Find Legal Help

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


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Find Free Legal Help

If you are in or around Chicago and are looking for a pro bono lawyer or have a legal problem, look at the information below and go to www.IllinoisLegalAid.org/Cook for more information.

Call CARPLS at 312-738-9200

  • CARPLS lawyers give legal advice and other help, and if an organization might be able to take your case, CARPLS lawyers will tell you where to call.
  • Many people call CARPLS for free legal help and the hotline is very busy. If you get a busy signal, call back at another time, but keep trying. When you get through, you may hold for up to 20 minutes. Follow the instructions and if you are asked to leave a message, someone will call you back.
  • For $25, you can avoid waiting and set a time for a lawyer to call you. You need a credit card and access to the internet.
  • CARPLS helps people up to 350% of the Federal Poverty Level. A link to a chart that shows the current federal poverty levels is available on www.IllinoisLegalAid.org/Cook.
  • Visit carpls.org to make an appointment or learn more about services offered by CARPLS.

Learn about your legal problem and find forms on http://www.IllinoisLegalAid.org

  • Find information on over 30 areas of law.
  • In some areas, you can apply for legal services at a limited number of legal aid organizations.
  • Use form prep programs to easily complete and print your court forms.
  • Free and available 24/7
  • Many Spanish-language legal self-help resources are available on IllinoisLegalAid.org/es.

Low-Cost Options

If you need to hire a lawyer, you should know that there are good lawyers who charge reasonable fees. They may be able to handle just part of your case or coach you on handling your case to make it more affordable:

The Justice Entrepreneurs Project

  • Lawyers in the Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP) provide lower cost, quality legal services that often include fixed fees and flexible representation options (like unbundled, a la carte services).
  • Many JEP lawyers have fee estimates on their websites, so you can find out what it might cost to hire a lawyer.
  • Find more information or contact a lawyer at jepchicago.org or 312-546-3282.

The Chicago Legal Clinic

  • The Chicago Legal charges clients fees based on their ability to pay.
  • Visit clclaw.org or call 773-731-1762.
The Chicago Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service

The Chicago Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service

  • The Lawyer Referral Services connects people to experienced lawyers who charge fees for their time and services.
  • Some kinds of cases allow lawyers to earn fees, but clients don’t pay for those services up-front. Some examples are personal injury and consumer fraud cases.
  • Find more information or connect with the service at chicagobar.org or 312-554-2001.
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

Go to www.IllinoisLegalAid.org for more information and resources

If you live outside of Illinois:

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