Helpful Organizations

Helpful Organizations

Free or Reduced Fee Legal Aid

1.

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. - Rockford Office
303 North Main Street
Suite 600 Rockford, IL 61101| View map
Phone: 815-965-2902
TTY: 815-965-5114
Toll-free: 800-892-2985
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
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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.

Northern Illinois University College of Law
DeKalb, IL 0115| View map

Languages: English, Spanish
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The Clinic provides representation to senior citizens and persons of limited means who would not otherwise be able to afford a lawyer. Legal representation is provided by NIU College of Law students under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

We assist senior citizens with wills, powers of attorney,  living wills, consumer fraud, guardianship, and elder abuse.

We also help domestic violence victims with orders of protections. 

ZGLC offers a Pro Se Civorce Clinic several times a year, which teaches people to obtain a divorce without the use of an attorney.

The Juvenile Justice Clinic represents juveniles in delinquency proceedings.


3.

Remedies
516 Green Street Rockford, IL 61102| View map
Phone: 815-962-6102
Languages: English
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Remedies is the local domestic violence program. Remedies services include; a 24 hour crisis hotline, emergeny shelter, walk in counseling, women's support groups, children's services, Boone County services, legal advocacy and medical advocacy. Remedies also provides presentations and professional training within the Winnebago and Boone County area.

The Domestic Violence Assistance Center is located in the lower level of the Winnebago County Courthouse.  This is a Remedies office staffed with two legal advocates who can assist people who qualify with an order of protection.


4.

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.

Private Attorney Referrals

1.

Winnebago County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
321 West State Street
Suite 300 Rockford, IL 61101| View map
Phone: 815-964-5152
Languages: English
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The Winnebago County Bar Association Lawyer Referral provides referrals to members of the bar for those who can afford a reasonable fee for legal advice. Those seeking a lawyer can have a brief consultation for a fixed fee. If additional legal services are required the fee will be based upon agreement between the attorney and the client.

Those seeking legal help are first interviewed over the telephone by Bar staff, and then referred to a member of the bar who has agreed to participate in the service. Bar staff asks the nature of the legal service required and then contacts the attorney whose name appears first in the index, and who has agreed to handle that type of case. If the attorney agrees to accept the referral, the client is advised to contact the attorney's office to set up an appointment. A charge of $35.00, payable in advance, covers a first meeting of not more than one-half hour. Compensation for further services will be set by agreement with the client and the attorney.

The areas of law are covered by the WCBA Lawyer Referral are listed at http://www.wcbarockford.org/referalCat.asp.