If you cannot afford a lawyer and are representing yourself in a civil (non-criminal) legal case, volunteer lawyers are available for 30-minute sessions to answer questions, explain the legal process, and provide general direction on your case. The help desks will be held from 11:30 A.M. to 1:30 p.m. on the dates listed.
Volunteer lawyers are only available to provide brief and one-time advice and information. They are not able to represent you in court with your legal matter or assist you in any way on an ongoing basis.
PILI does not provide direct legal assistance beyond this help desk. Please do not visit, telephone, e-mail or write to PILI directly with legal questions or requests for referrals as we are unable to respond to these inquiries. More information is available below if you need legal help and this clinic is not the right fit.
Upcoming Help Desk Dates
The help desk will take place from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the conference rooms outside of courtroom L in the Champaign County Courthouse on the dates below. Please note, appointments are walk-in only and available on a first come, first serve basis.
- June 22nd
- July 13th
- August 31st
- September 28th
- October 5th
- November 11th
- December 7th
Please note that dates are subject to change.
How it Works
- If you need legal advice, but cannot afford a lawyer, come to the courthouse on one of the dates above between 11:30 and 1:30. You should bring any relevant documents or forms from your legal issue that you have questions about.
- When you arrive, you’ll answer a few basic questions with an intake volunteer to ensure you meet eligibility requirements. No need to prepare or bring any documentation for this.
- If you are eligible, you will then meet with a lawyer-volunteer for up to 30 minutes. The lawyer can give you legal advice, direction in your case, or help you fill out court documents. Please note, our volunteer attorneys do NOT take on cases or clients through the help desk and cannot represent you in court or on an ongoing basis, they can only give limited advice during your 30 minute meeting.
- Leave with more information about your situation and more prepared to go to court on your own!
Additional resources for Illinoisans who need legal help in Champaign County:
- For Champaign County, the main legal aid provider is Land of Lincoln Legal Aid. Land of Lincoln provides free civil legal services to low-income individuals and senior citizens in 65 counties in central and southern Illinois. You can apply for help with them online at www.lincolnlegal.org or call them at 877-342-7891.
- If you are a veteran, active duty military or a spouse or dependent in need of legal assistance, you can call the Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network (IL-AFLAN) from anywhere in the state at 855-452-3526 to see if you qualify for free help.
- If you have a civil (non-criminal) legal question, you can ask it for free on IL.FreeLegalAnswers.org. Volunteer lawyers then log on when they are able to answer questions. It is like a 24/7 virtual legal advice clinic. Volunteer lawyers answer questions and give legal help through the site, but do not take cases or help clients outside of the site.
- A free statewide resource for legal information is www.IllinoisLegalAid.org. This site has articles, forms and resources to help you navigate government agencies, programs and the legal system on your own.
- If you can pay for an attorney or can’t find free help, you can also try the Illinois State Bar Association’s Illinois Lawyer Finder.
- Facing legal issues as a result of COVID-19? COVID HELP Illinois (Housing and Economic Loss Prevention) is a statewide initiative to provide no-cost legal guidance and representation to Illinoisans experiencing common legal problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Illinois residents can access free legal assistance 24/7 at COVIDhelpillinois.org, from their smartphones or computers. Additionally, Eviction Help Illinois provides numerous resources for a variety of housing issues.