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ILAO In The News

Tech support: Effort to expunge goes digital

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, August 28, 2014

ILAO launches ExRec texting campaign to raise awareness about the negative impact of juvenile criminal records and provide subscribers with information on how to erase them.

Need a lawyer? Some legal help available for the needy

Rockford Register Star, March 11, 2013

Winnebago County Courthouse and its Legal Self-Help Center are a place to turn for Rockford residents in need of legal help.

Perry County Court Announces Opening of New Legal Self-Help Center

DuQuoin Evening Call, December 20, 2012

Perry County Circuit Clerk Kim Kellerman announced the opening of a new online Perry County Legal Self-Help Center.

Site gives more help to Spanish speakers, November 13, 2012
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Illinois' rapidly growing Latino population can seek further assistance in tackling civil legal problems through new tutorials and resources added to

The Legal Self-Help Center, November 13, 2012
Bureau County News

Bureau County Circuit Judge Marc Bernabei and Circuit Clerk Laurie Abrahams announced the opening of a new online Bureau County Legal Self-Help Center.

Madigan Announces $620,000 Grant From National Foreclosure Settlement Funds For Online Legal Aid Resources, October 18, 2012

Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that $620,000 in funding will go to Illinois Legal Aid Online to develop web-based resources to assist Illinois homeowners and legal professionals.

Free online legal self-help center coming to Morgan County, September 16, 2012

A new free online legal self-help center will soon provide assistance for low-income residents of Morgan county

Macoupin County courts to launch online self-help center, September 14, 2012
The State-Journal Register

Macoupin County and Carlinville Public Library officials are announcing the launch of a free online self-help center for low-income residents to access legal information.

Kendall County Opens Legal Self Help Center, August 2, 2012
The Beacon-News

Kendall County residents now have a place to go before putting a lawyer on the clock.

Legal Aid Group Marks Its 50,000th Live Chat, July 25, 2012
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

ILAO's LiveHelp chat service takes its 50,000th chat since launching the service just under three years ago.

Shelby Provides Legal Information To People Without A Laywer, June 27, 2012
Shelby County News

Shelby County courts collaborate with Shelbyville library to provide legal information to people without a lawyer

Richland County Unveils Legal Self Help Center, May 10, 2012
Olney Daily Mail

Richland County Legal Self-Help Center opens at the Olney Public Library

Group Honors First Funders, May 4, 2012
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Illinois Legal Aid Online celebrates its founding funders at 2nd Annual Fundraising Gala: Innovation from Our Foundation to the Future

Hamilton County Opens Legal Self-Help Center, Mar. 29, 2012
McLeansboro Times Leader

Hamilton County Judge Barry L. Vaughan and Circuit Clerk Bobbi Oxford on Tuesday announced the opening of a new online legal self-help center at McCoy Memorial Library.

Law tech group launches app for pro bono work, Oct. 28, 2011
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Illinois Legal Aid Online has entered the ever-expanding world of mobile applications.

Out of the Ballpark Again — Illinois Pro Bono Mobile App, Oct. 12, 2011
Richard Zorza's Access to Justice Blog

Illinois Legal Aid Online releases its second app, this time for volunteer attorneys, paralegals and law students.

Pro Bono? There’s an App for That!, Oct. 25, 2011
Exchange by ABA Center for Pro Bono

The brand new Illinois Pro Bono App puts volunteering in the palm of your hand. Illinois Legal Aid Online launched this free mobile app just in time for National Pro Bono Week.

Illinois LegalAid Online Launches iPhone App, Sept. 30, 2011
Richard Zorza's Access to Justice Blog

Illinois is the first state to develop a mobile application for lower-income people with legal problems.

Expungement gets a little easier in Chicago, Aug. 25, 2011
Chicago Muckrakers by the Chicago Reporter

For those who've moved on from a criminal past, or for those who have a single charge on their record that can be explained, expungement can be a godsend.

Effingham Circuit Court Opens New Legal Self-Help Center, Aug. 24, 2011
97.9 XFM

Individuals using the self-help center will be able to access information about a wide variety of civil legal problems.

