Helpful Organizations

Helpful Organizations

Free or Reduced Fee Legal Aid

1.

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. - St. Charles Office
1024 West Main Street St. Charles, IL 60174| View map
Phone: 630-232-9415
TTY: 630-232-9414
Toll-free: 800-942-4612
Languages: American Sign Language, Arabic, Cambodian, Chinese/Mandarin, English, Farsi, French, French Creole, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Tribal Languages, Urdu, Vietnamese
Send email | View website

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. is a non-profit law firm that provides free civil legal aid to people who cannot afford an attorney. Prairie State serves 36 counties in northern and central Illinois, outside of Cook County. Your eligibility for help from Prairie State Legal Services will depend on whether:

  • You meet our income and asset guidelines, or are age 60 or older.
  • We have no ethical conflict of interest regarding your legal issue.
  • You live within Prairie State's service area, or have a civil legal problem in one of the counties in our service area.
  • You meet the citizenship or immigration requirements established by Congress. Immigrants who are fleeing domestic violence or trafficking are eligible for legal help regardless of immigration status in matters to address the abuse.
  • Government regulations do not prohibit Prairie State from handling your type of legal problem.
  • You have a legal problem that can be addressed by Prairie State's attorneys and that fall within our established priorities.

Types of Legal Help

Due to high demand for our services, our staff is able to provide representation in certain areas of civil law designated as a priority. The following kinds of problems are examples of cases that we might be able to help with (not an exclusive list):

High Priority Cases

  • Family Law: Protection from abuse or exploitation for domestic violence victims, elderly, children and persons w/disabilities; divorce and related relief for domestic violence victims.
  • Housing Law: Evictions and lock-outs; foreclosure defense; loss or denial of subsidized housing benefits; loss or denial of essential public utilities; substandard housing conditions cases that cannot be addressed by other agencies.
  • Health Care: Loss or denial of medical or nursing home care; loss or denial of medical benefits (Medicaid, Medicare).
  • Needs-based government assistance: Loss or denial of SSI, GA, TANF, VA, food stamps.
  • Other income benefits where alternative representation is unavailable: Loss or denial of unemployment insurance, Social Security Disability benefits.

Other cases we might be able to handle

  • Family Law: Child support, custody, guardianship, visitation, parental rights, divorces for non-domestic violence victims.
  • Housing: Rent issues; security deposits; unit size; discrimination.
  • Education: admission, expulsion, special education & related services.
  • Health care and people with disabilities: powers of attorney and other health care documents; discrimination and reasonable accommodations.
  • Income or benefits: overpayments of government assistance; health insurance matters; employment issues.
  • Consumer Law: Bankruptcy or other debt relief; consumer fraud; protection of exempt income and assets; unfair debt collection practices; repossession; contract defenses.
     

 

View current federal poverty levels


2.

Administer Justice
1750 Grandstand Place
#15 Elgin, IL 60123| View map
Phone: 847-844-1100
Languages: English, Spanish
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Administer Justice is a charitable, non-profit organization providing low-income legal, financial and conflict resolution services.  Our mission is to Administer Justice through a program of education, legal assistance, financial counseling and conflict resolution, to empower the powerless, give hope to the hopeless, and show mercy and compassion to those in need.

Our educational programs include community seminars, self-help clinics as well as training in legal matters, financial planning and conflict resolution.  Our legal assistance consists of individual appointments with an attorney to help a person with legal forms, educate them about their rights, and (when necessary and available) provide a free attorney for those whose income is low enough and whose legal problem is in Kane County.  Our financial counseling includes helping educate people about their rights under our tax code, particularly those who are Spanish-speaking, and providing budget counseling to avoid some of the common problems that result from money mismanagement. Our Low Income Taxpayer Clinic assists low-income taxpayers who are having problems with the IRS. Our conflict resolution services include mediation and arbitration of disputes, which are much cheaper and faster than a lawsuit. For more information visit our web site at http://www.administerjustice.org/.


3.

Lawyer in the Library
Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center
37 West 777 Route 38 St. Charles, IL 60175| View map
Phone: 630.406.7126
Languages: English
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The Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center in partnership with Administer Justice and the Kane County Bar Association have created a program to assist qualifying low income individuals with their Kane County legal needs. The program will offer limited services to those who have a Kane County Civil case. Attorneys volunteer their time to provide legal coaching, document review, and referrals for qualifying individuals.

