday, but you may leave a message with your problem at any time, and the judge will return your call by the next business day.


16.

Mandel Legal Aid Clinic
6020 South University Ave. Chicago, IL 60637| View map
Phone: 773-702-9611
Languages: English
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Mandel Legal Aid Clinic is a joint venture of the University of Chicago Law School and the Legal Aid Bureau of United Charities. The Clinic specializes in the areas of criminal justice, civil rights, employment discrimination, and the rights of the mentally ill.


17.

DePaul Legal Clinic
1 East Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60604| View map
Phone: 312-362-8294
Languages: English
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The DePaul Legal Clinic provides legal services to low-income persons and groups working in low-income communities in the Chicago area in the following areas:

  • The Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic represents individuals before the Immigrations and Naturalization Serve and Immigration Courts in asylum and other immigration cases, and provides technical assistance to community organizations.
  • The Death Penalty Clinic researches and investigates death row convictions and offers representation assistance in pending capital cases.


18.

Lambda Legal Midwest Regional Office
105 W. Adams
Suite 2600 Chicago, IL 60603| View map
Phone: 312-663-4413
Languages: English, Spanish
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Lambda Legal is committed to achieving full recognition of the civil right of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV.  The Midwest Regional Office has three attorneys devoted to sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV/AIDS issues.

Lambda's Legal Help Desk responds directly to members of our communit(ies) who are seeking legal information and assistance with discrimination related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and HIV status. 

The Midwest Regional Office accepts Help Desk calls at any time during business hours (M-F 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.). Call 312-663-4413, ask for the Help Desk, and a Help Desk staff person will assist you. If Help Desk staff is busy helping other callers, your call will automatically be routed to the Legal Help Desk voicemail.


19.

Legal Advocacy Center of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
216 W Jackson
8th floor Chicago, IL 60606| View map
Phone: 312-673-2740
Languages: English
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Legal Advocacy Center of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago provides legal representation, consultations, and information and referral services and specializes in the areas of special education law, mental health and developmental disabilities law, and adult guardianship law. 


20.

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation
33 North Dearborn
Suite 400 Chicago, IL 60602| View map
Phone: 312-332-1624
Languages: English, Spanish
Send email | View website

CVLS represents low-income Chicagoans with a wide variety of civil legal problems, including divorce, adult and minor guardianships, adoption, tort defense, collection defense, bankruptcy, and landlord-tenant.  CVLS accepts clients whose income is up to 175% of the Federal Poverty guideline.

View current federal poverty levels


21.

Loyola Community Law Center
25 E. Pearson St.
Suite 1200 Chicago, IL 60611| View map
Phone: 312-915-7830
Languages: English
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The Community Law Center is a legal clinic affiliated with the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. The Community Law Center serves low-income persons with a variety of civil legal problems, including disability claims, family law litigation, elder law, and in defense of eviction and consumer debt suits.


22.

Centro Romero
6216 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60660| View map
Phone: 773-508-5300 ext. 19
Languages: English, Spanish
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CENTRO ROMERO is a community center providing educational and social services to residents of Edgewater, Rogers Park and Uptown.

Our Legal Department provides citizenship and immigration services and representation to Latino immigrants for Family-Based Immigration and Citizenship cases (Family-Based Immigration; Adjustment of Status; Citizenship & Naturalization; Central American Political Asylum; ABC / NACARA suspension; Temporary Protected Status (TPS)). We do not accept Employment-Based Immigration cases or non-immigrant visa cases. To be eligible for services the family income must be below 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Our Public Benefits Outreach and Enrollment Program can help you find out if you qualify for a public benefit. We also offer free HIV and STD testing. We fill out applications/re-determinations for:

  • Food stamps (LINK)
  • Medicaid/Medicare
  • Social Security (Disability Claims)
  • Medical Card
  • All Kids
  • Women's Health

Remember! The medical card is for every child under 18 years old and pregnant women regardless of your immigration status.

 

 

View current federal poverty levels


23.

Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc. - Downtown Office
211 W. Wacker Drive
Suite 750 Chicago, IL 60606| View map
Phone: 312-726-2938
Toll-free: 800-705-4055
Languages: English, Spanish
Send email | View website

The Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc. (Clinic) provides legal representation on a sliding scale based on household income to disadvantaged individuals from its four offices.

Areas of law include: collection defense, debt counseling, environmental law, expungement of criminal records, family law (adoption, child support, divorce, paternity, visitation, and assistance to victims of domestic violence), guardianship of disabled adults, immigration, landlord/tenant, real estate closings, and social security disability claims.

The offices are located in the following locations: Austin Office: 118 North Central Avenue, Chicago, IL 60644; Downtown Office: 211 West Wacker Drive, Suite 750, Chicago, IL 60606; Pilsen Office: 1914 S. Ashland Street – Lower Level, Chicago, IL 60608; and South Chicago Office: 2938 E. 91st Street, Chicago, IL 60617.  For an appointment at a Clinic Office, individuals should call:  773-731-1762.

The Clinic operates the following Advice Desks that provide free legal assistance: Chancery Advice Desk: Richard J. Daley Center 50 West Washington Street Room CL-16 Chicago, IL 60602 Parentage and Child Support Pro Se Advice Desk: Richard J. Daley Center 50 West Washington Street Concourse Level, CL 24 Chicago, IL 60602.


24.

Asian American Legal Services Clinic
4753 North Broadway
Suite 700 Chicago, IL 60640| View map
Phone: (312) 332-1624
Languages: Chinese/Mandarin, English, Japanese, Russian, Vietnamese
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Asian American Legal Services Clinic offers legal services to the pan-Asian, immigrant, refugee, and low-income communities of Chicago. Legal help is free to those living at or below 125% of the Federal Poverty Level. The Clinic offers legal services to individuals with income above this level for a small fee in the areas of immigration, consumer issues, divorce, child custody, housing, employment, and public assistance. 

A monthly free legal clinic is offered on the first Wednesday of every month in the evening by volunteer attorneys at Asian Human Services' Uptown office.

Clients must provide their own translator.

Please contact Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) to schedule an appointment for the Legal Services Clinic at (312) 332-1624.

 

View current federal poverty levels


25.

CDEL Adult Guardianship Help Desk
Richard J. Daley Center
50 West Washington Street
12th Floor - room 1202 Chicago, IL 60602| View map
Phone: 312-376-1880
Languages: English
Send email | View website

The Center for Disability & Elder Law (CDEL) helps run the Adult Guardianship Help Desk at the Daley Center.

The Help Desk assists persons who will appear without a lawyer in court proceedings for the adjudication of disability for an alleged disabled adult and appointment of a personal guardian. The staff will help you understand the court process and assist you in filling out required court forms. However, the Help Desk does not give legal advice or provide legal representation. Assistance is for filing a petition for guardianship of the person only, not of a person's estate.

Help Desk services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on all days that the Circuit Court is in session. Help Desk staff does not provide assistance for proceedings in which a guardianship of the estate may be required or if the guardianship proceeding may be contested. Staff will provide referral information to other resources or to private attorney referral services for representation in these cases.


26.

Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc. -Parentage and Child Support Pro Se Advice Desk
Richard J. Daley Center
50 West Washington Street
Concourse Level, CL 24 Chicago, IL 60602| View map

Languages: English, Spanish
Send email | View website

The Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc. - PARENTAGE AND CHILD SUPPORT PRO SE ADVICE DESK assists individuals who are not represented by an attorney in the following case types: Child Support and Paternity.  Attorneys at the Desk give brief information and advice, assist in completing forms, and provide referrals to free and low-cost lawyers. The attorneys do not represent people in court or in hearings, but will refer people in need of representation to the appropriate organization.   Days and Hours:  Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 3:30pm.