Clinics, Externships and Pro Bono Cases Provide Invaluable Law Practice Experience for Students at The John Marshall Law School, Aug. 5, 2011
John Marshall Law School

Students with just a few hours a week volunteer with the Illinois Legal Aid Online's LiveHelp services

Illinois legal website puts court information in public's hand, July 5, 2011
The Hawkeye

The Henderson County Public Library in Biggsville is home to the county's legal self-help center.

Hancock County offering assistance to litigants, July 5, 2011
Daily Gate City

Technology at Hancock County Self-Help Center improves access to justice system, June 27, 2011
Quincy Herald Whig

The Hancock County Legal Self-Help Center is available 24/7 to anyone with a computer and access to the internet at Individuals without a computer may access the site at Carthage Public Library.

New legal self-help center available to county residents, June 30, 2011
The McDonough County Voice

WIU Libraries Now Legal Self-Help Center for McDonough County, June 29, 2011
Western Illinois University

Circuit Court Offer Legal Self-Help Resource for County Residents, June 29, 2011
Prestige Radio

McDonough County residents looking for answers to their legal questions now have a free, 24-hour-a-day online resource.

 Henry County Legal Self-Help Center founded, May 19, 2011
Cambridge Chronicle

Circuit judge Ted Hamer and circuit clerk Debra Doss announced the opening of the new Henry County Legal Self-Help Center at the Cambridge Public Library.

Legal help website to debut in Vermilion County, May 4, 2011
The News Gazette
Free legal help now available, May 4, 2011

Hoopeston Public Library Director Linda Mitchell said the library weekly sees patrons with legal questions. Danville Public Library Director Barbara Nolan said her staff also regularly receives questions on Illinois law. Now, both libraries have a new website to direct people to for free, correct information:

Legal aid online service turns 10, March 21, 2011
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

A legal aid program that virtually never closes shop is marking a milestone this
year. Illinois Legal Aid Online, which offers access to free legal resources 24/7, is celebrating a decade of success this year.

Knox County Gets Online Legal Self-Help Center, December 1, 2010
WGIL Galesburg Radio 14

A new help center at Galesburg Public Library helps residents with legal questions and guide thems through the filing process in civil court.

Legal self-help center to open in Sangamon County, November 28, 2010
The State Journal Register

An Internet-based legal self-help center is now available at the county courhouse for lower-income residents.

Online access to justice, November 16, 2010
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

If the rest of the country adopts Illinois Legal Aid Online's model of incorporating technology into the delivery of free legal services, we will be much closer to closing the justice gap, writes Kendra Reinshagen, executive director of the Legal Aid Bureau of Metropolitan Family Services.

RI County launches legal self-help website, September 29, 2010
The Quad City Times
Free Legal Help: Rock Island, September 29, 2010 (video)
CBS-4 News, Quad Cities

A new website - - from the Rock Island County Circuit Court is being used to help residents with legal questions and to guide them through the filing process in civil court.

Legal aid site matches pro bono volunteers, August 23, 2010
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Legal professionals across Illinois can now easily find help with pro bono cases thanks to the Pro Bono Case Pairing and Mentor Matching System, an innovative new resource on

Legal self-help centers land at local libraries, June 16, 2010
Paxton Record

Ford County Judge Steven Pacey welcomed the establishment of a new Internet-based legal self-help center designed to make it possible for Ford County residents to represent themselves in some civil court cases.

Pike County Helps Litigants, May 10, 2010 (audio file)
WUIS, an NPR affiliate in Springfield

Pike County has launched a free, online legal help center for people who can't afford to hire a lawyer. Jenna Dooley reports...

Legal Aid Online now available at Marion Carnegie Library, May 4, 2010

ILAO's Stacie Colston (far left) and the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice's Joe Dailing (left center) at Williamson's new center.

Williamson County's Legal Self-Help Center ( is the 40th center of its kind in Illinois. Marion Carnegie, Crab Orchard, Herrin and Johnston City public libraries have trained staff available to assist patron in navigating the website.

Marion County Launches Internet-Based "Legal Self-Help Center", April 27, 2010
WJBD Radio

Marion County courts announce opening of new legal self-help center, April 30, 2010

The Marion County Legal Self-Help Center is the 39th center opened in Illinois since 2007. Residents can access the online center via computer workstations at Salem's Bryan-Bennett Library, the Centralia Regional Library District and the Kinmundy Public Library. Branch libraries in Sandoval and Odin are also participating in the project.

