Find Legal Help

If you are in or around Chicago and are looking for a pro bono lawyer or have a legal problem and can’t pay for a lawyer, do one or all of the following:

  • call CARPLS, the Cook County Legal Aid Hotline at 312-738-9200 (if you are in Cook County)
  • call one of the legal aid organizations identified in the guide Where to Go for Legal Assistance. Organizations that provide free legal help are listed by the kinds of cases they handle.
  • visit for free legal information and helpful forms

The Chicago Bar Foundation does not provide legal assistance or connect people with pro bono lawyers.

Pro bono lawyers provide free legal help to low-income and other people in need. Most pro bono lawyers work with legal aid organizations (sometimes called legal services organizations). The best way to find out if you qualify for or can receive free legal help in or around Chicago is to call CARPLS (312-738-9200) or one of the organizations in the Guide.

Many more people need free legal help than the legal aid organizations and pro bono lawyers can provide. Please be patient as you try to reach the organizations to find out if they can help you. You can find basic legal information, forms and other help for people who need to go to court without a lawyer on

If you live outside of Cook County, there are several organizations that may be able to give you free legal help:

Prairie State Legal Services
Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation
DuPage Legal Aid Service
Immigration Project

If you don’t qualify for free or low cost legal services and need to hire a screened, experienced attorney, contact The Chicago Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service.

If you live outside of Illinois:

Visit the American Bar Association’s Division of Legal Services for state by state referrals and information.