Through the below pro bono opportunities, you can provide critically needed legal services to individuals and families in need in the Tenth Judicial Circuit. We hope you will get involved and also help spread the word!
Self-Represented Litigant Help Desk
Volunteers at the Self-Represented Litigant Help Desks meet with self-represented litigants for 30-minute appointments to help them understand and navigate the legal process, fill out forms and answer questions. Two-hour volunteer shifts are currently available at the Peoria and Tazewell County Courthouses. Paralegals and law students are also needed, in addition to attorneys, to do intake.
Tenth Judicial Circuit Conflict of Interest Pro Bono Referral Panel
The Conflict of Interest Pro Bono Referral Panel provides a referral source for Prairie State Legal Services to send potential clients who have been denied service due to a conflict of interest. A potential client is only eligible for referral to the program if they have been denied services by Prairie State due to a conflict and the potential client has been referred to the program. Cases are currently being placed in Marshall, Peoria, Stark and Tazewell Counties.
Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (IL-AFLAN) provides civil legal services across Illinois to veterans, active duty military and their spouses and dependents. As an IL-AFLAN member, PILI refers pro bono matters to volunteer attorneys in the 101 counties outside of Cook County.
ILLINOIS FREE LEGAL ANSWERS
A project of the American Bar Association, Free Legal Answers was created to increase access to advice and information about non-criminal legal matters for those who cannot afford legal assistance. It is a secure website where low-income Illinois residents can ask a lawyer for help with a legal issue. Volunteer lawyers then log onto the site and provide assistance. It is a virtual walk-in legal clinic administered by PILI.
PILI PRO BONO MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
Through PILI’s Pro Bono Mentorship Program, volunteer attorneys who lack experience in a particular area of law will be paired with a more experienced attorney for advice and counsel to ensure competent representation of pro bono clients. The purpose of this program is to increase the number of clients who receive pro bono assistance while simultaneously offering a unique and invaluable learning opportunity for attorneys.
Many opportunities exist for volunteers to assist Prairie State clients through direct representation, counsel and advice, document preparation, and clinic settings. Due to limited resources, Prairie State attorneys cannot assist everyone who is eligible for their services, so they rely on volunteer attorneys to help many of their clients who are in need of legal assistance.
SEALING & EXPUNGEMENT CLINICS
Prairie State Legal Services’ monthly sealing and expungement clinics are an opportunity for individuals to receive free legal consultations on their options for criminal records relief. Volunteer attorneys are needed to staff the clinics and meet with clients. No prep work is required and the attorney’s role is limited to advising the client on their criminal record and reviewing the pro se Request to Seal/Expunge with the client that Prairie State prepared in advance for the clinic. Each clinic runs from approximately 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Chase building in downtown Peoria.
Learn more about the Tenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee »