Illinois Free Legal Answers Virtual Clinic

The Fifth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee and the Sixth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee are organizing this event for attorneys in those circuits to provide a brief demonstration of how to use the Illinois Free Legal Answers site and to answer civil legal questions for those in need in this virtual legal clinic.

Attendees will receive 0.5 hours of CLE credit and then will be able to answer questions, seek assistance from PILI staff in using the system or answering questions, and interact with colleagues from across the Fifth and Sixth Judicial Circuits.

This event is co-sponsored by the Champaign County Bar Association and Coles-Cumberland Bar Association.

Advance registration is required to receive the Zoom link for this virtual clinic. If you have any issues with the form, please contact Sophia Vagnone by email or at 312-832-5136.

What is Illinois Free Legal Answers?

Illinois Free Legal Answers is a secure website where low-income Illinoisans can ask a lawyer for help with a civil legal issue. Volunteer lawyers then log onto the site at their convenience and answer questions waiting in the queue. It is a virtual walk-in legal clinic. 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 now active in 41 jurisdictions within the United States, including Illinois.

How does Free Legal Answers work?

Clients who meet financial eligibility requirements ask a question online. Volunteer attorneys can then see the questions, choose ones they feel qualified to answer and submit a response. While PILI will be able to see who answered questions, attorneys will remain anonymous to clients and are not expected to work on the case further.

Who can volunteer?

Any lawyer who is registered as active and authorized to practice with the ARDC, including those with house counsel status can volunteer by registering at il.freelegalanswers.org. Additionally, those with inactive or retired status and out-of- state licensed attorneys can volunteer under Supreme Court Rule 756 by filling out the first page of this form and sending it to info@pili.org. PILI staff will then complete the second page as the sponsoring entity and submit it to the ARDC and let you know when we have a response. Response time will vary and this must be done annually.

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