If you have a case that is in court or must be filed in court, or if you need help with other legal matters, it is best to have a lawyer, if at all possible. Lawyers know how the court and legal systems work and they help make those systems work more effectively for everyone. The reality is that many people cannot afford an attorney and that Prairie State Legal Services staff and pro bono attorneys have far more requests for legal representation than they can handle. As a result, more and more people are coming to court or trying to resolve their legal problems on their own. Often, such individuals have a very limited understanding of the law or how the court system works.
For this reason, many state courts have now set up “Self-Help Centers,” where the public can get free accurate and current legal information they need. By having access to this information, people without attorneys are able to explain their case more effectively to a judge and resolve their legal problems on their own.