Have a question about your membership? Using get legal help to find a lawyer? A question about our legal information or forms?

About this website

Who writes the information on this website?

The information on this website is written and updated by several lawyers on staff at Illinois Legal Aid Online as well as by lawyers from other legal aid organizations and law firms. IllinoisLegalAid.org is maintained by the staff, which is made up of lawyers, content strategists, developers, subject matter experts and legal services professionals.

Please see our Team for more information.

Support Illinois Legal Aid Online

Illinois Legal Aid Online helps people understand their legal options, make informed decisions, and connect to legal aid assistance. Our organization is supported by private foundations, donors, and generous support from people like you. If you are interested in learning more about our organization, please see About ILAO, where you can read about our story, our impact, and our team.

To donate by mail, use this donate form, include your check or money order and mail it to us at  Illinois Legal Aid Online, 120 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60603

To donate online, use the secure donation form.  You can find links to donate on the footer of every page and on the toolbar on resource pages.

How do I report problems using this site?

If you have a problem using this site, please contact us. You can find links to our contact form in the top right (desktop) or 3-line hamburger (mobile) menus and the footer of each page.  

My account

Why was my account banned or disabled?

ILAO may disable or remove an account for a variety of reasons. Community members who have not accessed their account in more than two years may have their accounts deleted. Legal aid members may have their account deleted or disabled if their work email bounces multiple times, or if we learn you are no longer with the organization you signed up through. Your account might have been banned or disabled due to violations of our Terms of Use

Please see our Terms of Use for more information. If you think your account has been banned or disabled by mistake, please Contact Us.

How do I log in and out of the website?

To log in to your account, enter your username and password on the log in page.  You can find the link at the top right of each page (desktop) or the 3-line hamburger menu (mobile).  Once you log in, the link will change to Log Out.

Can I change the email address on my account?

Yes!  You can change the email associated with your member account with these simple steps:

  1. Make sure you are logged in to your account.
  2. Click My account.
  3. Click edit or the pencil icon.
  4. Enter your current password.
  5. Delete the current email address and enter your new email address.
  6. Click the save button.

Once you change your email address, you will not be able to log in with the old email address.

What if I forgot my password?

Use the forgot password form to reset your password.  You will get an email with a link to create a new password.

If you do not receive the email, check your spam filter.  If you need additional help, contact us.

How do I cancel or close my account?

Please contact us to close your account.  We respond to account concerns within 1 - 2 business days.

How can I change my notification and email preferences?

Members can be notified by email or text when they have applied for legal help and subscribe to newsletters and other communications from ILAO.  These settings can be changed in your user profile.

Follow these steps to change your email preferences:

  1. Make sure you are logged in to your Illinois Legal Aid Online account.
  2. Click My account from the main menu (top right on desktop; 3 line hamburger menu on mobile).
  3. Click Edit.
  4. Scroll down to the Notifications and Newsletter sections and check or uncheck the boxes to indicate your preferences.
  5. Click Save.
    Is my account information private?

    If you choose to post comments, other Illinois Legal Aid Online members will be able to see your username. However, your account information are private. This means that they are not visible to the public or to other members.

    How do I update my account profile?

    You can update your account information with a few simple steps:

    How do I create an account?

    Accounts are free on Illinois Legal Aid Online. Your account is tied to your email address. Sign up for an account and log-in when you visit the site to be able to save referrals and see your applications when you use Get Legal Help.  If you are a legal professional, an account will also allow you to add events, jobs, and contribute to legal information.

    Follow these steps to create an account:

    1. Sign up for an account.
    2. Select the role that best describes you.  
    3. Follow the steps by entering a username, your email address, and the remaining form fields.
    4. Click the create new account button.
    5. Check your inbox for an email from @IllinoisLegalAid.org.
    6. Follow the email instructions to set your password.

    Once your password is set, you can log into the website.

    Personal settings

    Can I share legal information on social media?

    You can share articles, forms, events, and other content on our website with your social media communities in a few simple steps.

    1. There are icons for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter (now X) located in the Share bar on each content page and in the footer. Select the appropriate icon.
    2. Log in to your social media account.
    3. Add any additional comments that you'd like to appear with your post.
    4. Click Tweet, Post, or Share.
    How do I change the language displayed on the site?

    On desktop, there is a language menu at the top left side of each page to view the site in English, Spanish, or Polish.  On mobile, this can be found in the hamburger menu (three line menu) at the top right corner.  

    Leaving feedback

    How can I reach ILAO staff?

