Helpful Organizations

Helpful Organizations

Free or Reduced Fee Legal Aid

1.

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
Send email | View website

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


2.

Domestic Violence Legal Clinic
555 West Harrison Street Chicago, IL 60607| View map
Phone: 312-325-9155
Languages: English, Spanish
Send email | View website

The Domestic Violence Legal Clinic serves survivors of domestic violence who need legal assistance.  We use our location at the Cook County Domestic Violence Courthouse (555 W. Harrison, Chicago) to provide same-day services for people who need Orders of Protection.  Our intake hours are Monday - Friday, from 8:30-1:30 (or until we reach capacity).  To apply for our Order of Protection services, come to our office during our intake hours and speak with a staff member.  We cannot guarantee that we will be able to represent you.  

DVLC also provides comprehensive family law services.  To apply for assistance in a parentage or divorce case, please call our office at 312-325-9155.

 

 


3.

Lambda Legal Midwest Regional Office
105 W. Adams
Suite 2600 Chicago, IL 60603| View map
Phone: 312-663-4413
Languages: English, Spanish
Send email | View website

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.


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.

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.


6.

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
Send email | View website

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. 


7.

John Marshall Law School Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic
315 South Plymouth Court Chicago , IL 60604| View map
Phone: 312 360 2656
Languages: English
Send email | View website

The Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic (VLSC) specializes in appealing denied veteran’s benefits claims, including service-connected benefits, pension benefits, survivor benefits, and education benefits. The VLSC works on all aspects of Veteran Benefits Administration claims, from the initial, factual intake to the technical representation of claims at the appellate level. To effectively represent veterans in the VA claims process, the VLSC recruits, trains, and manages a network of pro bono


8.

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


9.

Lawyers for the Creative Arts
213 West Institute Place
Suite 403 Chicago, IL 60610| View map
Phone: 312-649-4111
Languages: English
Send email | View website

We provide free legal services to all areas of the arts: visual, performing and literary. We serve individuals and organizations. For free services, individuals must have a household income of $35,000 or less. Non-profit organizations must have a budget of $350,000 or less. We also serve profit making arts groups and persons over our eligibility limit on a reduced fee basis.  We assist with business formation, intellectual property protection, contracts, disputes and litigation, and rights of personality and publicity.  We can, occasionally, help with immigration matters but have few volunteers able to assist with these matters and plaintiff side employment cases.  Please see our website to review our Pro Bono Policies and Referral Procedures.

To apply for our services please visit www.law-arts.org and complete the online application.

Private Attorney Referrals

1.

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.


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.