New and Improved Resource Center for People Without Lawyers Opens in Circuit Court

Thousands of people who come into the Circuit Court without a lawyer every month now have a new central place within the Daley Center to get guidance on navigating the system. The Circuit Court of Cook County’s Resource Center for People Without Lawyers has a new home on the concourse level of the Daley Center that will enable the center to provide improved and expanded services.

The Resource Center, located in Room CL-29, is a partnership between the Circuit Court, The Chicago Bar Foundation, and several legal aid partners that serves as a central hub in the Daley Center courthouse. Here, county residents can connect with legal help and other resources.

“This improved center will give residents of Cook County who cannot afford lawyers a better way to get help in navigating our legal system,” said Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans. “I am grateful to The Chicago Bar Foundation, Illinois JusticeCorps, CARPLS, the Greater Chicago Legal Clinic, the Center for Disability and Elder Law, and employees of my office for their help in providing this resource for people seeking justice in Cook County.”

Several hundred people already use the Resource Center each week to get information, advice, brief legal assistance, and referrals to help them navigate the courthouse and the court process. The Resource Center also offers virtual services to unrepresented litigants in the Circuit Court’s suburban municipal districts.

People visiting the Resource Center can get help from Illinois Justice Corps volunteers as well as assistance from several legal help desks, including the Municipal Court Advice Desk and the Domestic Relations Advice Desk staffed by CARPLS, the Foreclosure Advice Desk staffed by the Greater Chicago Legal Clinic, and the Adult Guardianship Help Desk staffed by the Center for Disability and Elder Law.

The new space is almost three times larger than the original location in CL-16, making it possible for additional help desks to be located in the new Resource Center. The CBF/Circuit Court Pro Se Advisory Committee is also exploring other services that can be offered in the new, improved, and larger space in CL-29. Initial plans include hosting workshops for people without lawyers on common issues they are facing in navigating the court process and adding self-help stations where people can complete court forms and connect with remote legal aid services.

More information on the Resource Center and the services available are on the CBF website.