Legal Services in Illinois
The requirements for becoming an attorney in Illinois ensure that Illinois lawyers are well qualified to provide legal services to Illinois residents. Free legal advice based on the client’s income is available in Illinois through several different agencies depending on where the client resides in Illinois. Attorneys in Illinois can expand their knowledge and network through a wide variety of legal associations and organizations in the state.
Becoming a Lawyer in Illinois
There are two ways to become an attorney in Illinois. Attorneys who have practiced in another state for five years or more may apply for admission on motion after successfully completing Illinois' character and fitness certification process. Attorneys who have practiced in another state for less than five years or who are not licensed in another state must meet additional requirements.
New attorneys and those who have practiced for less than five years must first register with the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar. After registration, applicants must meet Illinois' character and fitness requirements and obtain certification from the Committee on Character and Fitness. Finally, the applicant must successfully complete the Illinois Bar Exam and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam.
Free Legal Advice in Illinois
Free legal advice is available in Illinois to individuals who are unable to afford an attorney. The Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago provides free legal services for qualified individuals in the Chicago area. Those living outside of Chicago should contact either Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. or the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. for free legal assistance. Prairie State serves central and northern Illinois, while Land of Lincoln serves central and southern Illinois.
If you do not qualify for services through your local legal aid organization, you may still be able to find free legal advice in your area. Call the local legal aid organization or local bar association and ask if they provide weekend clinics or "attorney for the day" programs. These programs provide limited legal services and typically do not have the same income and asset limitations as full legal services programs. While the attorneys you speak to at these programs will probably not represent you in court, you can ask them questions to determine whether you should pay an attorney to represent you.
Law Firms in Illinois
Members of the public and businesses looking for legal counsel and advice in Illinois are adviced to contact the state or local bar association. Alternatively, one may wish to undertake an online search for Chicago attorneys, lawyers in Springfield or Rockford legal services.
Attorneys and law associates looking for office premises in Illinois will find a comprehensive range of space available in Chicago, Downtown Chicago, River North and Schaumburg.
Legal Associations/Organizations in Illinois
There is a wide variety of legal associations and organizations for attorneys in Illinois. Aside from the national organizations, most notably the American Bar Association, Illinois has its own state bar association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and many local bar associations.
Attorneys who wish to network by background or practice area will find ample organizations catering to their needs. For example, Illinois has a statewide association for female lawyers, the Women's Bar Association of Illinois. Local bar associations usually have sections devoted to specific practice areas for those desiring to network. There are also a number of professional associations for legal assistants and paralegals in Illinois such as the IPA.
Once licensed, attorneys in Illinois will find ample opportunities to get involved in the community through state and local bar associations and pro bono volunteer opportunities. Illinois residents can count on qualified attorneys to provide legal services. Qualifying individuals may apply for free legal services through their local legal aid society. Illinois’ variety of legal associations and organizations provide networking resources for attorneys and informational resources for those seeking legal advice. Legal services are high quality and accessible for even those of limited financial means.