    If you fill out a Contact Us form, it will go to the appropriate staff member at Illinois Legal Aid Online. They will look into the issue or question, try to resolve it, and follow up with you if necessary.

    This should not be used to receive legal advice and we are unable to reply to requests for legal advice.  For legal help you can:

    • Submit a question to an attorney using the Illinois' Free Legal Answers site.
    • Use Get Legal Help to be directed to a local legal aid organization who may be able to help you.
    How do I report a mistake in legal information?

    If you are a legal aid or pro bono attorney, you can click or tap the Edit button on any page to point out errors or update the content.

    If you are not an attorney and you would like to submit a correction, please let us know by clicking Contact at the bottom of any Illinois Legal Aid Online page.

    1. Select "I found a problem with the information on this website."
    2. Enter a Title.
    3. Describe the problem you found.
    4. Enter your Email address.
    5. Click or tap Save.
    Can I rate legal information?

    You can rate articles, videos, and other pages of legal information in a few simple steps.

    1. Scroll down to the comments section.
    2. There are five stars located on the comment form.
    3. Click or tap the number of stars that you want to give the page and they will turn blue.
    4. Leave a comment explaining why you rated the content the way you did.
    5. Save the comment and rating.  If you are not logged in, your comment will be reviewed by ILAO staff before it is published.
    6. The average rating and the number of people who have rated the page will also display.

    Please keep in mind that if you see a problem with the content or something is missing, the more information you can give us about what is needed will help us improve the site. If you'd like to tell us privately, please use the Contact Us button.

    How do I leave a comment?

    You can post comments on articles, videos, and other pages in a few simple steps.

    1. Scroll to Ratings & Comments at the bottom of the page.
    2. Enter a Subject and Comment.
    3. Leave a rating.
    4. Click or tap Submit.

    Please keep in mind that once you submit a comment, you won't be able to edit or delete it. Anyone viewing Illinois Legal Aid Online may see comments that you've posted. Please be careful not to post anything that you want to be kept private. Your username (if you are logged in) and the date and time that you posted the comment will display next to your comment. 

    If you post a comment anonymously, it will be reviewed by ILAO staff before it appears on the website.

    What if I see an inapproriate comment?

    You can't report another member, but you can report their comments. Illinois Legal Aid Online monitors comments to ensure that they follow the Terms of Use. However, as a member of our community, you can help us identify comments that violate our policies. If you see a comment that you think is inappropriate contact us and we will deal with it accordingly.

    Why did I receive an email about one of my comments?

    You might have received an email warning about one of your comments if it was in violation of our Terms of Use.  Your account may be disabled if your comments are repeatedly flagged for violating our Terms of Use.  

    If you think your account has been disabled by mistake, please Contact Us.

    What are Easy Forms?

    Easy Forms make it easy to create legal forms. These forms can be court forms, letters, or other legal documents. Easy Forms guide you through a simple interview. You answer questions, and the program does all the work.

    Easy Forms:

    • Check to see if you are using the right forms,
    • Ask only the questions you need to answer, and
    • Put your answers in all the right places on the forms.
    How do Easy Forms work?

    On any Easy Form page, use the Start program button.

    This takes you to a LawHelp Interactive (LHI) screen where you can:

    • GET STARTED to run the program, or
    • CREATE ACCOUNT OR LOG IN. Use an LHI account to save your answers for later.

    Follow the program instructions and answer questions. When you finish, you can download, email, or save your answers.

    How do I find Easy Forms?

    There are a few ways you can find Easy Forms. You can:

    If you can't find a specific form using the Form Library or the Search, ask for help. Use Get Legal Help or Chat when available.

    If the form is not on Illinois Legal Aid Online, you can suggest a form. Just contact us.

    How do I get completed Easy Forms?

    At the end of the program, use Submit or Finish. This takes you to a LawHelp Interactive (LHI) screen where you can:

    • Download Your Form(s)
    • Email Your Form(s)
    • Save Your Answers
    How do I save my Easy Form answers?

    After you click Submit or Finish to finish the program, you will go to a LawHelp Interactive (LHI) screen where you can save your answers. Some Easy Forms also let you save your answers during the interview. You must create a free account on LHI to save your answers. The program does not save your answers automatically. 

    Saving your answers can help you finish the program later or download your forms later.

