Celebrate Law Day with bar associations and lawyers throughout Illinois by hosting an Illinois Free Legal Answers Pro Bono Clinic.
What is Illinois Free Legal Answers?
Managed by the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI), Illinois Free Legal Answers is a secure website where low-income Illinois residents can ask a lawyer for help with a civil legal issue. It is 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 legal matters for those who cannot afford legal assistance. It is now active in 41 jurisdictions within the United States, including Illinois. Malpractice insurance is provided by the ABA and the Illinois Bar Foundation has been the major supporter of the site in Illinois.
Hosting a Legal Answers Pro Bono Clinic is easy:
#1. Pick a date, time, and location for your clinic.
- Date: Law Day 2020 is Friday, May 1! We encourage you to pick a date between April 27th and May 4th.
- Time: We recommend scheduling your clinic for 1.5 to 2 hours.
- Location: It doesn't have to be fancy! You just need a secure wifi connection, space for your volunteers to spread out with their laptops, and enough outlets or power strips for volunteers to plug in.
- Some groups have organized a social gathering to follow their clinic.
#2. Recruit your volunteers.
- Modify the Legal Answers Clinic flyer template, or create your own flyer or email to advertise your clinic to your members.
- Send your clinic information to Melissa Burkholder at email@example.com, and we'll list it on the ISBA's website.
#3. Get your volunteers ready.
- Ask your volunteers to register and create an account on IL.FreeLegalAnswers.org before your clinic. (It will save significant time on the day of your clinic if everyone creates an account in advance.)
- Additional resources are available through PILI at www.pili.org/legal-answers-resources. The clinic organizer should contact Elizabeth Boe at PILI (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-832-5125) to obtain the password.
- Remind your volunteers to bring their laptops.
- No training is required. (Remember, you pick the question you want to answer.)
#4. Clinic day: start answering questions!
- Log in and pick your questions. Model answers and legal information are available on www.illinoislegalaid.org. Have fun and do good! Pro Tip: Up for a little friendly competition? See who can answer the most questions!
Questions about Illinois Free Legal Answers? Contact Elizabeth Boe at PILI at email@example.com or 312-832-5125.