Someone is in need of free or low cost legal assistance:
The Cook County Public Defender’s Office does not handle every type of legal matter. Further, a judge must appoint the Office to represent a defendant based on financial need. Even if the Public Defender’s Office is not appointed to your case, there are many local organizations that provide free or low cost representation and assistance. The following are links to some of them.
Uptown People’s Law Center (773) 769-9115
The Uptown People’s Law Center serves residents in the Uptown community, the poor throughout Chicago as well as Illinois prisoners. They specialize in housing law, evictions, prisoners’ rights issues as well as Social Security disability income matters.
To learn more about the Uptown People's Law Center, click here.
Cabrini Green Legal (312) 738-2452
Cabrini Green Legal offers assistance with various civil and criminal matters as well as social work services. They can assist low-income individuals living in Chicago with criminal record matters, criminal matters, housing and eviction law, as well as family law matters.
To learn more about the Cabrini Green Legal Aid, click here.
Access Living Org (312) 640-2100
Access Living Org works towards building a more inclusive society for disabled people. They assist the disabled in protecting their civil rights, and help them enroll in services and programs to foster independence. Access Living provides public education, individualized and systemic advocacy, offers peer-oriented independent living services and helps enforce the rights of the disabled.
To learn more about Access Living Org, click here.
Legal Council for Health Justice (312) 427-8990
The legal Council for Health Justice, formally AIDS Legal Council of Chicago assists the disabled and those suffering from health problems secure their civil rights. They can assist individuals secure public benefits, assist those individuals who desire to renter the workforce, provide guidance regarding health confidentiality matters, employment accommodations as well as advise individuals as to how employment can impact social security, Medicaid and Medicare benefits. The Legal Council for Health Justice works with immigrants and can accommodate Spanish-speaking individuals.
To learn more about the Legal Council for Health Justice, click here.
Coordinated Advice & Referral Program for Legal Services CARPLS (312) 738-9200
CARPLS is Cook County’s largest provider of free and low cost legal services. CARPLS assists individuals in eviction and housing matters, with family law and divorces issues, consumer debt problems as well as foreclosures. While CARPLS does not represent clients in court, they can assist with document preparation, legal advice and have four court-based self-help centers.
To learn more about CARPLS, click here.
Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago aka LAF (312) 341-1070
LAF provides free legal assistance in non-criminal matters for low income individuals living in Chicago. They can assist with child-custody matters, obtaining an order of protection, eviction issues, foreclosure matters and assist victims of fraud.
To Learn more about LAF, click here.
Chicago Legal Clinic (773) 731-1762
The Chicago Legal Clinic provides legal counseling as well as free or low-cost representation to low-income individuals in Chicago. They can assist in domestic violence matters, immigration status issues, evictions as well as various landlord/tenant matters, foreclosures, guardianship as well as consumer rights claims and obtaining social security disability benefits.
To learn more about the Chicago Legal Clinic, click here.
Chicago Legal Assistance for Incarcerated Mothers (CLAIM) (312) 738-2452
CLAIM is now a program within Cabrini Green Legal. While CLAIM does not provide criminal case representation, they provide assistance on family law matters to currently and formerly incarcerated mothers and the caregivers of children whose parents are incarcerated. Cases must be in Illinois. CLAIM also offers onsite classes to women serving time in Illinois prisons and jails.
To learn more about CLAIM, click here.
Pro Bono Attorney Program (708) 371-4930
The Pro Bono Attorney Program assists individuals with some family law matters, reviews expungement paperwork, assists with obtaining orders of protection, provides guidance on small claim and breach of contract matters, landlord/tenant disputes as well as assists with the filling of wills. Assistance is provided by the Southwest Suburban Bar Association. While the Pro Bono attorney does not provide court representation, attorney referrals are available.
To learn more about, click here.
Centro Romero (773) 508-5300
Centro Romero serves the immigrant and refugees communities on the Northeast side of Chicago and primarily Spanish-speaking low-income community members. They can assist with obtaining legal permanent residency, U.S. citizenship, and other naturalization matters. They also offer various community and adult education programs.
To learn more about Centro Romero, click here.
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) (312) 332-1624
CVLS provides pro bono legal assistance to low income individuals in Chicago. They can assist with probate, chancery and domestic relations matters such as appealing administrative decisions, declaratory judgments and injunctions, mortgage foreclosure issues, mortgage fraud as well as predatory lending. CVLS also serves as guardian ad litem for disabled adults and children in matters where the parents or guardians cannot afford legal representation when appointed by circuit court judges.
To learn more about CVLS, click here.