People have a right to represent themselves in legal matters. Whether they should is a different matter.

Lawyers are trained in the law and can provide you with advice and assistance gained from years of practice and continuing education. Some general information is available online, including basic legal forms. However, remember: Only a lawyer is allowed to provide you with legal advice, which includes helping you fill out forms.

Some lawyers will provide people with limited assistance on certain matters. This kind of assistance is called "limited scope representation." You can learn more about limited scope representation in the ISBA's consumer guide, "A New Way to Get Legal Help: Limited Scope Representation."

You also can search the ISBA's IllinoisLawyerFinder member directory of lawyers who may provide this kind of representation.

For court matters, all Illinois counties now require electronic filing ("e-filing") of documents. If you want to file your own case, you should contact your local circuit court clerk.

For some Self-Help resources, visit: