Legal Help Resources in the Pandemic—April 2020

April 19, 2020

All pro bono and legal aid organizations will see a spike in the need for their services in the coming weeks and months, particularly when the courts are back to fully functioning. These are free resources for the public on some of the most immediate legal needs in the early days of the crisis.

General Legal Information and Resources Online

  • Illinois Legal Aid Online (illinoislegalaid.org)
    • Get legal information and other resources, including special pages on common legal issues related to the pandemic
    • Apply online for legal help from legal aid and pro bono organizations

General Legal Advice (Including Unemployment) By Phone

  • CARPLS (312-738-9200 or carpls.org)
    • Speak with a free lawyer by phone about many common legal problems, including unemployment and other pandemic-related issues, and get referrals for further legal assistance when appropriate and available

Small Business and Nonprofit Legal Help

  • Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
    • Small businesses and nonprofits can apply for legal help
    • Online resources and information for small businesses and nonprofits
  • Lawyers for the Creative Arts (law-arts.org)
    • Individual artists and arts-related small businesses and nonprofits can apply for legal help
    • Online resources and information for artists and art-related businesses and nonprofits

Domestic Violence and Related Issues

  • Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline (Available 24/7): (877) 863-6338
  • DV Legal Advocate Hotline: (708) 689-3422
  • Ascend Justice: Individual and families impacted by gender-based violence or the child welfare system can apply

Public Benefits

  • Legal Aid Chicago
    • Visit legalaidchicago.org or call (312) 341-1070 to apply for help with SNAP (food stamps) applications and other public benefits

Immigration

Illinois Free Legal Answers

  • A secure website (il.freelegalanswers.org) where low-income Illinoisans can ask a lawyer a question about a civil legal issue.
  • A virtual walk-in clinic for individuals who may not be able to obtain assistance from one of the legal aid resources above.