Description of The Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc. (Clinic) provides legal representation on a sliding scale based on household income to disadvantaged individuals from its four offices. Areas of law include: collection defense, debt counseling, environmental law, expungement of criminal records, family law (adoption, child support, divorce, paternity, visitation, and assistance to victims of domestic violence), guardianship of disabled adults, immigration, landlord/tenant, real estate closings, and social security disability claims. The offices are located in the following locations: Austin Office: 118 North Central Avenue, Chicago, IL 60644 Downtown: 211 West Wacker Drive, Suite 750, Chicago, IL 60606 Pilsen: 1914 S. Ashland Street – Lower Level, Chicago, IL 60608 South Chicago: 2938 E. 91st Street, Chicago, IL 60617 The Clinic operates the following Advice Desks that provide free legal assistance: Chancery Advice Desk: Richard J. Daley Center 50 West Washington Street Room CL-16 Chicago, IL 60602 Parentage and Child Support Pro Se Advice Desk: Richard J. Daley Center 50 West Washington Street Concourse Level, CL 24 Chicago, IL 60602


27.

Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc. - Chancery Division Advice Desk
50 W. Washington, Richard J. Daley Center
Room CL-16 Chicago, IL 60602| View map

Languages: English, Spanish
Send email | View website

The Chancery Division Advice Desk offers pro se (self-represented) litigants free assistance with filling out court-required forms and understanding court procedures for mortgage foreclosures, name changes, and appeals of administrative review decisions, as well as all matters heard in the Chancery Division.

The Desk is staffed by volunteer attorneys from the Chicago Legal Clinic. Please note the Desk does not offer legal representation.

The following services are provided at the Chancery Division Advice Desk:

  • a brief, one-time only consultation with a volunteer attorney to assess the nature, complexity and viability of a case;
  • explanation of court procedures;
  • assistance with filling out court-required forms;
  • referral to free or low-cost legal assistance organizations or bar referral programs for litigants who decide not to continue pro se and desire the services of an attorney; and
  • referral for qualified litigants to the Chicago Bar Association’s Access to Justice pro bono program, in which judges appoint counsel in appropriate cases from a list of volunteer attorneys who provide free legal counsel for litigants unable to obtain representation.

To allow the Chancery Advice Desk to serve as many self-represented litigants as possible, please note the following:

  • Litigants are not allowed follow-up consultations and may not return to the Advice Desk after their consultation unless specifically asked to do so by a volunteer attorney or referred by a judge.
  • Unlike criminal cases, there is no right to counsel in civil cases.
  • Desk staff may not be able to assist litigants with highly complex cases that require legal representation.
  • Litigants are asked to be patient as staff assists other litigants.

Hours: 9am-4pm, Monday through Friday. No appointment necessary.

Spanish assistance available daily.

 

The Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc. (Clinic) provides legal representation on a sliding scale based on household income to disadvantaged individuals from its four offices. Areas of law include: collection defense, debt counseling, environmental law, expungement of criminal records, family law (adoption, child support, divorce, paternity, visitation, and assistance to victims of domestic violence), guardianship of disabled adults, immigration, landlord/tenant, real estate closings, and social security disability claims. The offices are located in the following locations: Austin Office: 118 North Central Avenue, Chicago, IL 60644 Downtown: 211 West Wacker Drive, Suite 750, Chicago, IL 60606 Pilsen: 1914 S. Ashland Street – Lower Level, Chicago, IL 60608 South Chicago: 2938 E. 91st Street, Chicago, IL 60617 The Clinic operates the following Advice Desks that provide free legal assistance: Chancery Advice Desk: Richard J. Daley Center 50 West Washington Street Room CL-16 Chicago, IL 60602 Parentage and Child Support Pro Se Advice Desk: Richard J. Daley Center 50 West Washington Street Concourse Level, CL 24 Chicago, IL 60602


28.

Cabrini Green Legal Aid
740 N. Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60642| View map
Phone: 312-738-2452
Languages: English, Spanish
Send email | View website

Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA) has strengthened lives, assisted families and supported communities – one person at a time for over 40 years.  CGLA does more than give people a second chance – they are addressing the root causes of unemployment, homelessness, poverty and other challenges that contribute to crime and recidivism.  This is accomplished by combining high-quality legal services with supportive services coordinated through strategic partnerships with social service providers, government agencies, and other legal aid organizations.  Legal representation focuses on those negatively impacted by the criminal justice system through criminal defense work, criminal records work and civil cases that arise from criminal justice system involvement. 

