IBF, ILAO & PILI Announce Changes to Illinois Free Legal Answers
The Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF), Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) and Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) have announced their combined efforts to further the impact of Free Legal Answers in Illinois. After establishing this project in Illinois in 2017 and building a solid foundation for its future, ILAO will transition the state administrator role for the site to PILI as of Aug. 1, 2019.
At that time, PILI will take over the day-to-day operations of the site including volunteer recruitment, management and training with the help of funding from the IBF. ILAO will continue to contribute support through www.IllinoisLegalAid.org by providing client referrals and being a resource for pro bono volunteers answering questions through the site.
A project of the American Bar Association, Free Legal Answers is a secure website where lower-income Illinois residents can ask a lawyer for help with a legal issue. Qualified users post questions about civil legal problems. Volunteer lawyers then log onto the site and select questions to answer. It’s a virtual walk-in legal clinic.
Under ILAO’s leadership, since its launch in 2017, 3,435 questions have been answered by volunteer attorneys through Illinois Free Legal Answers.
Over the several past years, PILI has partnered with ILAO to organize several Free Legal Answers clinics around the state. Building off the strong foundation laid by ILAO, PILI plans to use the structure of their statewide pro bono program to expand pro bono participation on the site to help even more people in need.