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Legal Information

 Locate free and low cost legal assistance and learn more about topics such as expungement and fidelity bonding.

First Defense Legal Aid

First Defense Legal Aid provides free, 24-hour legal representation to people in Chicago Police custody and educates Chicagoans about how to protect their constitutional rights. We undertake these activities to promote fairness and accountability in the justice system.


Free and Low Cost Legal Assistance


LAF (formerly the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago)

The Legal Assistance Foundation provides Free Legal Assistance for People Living in Poverty in Chicago & Suburban Cook County.

Directory of Illinois Lawyers certified by the Illinois Bar Association



CARPLS is an innovative legal aid service that offers an immediate response to the every day legal problems confronting low-income residents of Cook County. CARPLS’ Legal Aid Hotline and court-based Advice Desks give low-income clients direct access to experienced attorneys who are trained to quickly assess and respond to a wide range of civil legal problems. CARPLS attorneys resolve over 85% of all cases in-house by providing information, advice and brief services including the preparation and review of legal documents. Clients with more complex needs are referred by CARPLS to a network of specialized legal and social service providers.


Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services

Assistance in:


Domestic Violence-Almost one in every three women in America have reported being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend, and thousands of women in Illinois have suffered such abuse, according to the Illinois Attorney General's office. 


Elder Abuse and Exploitation- Along with Metropolitan Family Services, we provide multiple services that help empower older adults by protecting or removing them from abusive situations and connecting them with legal counsel and other resources that help them maintain their dignity and independence.


Housing-From landlord/tenant disputes and Section 8 terminations to homeowners dealing with mortgage foreclosures and unfair home repair or other predatory loans, we represent clients on various housing issues. 


Consumer Fraud-We provide education, advice and representation for clients who are victims of unfair debt collection practices and predatory lending (including payday loans), who need help with public utility bills and need to protect their credit.


Making an Appointment

Call 312-986-4200 Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - noon or 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. to determine if you qualify for an assessment. Spanish-language assistance is available. Appointments are available in several Chicago neighborhoods as well as in the Loop.


Catholic Charities Legal Assistance (CCLA)

Catholic Charities Legal Assistance (CCLA) provides legal services to low income individuals who are not represented by a lawyer. Our telephone advice line assists clients who are representing themselves by advising them of their rights and responsibilities as well as how to navigate the legal process when necessary. CCLA also offers a variety of other legal services, including representation in a limited number of areas and advice desks for face to face consultations. Please see the “Services” section of this website for specific information.


Fidelity Bonding

Fidelity Bonding protects employers against employee dishonesty, theft or embezzlement.  A fidelity bond is no-cost insurance coverage that enables employers to hire job applicants considered to be "at risk" due to their past life experiences.


Illinois Department of Employment Security: Fidelity Bonding





State of Illinois Expungement Information

Youth who are arrested and/or successfully complete their involvement with the juvenile justice system and do not commit new crimes may have their records expunged or erased. Even if a youth is arrested and the case does not go to court, the arrest record needs to be expunged. Arrests are more likely to show up on a background check when a person consents to a background check when applying for employment. When a record is expunged, it is as if the crime never occurred. Each law enforcement agency expunges or destroys their records on the youth. Expungement includes erasing both police records and court records if the case proceeded to court. If an inquiry is made on a youth's criminal background and the records were expunged, the answer back to the person or entity making the inquiry, will be that "no records exist."


Cook County Expungement Forms














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