CARPLS (the Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Services) is one of the most innovative legal aid programs in the country, using cutting edge technology and 21st century processes to deliver over 50,000 legal consultations a year to low and moderate income residents of Cook County. Through our state of the art legal aid hotline, and our four courthouse based advice desks, CARPLS provides legal analysis, legal advice, individualized solutions, helpful strategies and effective documents and pleadings to pro se clients. With the help of the dedicated CARPLS attorneys and volunteers, clients are empowered to address their legal problems in a way that leads to the most optimum outcome for their circumstances.
CARPLS trains PILI Interns & Fellows in three core substantive legal areas (consumer/bankruptcy, landlord/tenant and divorce law), after which Fellows & Interns work side by side with our legal staff, interviewing, counseling and advising clients over the hotline. All Intern and Fellow work is performed under the close and direct supervision of a senior attorney. Fellows and Interns also work at the Domestic Relations Advice Desk, Municipal Court Advice Desk, and Post Judgment Collection Desk (with the same supervision protocol), meeting with clients face to face, reviewing their court documents, providing legal advice and counsel, and drafting legal pleadings for the client to file pro se. Fellows & Interns also perform legal research and writing on interesting and complex legal questions that arise from our client work, and the business of running this not-for-profit legal aid organization. PILIs and Fellows are integrated into the life of the office, are invited to office meetings, and are brought into the central workings of the organization.
As the gateway to legal aid in Cook County, CARPLS provides a bird’s eye view on the legal aid community in Chicago, and is a valuable experience to anyone looking for a career in public interest law in Chicago, or seeking to form a deep appreciation of the needs of our client population, and the importance of free legal aid services to the community.
This agency is approved to host Law Student Interns during the fall and spring semesters, and during the summer. They are also approved to host Graduate Fellows.