Helpful Organizations

Helpful Organizations

Free or Reduced Fee Legal Aid


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: American Sign Language, Cambodian, Arabic, Chinese/Mandarin, English, Farsi, French, French Creole, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Tribal Languages, Urdu, Vietnamese
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LAF (formerly the Legal Assistance Foundation) 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% 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


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

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


REACH Legal Clinic
Marquette Bank, Second Floor
6151 S. Pulaski Chicago, IL | View map
Phone: (312) 986-4200
Languages: English, Polish, Spanish
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Volunteer attorneys provide advice and referrals in the areas of family, housing, and consumer law issues.

To Make an Appointment: You must call our intake number, (312) 986-4200, during intake hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Appointment Hours: Hours are second Saturday of every month from 9am to 12pm.

We provide the following services:

Advice and Representation on Family Law Issues

  • Child Support Clinic
  • Advice appointments with an experienced family law attorney
  • Representation for uncontested divorces through its Pro Bono panel

Advice and Representation on Housing and Consumer Issues

  • Eviction defense
  • Protection against creditors' unfair practices


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
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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.


LAF Markham Courthouse Domestic Violence Project
Sixth Municipal District Courthouse
16501 South Kedzie Parkway Markham, IL 60428| View map

Languages: English
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LAF (Legal Assistance Foundation) staffs a Domestic Violence help desk at the Markham Courthouse on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of every month. LAF attorneys and volunteers provide advice, brief services and, in some cases, representation in court. Attorneys are happy to review pleadings, talk about the facts of a particular case, or discuss the procedure that victims of domestic violence can use to obtain protections such as Orders of Protection. In very limited circumstances, the attorney may refer the case for representation to LAF staff attorneys.


Domestic Violence Legal Clinic
555 West Harrison Street
Suite 1900 Chicago, IL 60607| View map
Phone: 312-325-9155
Languages: English, Spanish
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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 to complete an intake.  We suggest arriving as close to 8:30 as possible.  We cannot guarantee that we will be able to represent you.  

DVLC also provides comprehensive family law services and representation for undocumented domestic violence survivors seeking relief under VAWA or through a U-VISA.  To apply for family law or immigration assistance, please call our office at 312-325-9155.




Legal Council for Health Justice (formerly 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 Legal Council for Health Justice (formerly 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


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.


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.



Phone: 312-738-9200
Languages: English, Spanish
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CARPLS is an innovative legal service that offers an immediate response to the everyday legal problems confronting people in need throughout Cook County. Our legal hotline and court-based advice desks give low- and modest-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.


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

Languages: English, Polish, Spanish
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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.


Domestic Relations Self Help Desk
Richard J. Daley Center
50 West Washington
CL 16 (Concourse level) Chicago, IL 60602| View map
Phone: (312) 738-9200
Languages: English, Spanish
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The Domestic Relations Self Help Desk offers free legal consultations to low-income people who cannot afford an attorney. CARPLS attorneys help people represent themselves in court on simple family matters and resolve issues after a divorce order is entered. People should bring all court documents with them, and will be served on a first come, first served basis. No appointment is necessary.

Hours are 9 am to - 1 pm, Monday through Friday (clients may check into the Resource Center in CL 16 prior to 9 am).




Catholic Charities Legal Assistance
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
651 W. Lake Street
Suite 304 Chicago, IL 60661| View map
Phone: 312-948-6821
Languages: Spanish, English
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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.

Legal Self-Help Center


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
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Private Attorney Referrals


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


Cook County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
120 West Madison
Suite 450 Chicago, IL 60602| View map
Phone: 312-630-1157
Languages: English
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Call our office at 312-630-1157, Monday to Friday between 11am and 3pm for referrals to private attorneys.


Justice Entrepreneurs Project

Phone: 312-546-3282
Languages: Chinese/Mandarin, English, Polish, Spanish
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The Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) is a network of independent, private attorneys who are committed to making quality legal services accessible and affordable for regular people. Many JEP lawyers offer fixed fees and flexible representation options (like unbundled, a la carte services). For example, they may charge less to help in one small part of your case that may be more complicated.

At the JEP's webpage, you can learn more about the Project, see JEP participant attorneys and sort by practice area, and/or fill out a contact request form.