Illinois JusticeCorps is an innovative program through which college students and recent graduates provide procedural and other neutral assistance in the courts. Illinois JusticeCorps recruits, trains and provides the necessary support for these AmeriCorps volunteers who serve as guides to make courts across Illinois more welcoming and less intimidating for people without lawyers.
Illinois JusticeCorps is an important complement to the legal assistance provided by court-based pro bono and legal aid programs and the services provided by clerks, law library staff and other court personnel. JusticeCorps volunteers effectively serve as docents for people without lawyers by helping them find their way around the courthouse and connecting them with assistance available there, helping them to find and use appropriate online resources, and helping them with referrals to legal aid and other services. Many JusticeCorps students have diverse backgrounds with strong connections to client communities, and they often can provide legal information to people without lawyers in their own languages.
The CBF originally launched Illinois JusticeCorps as a pilot program in Chicago in 2009, later expanding the program in 2012 with AmeriCorps funding from the Serve Illinois Commission and additional funding and in-kind support from the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice.
In the summer of 2014, the CBF transitioned the administration of the program to the Illinois Bar Foundation for expansion to 9 courthouses across the state. The CBF continues to partner with the IBF for the Cook County portion of the program, and the Commission on Access to Justice will continue to provide assistance as well.
For more information about Illinois JusticeCorps, contact the Illinois Bar Foundation at (312) 726-6072.