How Do I Get Legal Help?
Prairie State focuses services on legal problems that impact the ability of our clients to meet their basic human needs. Such needs may include physical safety, access to health care, adequate housing and utility services, and income maintenance, among others. Below you will find the steps on how to get legal help from Prairie State.
Step 1 - See if You are Eligible for our Legal Services
Check the Who Can Get Legal Help page to see our eligibility requirements.
Step 2 - Call Your Local Prairie State Office
To apply for services, please contact your local office. To find the office that serves your county, and see the types of cases that office will handle, please click here.
Walk-in Hours - Some of our offices offer walk-in hours. Call your local office to see if the office has walk-in hours and when they start. Arrive early because we cannot always interview everyone who seeks help during walk-in hours.
Is the Office Difficult For You to Get To? We may be able to offer an appointment at a more convenient outreach location. Some offices offer services at the courthouse for specific types of legal problems.
Step 3 - Resources
Due to limited resources, Prairie State may not be able to help you with your legal problem at this time. We can, however, offer you the following outside resources which you may find helpful:
- Visit Illinois Legal Aid Online to find information about your legal rights and responsibilities, and forms and instructions for representing yourself.
- You can also find your local self-help center by clicking here or visit our Resources page.
As funding and resources allow, our case acceptance policies may change. Please check this site again as the need arises.
When You Call, What Will Happen?
If your legal problem is one for which we can assist, we will determine your eligibility for services. If you are eligible, we will assure ourselves that we do not have any “conflicts of interest” that would prevent us from helping you. Conflicts can arise when we are currently helping or have previously helped someone who has interests opposed to your own. If you are eligible and there are no conflicts, you will get advice from an attorney. If extended representation is necessary, depending on the nature of the case, we will arrange for you to get an appointment to see a Prairie State lawyer or volunteer.
Things to Keep in Mind When You Call
- The person who needs legal help should make the call unless he or she cannot do so due to age or disability.
- For persons who are limited English-speaking, we can make arrangements for an interpreter to assist us in interviewing the person who needs legal help. For persons who are deaf or hard of hearing or have speech impediments, Prairie State makes every effort to be accessible and will expedite calls via telephone relay services.
- If you have any court papers or other important documents, please have them with you when you call.
- Sorry, we don’t help with traffic violations, personal injury cases, or criminal law.
You will not be denied our services on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, political affiliation or belief, disability or any other classification protected by law.
If you are Spanish speaking call our toll-free number, 1-800-531-7057.
If you do not speak English, please have someone call for you so we may arrange for an interpreter without charge to you.
Ako ne govorite engleski, molimo da se netko poziva za vas tako da mi svibanj dogovoriti za prevoditelja, bez naknade do vas. (Croatian)
Jeśli nie mówisz po angielsku, poproś kogoś zadzwonić do Ciebie, abyśmy mogli zorganizować dla tłumacza, bez obciążania Państwa.(Polish)
Si ou pa pale angle, tanpri fè yon moun rele w pou nou ka fè aranjman pou yon entèprèt gratis san ou. (Hatian Creole)
Kama huzungumzi Kiingereza, tafadhali kuwa mtu wito kwa ajili yenu ili tuweze kupanga mkalimani bila malipo na wewe. (Swahili)
Kung ikaw ay hindi nakapagsasalita ng Ingles, maaring magkaroon ng isang tao na tawag para sa iyo upang maaari naming ayusin para sa isang tagasalin ng wika nang walang sisingilin sa iyo. (Filipino)