Public Interest Law Initiative

DCBA/NIU Legal Answers Pro Bono Clinic

Lawyers and law students will be trained on how to answer questions in family & housing law posted on Illinois Legal Aid Online’s (ILAO) Legal Answers website. They will then be paired together to research and draft responses. Lawyers will then work with students to research and draft 2-3 additional responses over the course of the school year.

This program is co-sponsored by the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee, the American Bar Association, DuPage County Bar Association Public Interest and Education Commission, Illinois Legal Aid Online and Northern Illinois University College of Law.

What is Legal Answers? Legal Answers is a secure website (IL.freelegalanswers.org) where lower income Illinois residents can ask a lawyer for help with a legal issue. Qualified users post questions about civil legal problems. Volunteer lawyers then log onto the site and select questions to answer. It’s like a virtual walk-in legal clinic.

How the Legal Answers Pro Bono Clinic Day will work:

  • ILAO will provide training on how to answer questions on October 5th.
  • Lawyers will pair up with law students who will research and draft answers to 1-2 questions.
  • Lawyers will check for accuracy and readability, then submit the answer.
  • Lawyers and students will then work together via email to answer 2-3 responses over the course of the school year.

Please bring a laptop or tablet on which you can access the internet. You will not need to download any software and Wi-Fi will be provided by NIU.

Lawyers only: In addition to registering through PILI for the event, please also set up an account in advance with IL.freelegalanswers.org. Lawyers attending the training will receive 1.0 hours of Illinois MCLE credit.

Download flyer for attorney volunteer »

Download flyer for student volunteers »

Join us afterwards for the annual DCBA & NIU Social from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Fatty’s, 1312 West Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, for free food and beverages for all.

Advance registration is required by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 4th. If you have any questions or problems with the form, please contact Belinda Bing by email or 312-832-5128.

Venue: Northern Illinois Univeristy College of Law


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