    1. Go to LawHelp Interactive (LHI).
    2. Log in to your LHI account.
    3. Click My Answers.
    4. Click Saved Answers.
    5. Follow the instructions on the screen. The most common tasks are:
    • Get Forms - Download a set of forms using your answers
    • Open Interview - Run the Easy Form program again with your answers already entered
    • Email forms / documents - Email a set of your forms to yourself
    How do I e-file Easy Forms?

    This website is not connected to the Illinois e-filing systems at this time. We are hoping to add this feature. Pick an Electronic Filing Service Provider to e-file your forms.

    Check with the court clerk where you are filing your forms to find out if e-filing is required. You might be able to request an e-filing exemption.

    Easy Form programs that create court forms ask how you want to receive your forms. If you are going to e-file, click Separate PDFs and use an e-signature. These separate PDFs will be ready for e-filing. Do not e-file the PACKET PDF. It will be rejected by the court clerk.

    What if an Easy Form is unavailable?

    If an Easy Form is not available, you should be redirected to the Easy Forms status page. This page explains why it is not available and when it will be back. The status page also includes other resources, if available.

    How do I suggest a form?

    If a form is not on Illinois Legal Aid Online, and you think it should be, you can suggest a form. Just contact us.

    We review and evaluate all form suggestions.

    How do I report Easy Forms problems?

    While you are using the program, use the SEND FEEDBACK button (if visible).

    After the program, use the Was This Form Helpful? button on the LawHelp Interactive (LHI) page.

    At any time, or if an Easy Form program does not start, just Contact us.

    Using Get Legal Help

    Clicking on Get Legal Help

    If you click Get Legal Help, you will get help finding information, forms, or legal referrals in your area. You'll be asked questions about:

    • The issue you're dealing with
    • What type of help you're looking for
    • Your location
    • Your income level

    After answering some questions, you might get:

    • Information about your issue to help you learn about the process to resolve it 
    • Links to Easy Forms 
    • Details about Online Intake, which is a way to apply online for free legal help from a legal aid organization.
    • Referrals to programs that may help you, including options for working with a lawyer for a reduced fee, or through a paid service. 
    How do referrals from Get Legal Help work?

    When you use Get Legal Help and ask for a lawyer, you will get a referral to one or more programs or services. These programs might be able to help with your legal issue for free, for a reduced fee, or through a paid service. The referrals are based on your answers to questions about:

    • Your issue
    • Your location
    • Your income level

    Some programs can only help people with a particular type of problem. For example, some help who live in Cook County people with eviction and foreclosure, and whose income level is below the federal poverty line and other programs can help Illinois residents dealing with domestic abuse, regardless of income or the county where they live.

    What does it mean to apply for free legal help?

    You can use our website to apply to a program that might be able to help you with your legal issue and won't charge you any money. When you apply, you'll answer questions about:

    • Your issue
    • Your location
    • Your household size
    • Your monthly income
    • Other information about yourself

    Based on your answers to those questions, you might qualify for free legal help from a legal aid program. This means that the program may offer you legal services that won't cost you any money, like:

    • Information
    • Advice from a lawyer
    • Legal papers drafted by a lawyer
    • Going to court with a lawyer
    How much time will it take me to apply for free legal help?

    Applying online for free legal help can take between 5 and 30 minutes. You will answer questions about yourself, your household and your income. If you have your household and income numbers handy, applying online takes 5-10 minutes. 

    What information do I need to apply for free legal help?

    To apply for free legal help, you'll answer a series of questions about yourself and your legal issue. You'll need to know:

    • Your legal issue
    • Your location
    • Your monthly income 

    Depending on your location, issue, and income, you may be asked for information.

    Can I save my free legal help application and finish it later?

    No. It's not possible to start to apply, save, and then finish later. You'll need to complete your application for free legal help in one session, from start to finish. When you have the right information on hand, applying online takes between 5 and 10 minutes.

    Why don't I qualify for free legal help?

    When you apply, the questions about yourself and your legal issue will figure out if you can get free legal help from a program. Based on your answers to those questions, you may not qualify. For example:

    • The legal aid program might not have anyone to help with your legal issue
    • There is no legal aid program, or person at a program, able to help in your location
    • The legal aid program can only serve people below a certain income and can't help because you make too much money
    • You can also try to contact an attorney who offers limited scope representation
    Additional options for legal help

    If you don't qualify for free legal help, we will still try to match you with other helpful information and resources. Based on your answers to the questions about yourself and about your legal issue, you may get:

    • Information about the issue that you're dealing with
    • Forms for the issue that you're dealing with
    • Referrals to programs or services that may be able to help you for a reduced fee or through a paid program (including limited scope representation)

    Legal Self Help Centers

    Self-help centers near you

    Located in county courthouses and public libraries across the state, Illinois Legal AId Online supports in-person and online legal self-help centers across Illinois. An ILAO legal self-help center is a place where you can learn about the law, your legal rights, and how to go to court. If you have a legal issue, you can go to a legal self-help center in your community to:

    • use a computer for free,
    • search online for answers to your legal questions,
    • find and prepare court forms, and
    • get other help depending on your location.

