For the Public

Frequently Asked Questions

 

General Legal Information

Q. Where can I find general information about my legal rights and obligations?

We have a number of public information resources available right on this website in our Legal Information section.

Q. Does the ISBA have any information that can help those in the military, or their families?

Yes. Read the ISBA’s publication Called To Duty. Also visit this site's Military Resource section.

Q. Where can I learn about alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or mediation services as a way to resolve disputes outside of court?

ISBA has a public information pamphlet, A Concise Guide to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) In Illinois. You may also wish to contact the following:

 

Finding and Hiring an Attorney

Q. Can you recommend a lawyer?

We have a phone referral service where we will refer you to a lawyer according to geographic location and the type of legal problem who will agree to provide a half-hour consultation for a fee not to exceed $25.

We also provide a Lawyer Finder where you can Search by field of practice, county and/or zip code.

Q. How can I find an attorney by name?

To look up an Illinois lawyer by name, visit the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission's Lawyer Search.

 

Q. Are there things I should know before I hire a lawyer?

Yes. Read the ISBA publication Your Guide to Hiring a Lawyer.

 

Pro Bono or “Free” Legal Services and Resources

Q. Are there any self-help legal clinics that can walk me through a simple legal procedure or provide forms?

The first Saturday in May, in conjunction with Law Day, the ISBA holds an annual Ask-a-Lawyer Day where members of the public can call in and ask questions of a team of lawyers who provide the service as a courtesy.

We also provide links to a number of law-related resources available on the web.

 

Attorney Disagreements

Q. What if I have questions about the fees I’m being charged by my attorney? Or, what if I have a disagreement about fees?

The first thing you should do is talk with your attorney and ask for an explanation of fees. The Illinois Supreme Court has issued Rules of Professional Conduct, which state that an attorney’s fees must be reasonable. Read Rule 1.5, governing fees.

If you feel the attorney has done something illegal or unethical in calculating the fees you are being charged, the Illinois Supreme Court’s Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission may be of some assistance.

If the attorney has defrauded you and you have suffered financial harm due to an action or lack of action on the part of the attorney, the Supreme Court’s ARDC has a client protection program that may be able to reimburse for some of your loss.

You may, of course, consult with another lawyer to have them review the situation.

 

Q. What if I have a complaint about a lawyer?

The Illinois Supreme Court’s Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission is authorized to investigate allegations of attorney misconduct.

Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission
1 Prudential Plaza,
130 E. Randolph, Suite 1500,
Chicago, IL 60601
312-565-2600 or 800-826-8625

 

Careers in the Law

Q. How can I obtain information about becoming a lawyer or law-related careers?

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a lawyer, here are some helpful brochures:

Q. What law schools are located in (or near) Illinois?

Please visit our list of affilitaed law schools.

Q. Can you tell me if: I passed the bar examination/I am eligible to practice law in Illinois/Illinois has reciprocal admission with other states?

All admissions questions need to be directed to the Illinois Supreme Court’s Board of Admissions to the Bar.

 

About the ISBA

Q. What does the Illinois State Bar Association do?

The Illinois State Bar Association is the professional organization for more than 33,000 lawyers statewide. It serves the professional needs of lawyers, and provides education and services to the public, primarily through the Illinois Lawyer Finder Service. The Illinois State Bar Association is a private, not-for-profit entity and has no authority to regulate the practice of law.

Q. Does the ISBA have a speakers’ bureau or some way for me to find a lawyer to speak to a class or community group?

Yes, the Illinois State Bar Association has a resource called Lawyers in Classrooms. As part of our initiative to make a difference in the lives of Illinois students, and to assist in expanding diversity in the legal profession, ISBA member lawyers have been invited to go back to school and speak to students on law-related topics. Illinois teachers can search an ISBA volunteer database to find lawyers in their area who are willing to speak on specific subjects.