Find Legal Help

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


Looking for a resource to distribute to people who are looking for legal help?
Print our Finding Free or Low-Cost Legal Help page.


Find Free Legal Help

There are many legal aid and pro bono organizations that can help people in Chicago or suburban Cook County with their legal problems. Here are some good places to look for help:

  • If you have a legal problem related to eviction or unpaid debt, you can contact Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt at cookcountylegalaid.org or 855.956.5763.
  • If you have a legal problem that is NOT related to eviction or unpaid debt, you can call CARPLS Legal Aid at 312.738.9200.
  • If you have a question about going to court, you can call the Illinois JusticeCorps Court Information Helpline at 872.529.1093. Helpline volunteers cannot give legal advice, but they can provide information about going to court, virtual court appearances, court forms, fee waivers, electronic filing (e-filing), and other resources.

To learn more about legal problems and to find court forms, you can visit IllinoisLegalAid.org. The website is free and available 24/7 with information on over 30 areas of law and automated tools that can help you complete court forms.

Cost-Effective 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.

Lawyers Who Offer Flexible & Customizable Legal Help Through Limited Scope Representation

The Greater Chicago Legal Clinic

  • The Greater Chicago Legal charges clients fees based on their ability to pay.
  • Visit gclclaw.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:

If you have a legal problem related to Covid-19 including housing, debt, bankruptcy, guardianship, probate, or unemployment, you can get answers to common questions and referrals to legal aid and pro bono organizations by visiting covidhelpillinois.org.  

You can also visit IllinoisLegalAid.org to learn more about over 30 areas of law, to get help finding or completing court forms, or to apply for free legal help.

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice also offers information and resources for people going to court without a lawyer. Learn more at atjil.org.

If you live outside of Illinois:

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