ILAO Receives Meritorious Recognition for Brown Award for Legal Access, February 18, 2010

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services honored ILAO for the Statewide Virtual Legal Self-Help Center at the ABA mid-year meeting.

If a center is out of reach, chat online for legal help, December 18, 2009
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

ILAO hasn't yet reached its goal of establishing technology-based legal self-help centers in every Illinois county, but a new instant messaging service on is serving as a supplement toward that end.

Jury still out on value of Google research, November 23, 2009
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Google's expansion of its Google Scholar service may offer cash-strapped legal aid organizations free access to legal research, but is still the easiest way for people to find practical information and resources for day-to-day legal issues.

Finding Free Legal Assistance, November 3, 2009
WSIL-TV 3 ABC Affiliate Carbondale, Illinois

Illinois Legal Aid Online, in partnership with the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice, opened the Jackson County Legal Self-Help Center on October 22, 2009. This Legal Self-Help Center has three locations in Jackson County and offers free access to legal assistance on a variety of topics such as food stamps, child support and unemployment benefits. Click here to watch WSIL-TV's video coverage.

IBF Awards $20,000 Grant to Illinois Legal Aid Online, October 30, 2009

 The Illinois Bar Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce a $20,000 grant to Illinois Legal Aid Online, one of 32 grants awarded this year totaling $304,995. Illinois Legal Aid Online operates three statewide websites which provide essential online legal resources and assistance to lower income Illinois residents and the attorneys who represent them."

Our Season of Service: Meeting the Pro Bono Challenge, October, 2009
Illinois Bar Journal

"The ISBA is committed to increasing pro bono legal assistance throughout Illinois. Through its Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, the ISBA is working with the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) and Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) to develop the Pro Bono Pairing and Mentorship Matching System. The system is expected to launch in the spring 2010."

New legal site helps you help yourself in Will court, October 28, 2009 and The Herald-News

Illinois Legal Aid Online, in partnership with the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice, opened the Will County Legal Self-Help Center on October 27, 2009. Now Will County residents can go to to help them make their way through the court system.

Group to offer legal self-help center, October 23, 2009

"A new computer workstation at Southern Illinois University’s Lesar Law Building will serve as an access point for individuals seeking legal information on civil cases and standard court procedure. Those who find themselves in court without a lawyer can find help online with new self-help centers throughout Jackson County."

The CBF awards Sun-Times Fellowships, October 20, 2009

"On Monday, October 19th, The Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF) presented one of five 2009 CBF Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellowships to Illinois Legal Aid Online’s Legal Content Manager Jill Becker. Each Fellow will receive up to $50,000 in loan repayment assistance over five years to help them continue their careers in legal aid."

For those facing time in court, a way to prepare, August 12, 2009
Journal Gazette Times-Courier

Illinois Legal Aid Online, in partnership with the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice, opened the Coles County Legal Self-Help Center on August 12, 2009. A new online legal “self-help” center will actually ask questions of the user to pin down the situation and make sure someone qualifies for a certain kind of relief or has the needed forms.

Recession forces more to act as own lawyer, August 5, 2009
Chicago Tribune

Legal service has never come cheap, but lawyers, judges and other experts say that for many people the recession has made it a nearly impossible expense. That has created a surge of litigants who must navigate the often bewildering justice system by themselves."

CBA, CBF honor pro bono, public interest work, July 29, 2009

 Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

 "Teri L. Ross has been traveling the state to make Web-based resources available to thousands of pro se litigants, not long after she made law her second career. She was one of seven attorneys honored Tuesday, July 2009 by the Chicago Bar Association and its charitable arm, the Chicago Bar Foundation, during their 11th Annual Pro Bono and Public Service Awards Luncheon."

Around the Water Cooler: Getting legal help online, June 19, 2009
Chicago Lawyer Magazine

 Illinois Legal Aid Online’s Executive Director Lisa Colpoys discusses the history and mission of the organization in this interview with Chicago Lawyer Magazine.

Last updated: 09/05/2014

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