Free Illinois Legal Resources
The lawyers you find on findgreatlawyers.com are not free lawyers. While many of them will offer a free consultation, in just about every case these attorneys charge for their services. On most injury cases, social security appeals and other cases where you have large financial damages (e.g. collecting an $80,000.00 debt) Illinois lawyers will work on a contingency basis which means they are only paid if they are successful in making a recovery for you. Otherwise, in divorce, criminal law, if you are the defendant in a lawsuit, etc. you can expect to pay your attorney either by the hour or a flat fee.
If you can not afford a lawyer you may wish to seek out legal aid help. Click here for a list of legal aid groups we have found in Illinois along with a brief description of each. Although each group is different, you typically have to show that you can not afford a lawyer for these groups to help you. If you are just looking for legal forms, click here for a list of free forms that we provide as a courtesy.
Aside from that list, other free resources to consider include:
- PUBLIC DEFENEDER:
- Every county has a public defender which provides free representation for criminal cases. The more serious the charge, the more likely you are to receive a public defender if you ask for one. In other words, it’s doubtful you would get one for a traffic ticket, but if you have a felony charge then you most likely can get a public defender. You ask the judge to appoint one for you or you can call the public defender office for the county where the charge is taking place.
- ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT:
- This is a state run agency that will provide free attorneys for people who are trying to collect child support. The good news is that they are free. The bad news is that we have seen many instances where they did not do the job diligently so it can be really hit or miss. That said, if you don’t have the money to hire a private lawyer that will be accountable to you it may be a good option. They do not handle custody or divorce cases.
- EEOC, IDHR, IDOL:
- For employment law cases on behalf of employees, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Illinois Department of Human Rights will for free investigate claims of illegal termination, sexual harassment, etc. and the Illinois Department of Labor will for free investigate wage claims such as your employer failing to provide your pay check.
- ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL:
- This is a state run agency that is supposed to protect citizens. If you have a consumer fraud complaint (e.g. moving company changed the fees at the last second, repairman stole your money, identity theft, etc.) they may be able to help you. They help both businesses and consumers. In addition to consumer issues, they also have a service for victims of crime in Illinois.
In our opinion, if you can afford to hire a lawyer it usually gives you the best chance of success. That said, these resources are certainly better than nothing and hopefully will give you a chance at obtaining the result you are looking for. If you have any questions you are welcome to contact us.