To see if you meet the specific criteria for assistance, you must visit the Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center in person. 

Individuals must meet specific criteria below:  

 Qualifying individuals must be of low income and sign a “Certification of Finances” acknowledging that they meet specific economic guidelines as set forth by the volunteering agencies (Kane County Bar Association, Administer Justice)

 The legal matter(s) for which the individual is seeking assistance must be occurring in Kane County.

 Individuals must provide a $5 refundable cash deposit.

 Individuals may not utilize the “Lawyer in the Library” service more than three times for the same legal matter.

Other services: The Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center combines print, internet, and database resources to better meet the various access needs of our patrons. Along with free pamphlets there is a selection of self-help legal publications available for check out.

View current federal poverty levels


4.

Mutual Ground, Inc.
P.O. Box 843 Aurora, IL 60507| View map
Phone: 630.897.0080
Languages: English, Spanish
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Mutual Ground (MGI) provides services to victims of domestic violence; victims are provided safety, shelter and support services while they learn they have the power to change their lives. Services include 24-hour crisis hotline, confidential counseling, court advocacy, social service referrals, and an emergency shelter for women and their minor children who are victims of domestic violence. MGI does not provide legal services.


5.

Community Crisis Center
Elgin, IL 60120| View map
Phone: 847.697.2380
Languages: English, Spanish
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Domestic violence services available at the Community Crisis Center include: a 24-hour crisis intervention hotline staffed by professional counselors; emergency shelter for women and their children needing a safe place to stay; on-call trained volunteer advocates who meet with victims in area emergency rooms to offer support and information about services; help obtaining Orders of Protection and Legal advocacy to assist in civil and criminal cases; individual counseling; weekly support groups for women victims of domestic violence, with concurrent children's groups available, and; information and referral services. 


6.

Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project (FLAP)
33 N. LaSalle, Suite 900 Chicago, IL 60602| View map
Phone: 847-668-2114
Languages: English, Spanish
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The Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project (FLAP) provides legal representation to the thousands of landscapers, migrant and seasonal farmworkers who work planting and harvesting crops, detasseling corn, and cultivating nursery products.

The vast majority of these migrants are Spanish speakers who migrate to Illinois from Texas or Mexico for 6-9 months. The primary focus is on migrants living in Northern Illinois. The FLAP represents farmworkers and landscapers, regardless of their immigration status, in disputes over wages and working conditions.

Legal Self-Help Center

1.

Kane County Law LIbrary & Self Help Legal Center
Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center
37 West 777 Route 38 St. Charles, IL 60175| View map
Phone: 630.406.7126
Languages: English
View website

Located on the second floor of the Kane County Judicial Center, the Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center supports the general public and those in the legal professions with their quest for governmental and legal information. 

It is the vision of the Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center to openly advocate for and fiercely support equal access to justice through:
                                                               
                 Assisting the public in their efforts to understand and use the legal system effectively and efficiently
                 Creating informed consumers with realistic expectations of the legal system
                 Ensuring equal access to legal and governmental information in the most cost effective manner
                 Creating positive contacts and experiences between the public and the legal system
 
The Kane County Law Library Self Help Legal Center gives the public a place to learn about the legal system and the steps involved in going to court in Kane County. Professional librarians are on staff to guide patrons to resources and teach them how to use the materials effectively and efficiently. Additionally, the Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center has the following goals:
                 To better serve the needs of pro-se litigants
                 To provide additional user friendly materials to pro-se litigants that will help increase efficiency in the court system
                 And to assist and educate the public on how to use available legal resources.
 
The Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center uses a combination of print, internet, and database resources to better meet the various access needs of its patrons. Along with free pamphlets there is a selection of self-help legal publications available for check out.
 

Private Attorney Referrals

1.

Kane County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
P.O. Box 571 Geneva, IL 60134| View map

Languages: English
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The Kane County Bar Association's online "Find A Lawyer" Search Tool is a free service designed to help people find a Kane County Lawyer or Law Firm whose specialty fits their legal needs. This service is provided free of charge and individuals can search as many times as they wish.