    Find a center near you

    Accessing IICLE

    Do I have access to all the available and most updated IICLE Practice Handbooks?

    Legal aid advocates have access to all of the free resources on the IICLE Online Library including Flashpoints, which are law updates, and legal forms. However, you do not have access to anything that requires additional payment, such as trainings.

    We regularly check for updates on the IICLE website and add new publications and editions to our site. If you are looking for something and cannot find it, please Contact Us.

    What is the IICLE Online Library?

    Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) Practice Handbooks guides lawyers on a specific area of the law. They are very detailed and include forms, templates, and job aids.

    Who has access to IICLE Online Library?

    Only employees of legal aid organizations who have active IllinoisLegalAid.org accounts can access the IICLE Online Library for free through this website. Anyone can purchase them directly from IICLE. We are unable to offer free access to pro bono attorneys or volunteers of legal aid organizations.

    How do I access the IICLE Online Library?

    You must be logged in to your legal aid member account to access the IICLE Online Library. Individual IICLE Practice Handbooks are listed on the "IICLE Online Library."  

    Why do I have to be logged into IllinoisLegalAid.org to access the IICLE Online Library?

    Our agreement with IICLE requires us to approve and limit access to the IICLE Online Library through this website. You must be logged into your IllinoisLegalAid.org account because it verifies that you are a legal aid member.

    I was redirected to the IICLE website to review a Practice Handbook. Can I stay on the IICLE website to view another Practice Handbook?

    Yes, you can stay on the IICLE website to view another Practice Handbook. However, some links within IICLEs will not work when you get to them from our website. You may have to copy the URL into your browser and hit "enter."

    Using discussion groups

    What are discussion groups?

    Discussion groups are a way for legal aid lawyers to stay up-to-date in a specific legal area, and participate in discussions with other advocates. The majority of posts are questions for other discussion group members to answer.

    For example, what do people think of a particular argument you'd like to make? or Does anyone have experience working with a specific judge? Other posts include legislative updates and discussions or notifications for upcoming events, like seminars, conferences, and CLE training. 

    Discussion groups are run on Google Groups, and users can participate either by emailing the discussion group email address or logging in to the Google Groups page.

    Do I need a log-in to use the discussion groups?

    You do not have to be logged in to IllinoisLegalAid.org to use the discussion groups. We use Google Groups, which sends out emails to users when there are new posts in a group. Respond directly to the email and it will be sent to the group. You never have to Login to IllinoisLegalAid.org or Google Groups after your initial log-in to join a discussion group with ILAO.

    How do I know when there is a new discussion group post?

    Yes, you will be notified when someone responds to a question that you posted to the discussion group. You can modify how often you are notified by logging into Google Groups and clicking on the small gear icon that's next to the person icon.

    Responding to discussion groups

    Illinois Legal Aid Online staff and legal aid advocates who have signed up for the discussion group can answer questions that are posted to it. If no one responds to a question, post it again, perhaps re-phrasing it or ask a follow-up question. 

    Joining a group

    Some discussion groups have their own sign-up forms listed on the Discussion Groups page that you can use.

    For those that do not have a sign-up form listed:

    1. Use the Contact Form to open a ticket.
    2. Select "I need help with my account".
    3. Enter your name and legal aid organization email.
    4. List the discussion groups you want to join in the Message field.
    Who facilitates the discussion groups?

    IllinoisLegalAid.org provides facilitators to monitor the discussion groups and ensure that they are not being abused. See the current list on the Discussion boards page.

    Privacy of discussion groups

    Illinois Legal Aid Online staff and legal aid advocates who have signed up for the discussion group are the only groups who can see what is posted to it. Users who have had their account changed from a legal aid member account to a different role will be automatically removed from the discussion groups.

    Updating legal content

    Who can edit content?

    If you are interested in editing legal information on this website, please let us know! ILAO welcomes lawyers and other legal professionals to be part of our Legal Content Volunteer program.

    Is there a style guide for editing content?

    Yes, our style guide is publicly available online.