Who We Serve

We serve residents of the City of Chicago in civil and criminal defense cases and residents of Cook County in criminal records cases with a household income within 150% of the federal poverty level (FPL).  In certain cases, we will accept individuals up to 200% of the FPL.  We are not required to and we do not ask about a client’s immigration status. 

Areas of Service 

CGLA provides both criminal and civil legal services, integrated with social work support, to individuals facing barriers stemming from an encounter with the criminal justice system.  We provide services in areas of acute need, including criminal records relief, defense, family and housing law. We partner with scores of law firms, corporate legal departments, and law schools to tap thousands of pro bono hours that multiply our impact.

·         Criminal Records Program: CGLA assists individuals in clearing their arrest and conviction records through a range of legal remedies, including expungement, sealing, clemency, health care waivers, certificates of good conduct, and certificates of relief from disability. The program includes our Help Desks at the Daley Center and the Markham Courthouse, our Criminal Records Corps of trained law students who bring these services to clients of homeless agencies, and individual advice and representation by staff and volunteer attorneys, including for clients of workforce development agencies and other partner organizations that serve people who face these barriers. 

·         Criminal Defense Program: CGLA is the only private agency in Chicago that provides criminal defense services to adults and juveniles throughout the City, positioning CGLA as the sole alternative to the Public Defender’s Office. CGLA’s criminal cases involve those who are unjustly accused, juveniles, those suffering from mental illness, first-time offenders, or others for whom CGLA believes our intervention can make a significant difference in the individual’s life. Each case that CGLA accepts is closely examined to ensure that we are, in fact, the best organization to assist the prospective client.

·         Family Law: CGLA represents individuals in family court, focusing our representation on previously unmarried parties (parentage cases) addressing issues of child support, child custody, child visitation and establishing paternity.  We provide representation to biological parents seeking to discharge guardianship of their children, as well as represent respondents in orders of protection.  We provide direct representation in complex and contested family law cases in our focused areas; legal referrals, advice, and pro-se document support; and community education and training.

·         Housing Law: CGLA’s Housing Law Program focuses on a significant area of need: defending tenants of subsidized housing who are unjustly threatened with eviction or voucher termination based on an allegation of criminal activity by a lease holder, family member, or guest. Additionally, CGLA represents individuals denied admission to subsidized housing based on criminal records.  CGLA’s efforts help prevent homelessness, displacement, and forced neighborhood relocation.

·         Client Support Services: Designed to complement our legal services, this program engages social workers to help growing numbers of our legal clients address challenges relevant to their legal problem as well as overcome barriers to leveraging a legal victory for positive life change.

Expungement Help Desks

-Richard J. Daley Center, 50 West Washington 10th Floor, Room 1006, Chicago, IL

-Markham Courthouse, 16501 Kedzie Avenue, Room 119, Markham, IL

-Juvenile Help Desk, Juvenile Court Building, 1100 S. Hamilton, ground floor (in partnership with LAF)

The Help Desks are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and provide a space for a person to receive individualized consultations and pro se document preparation for criminal records services. One must have a current rap sheet to be advised if they have any arrests in the City of Chicago, either as an adult or juvenile.  To obtain a rap sheet, please go to the Chicago Police Department, located at 3510 S. Michigan Avenue. Anyone seeking a rap sheet must first be fingerprinted and pay a $16 fee (juvenile rap sheets, however, are free).  Fingerprints are taken Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 12:30 pm. Rap sheets can be picked up Monday through Friday the following week (juvenile rap sheets are available the same day). 

At the Help Desks, CGLA staff attorneys and trained volunteers will look at an individual’s rap sheet and research the corresponding court records.  If she/he qualifies, we help fill out the expungement or sealing forms. Individuals who do not qualify for expungement or sealing will be informed about alternative forms of relief from a criminal record and if meets guidelines, will be referred to CGLA or other appropriate legal aid agency.

 

  • Daley Center Help Desk.  Located in Room 1006 of the Daley Center (50 W. Washington), Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Markham Courthouse Help Desk.  Located in Room 119, every Wednesday from 1000 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Rap sheets are only required if you have been arrested by the Chicago Police Department.
  • Expungement and Sealing Objection Call.  In partnership with Chicago Legal Clinic, we provide legal assistance at the expungement and sealing Court Call at 26th and California on Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30 p.m. until the call ends.
  • Juvenile Expungement Help Desk.  In collaboration with LAF, we provide juvenile expungement services at the Juvenile Court Building (1100 S. Hamilton) on the ground floor outside the Clerk’s Office, Monday and Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon.

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Legal Self-Help Center

1.

Markham Courthouse Legal Self-Help Web Center
Cook County Law Library
Basement Room 072
16501 S. Kedzie Parkway Markham, IL 60428| View map
Phone: 708.232.4170
Languages: English
View website

Private Attorney Referrals

1.

Lesbian & Gay Bar Association of Chicago Lawyer Referral Service
P.O. Box 64933 Chicago, IL 60664| View map
Phone: 312-807-4401
Languages: English
Send email | View website

We provide referrals to GLBT or GLBT-friendly Chicago-area attorneys. Please call 312-807-4401.


2.

Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois Lawyer Referral Service
321 South Plymouth Court Chicago, IL 60604| View map
Phone: 312-554-2045
Languages: English, Spanish
Send email | View website

Our 24-hour answering service provides referrals to private English/Spanish-speaking attorneys with experience in every area of the law.  Please call 312-554-2045.


3.

Cook County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
120 West Madison
Suite 450 Chicago, IL 60602| View map
Phone: 312-630-1157
Languages: English
Send email | View website

Call our office at 312-630-1157, Monday to Friday between 11am and 3pm for referrals to private attorneys.


4.

West Suburban Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
1317 S. First Avenue Maywood, IL 60153| View map
Phone: 708-338-2662
Languages: English
Send email

Persons living in the western suburbs can seek a lawyer with the help of the West Suburban Bar Association, which will refer prospective clients to Members who participate in the program. Members interview prospective clients for a $25 consultation fee, payable to the Association. Members may accept or reject the case and set their own fees.


5.

Northwest Suburban Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
800 East Northwest Highway
Suite 418 Palitine, IL 60074| View map
Phone: 847-221-2601
Languages: English
Send email | View website

Call the Attorney Referral Service to get the name and telephone number of a participating attorney in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago who practices in the area of your need. Callers are responsible for making the appointment with the attorney and will receive a one half-hour consultation for a charge of $25.00, which is due at the time of the consultation.

Or go to the Public Access Directory on our website for a listing of attorneys and the areas in which they concentrate.


6.

IllinoisLawyerFinder.com
Illinois State Bar Association
424 South Second Street Springfield, IL 62701| View map
Phone: 217-525-5297 (LAWS)
Toll-free: 800-922-8757
Languages: English
Send email | View website

Illinois Lawyer Finder is the Illinois State Bar Association's lawyer directory. This online referral service is designed to serve everyone who can afford the services of a lawyer. If you prefer a telephone referral please call Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. We charge no referral fee, and our operators can put you in touch with a lawyer in your area who has agreed to provide an initial consultation for no more than $25 for the first half-hour.


7.

Chicago Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
321 South Plymouth Court Chicago, IL 60604| View map
Phone: 312-554-2001
TTY: 312-554-2055
Languages: Chinese/Mandarin, English, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish
Send email | View website

The Chicago Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service refers clients to private attorneys who have been screened for experience in more than 45 areas of law, such as: criminal and juvenile law, personal injury, estate planning and trusts, and domestic relations. In addition, the LRS offers a broad range of attorneys in various practices who speak foreign languages including Spanish, Lithuanian, German, Japanese, Chinese and many others. Lawyer referrals are available through the web site or by phone Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


8.

South Suburban Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
4849 167TH St Oak Forest, IL 60452-4528| View map
Phone: (708) 633-9700
Languages: English
Send email

The South Suburban Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service provides referrals to lawyers in the south suburbs of Cook County, Illinois. Lawyers handle cases at the Bridgeview and Markham courthouses, and at the Daley Center in downtown Chicago.