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Self-Help and Referral Sites

Self-Help Legal Center, Southern Illinois University School of Law
SIU's Self-Help Legal Center has 3 missions: to help those who help pro-se litigants; to help pro-se litigants find the information they need; and to act as a clearinghouse for self-help legal information. This site provides information about areas of law such as family law, small claims court, immigration law, consumer rights, utilities, landlord-tenant issues, contract for deed, traffic court, and other legal issues. Many self-help packets have supplementary forms.

Search the SIU Law Library catalog for Self-Help Law Books, written for the nonlawyer.

Illinois Legal Aid Online
Illinois Legal Aid Online provides lower-income and vulnerable Illinois residents with information about their legal rights and responsibilities, referrals to free and low cost legal aid offices, multimedia training and education, and forms and instructions for representing themselves.


American Bar Association Division for Public Education
Includes information for consumers, citizens, educators, students, and media, including the following pages and much more.

American Bar Association Lawyer Referral Services Directory
Links to lawyer referral services in each state by way of a clickable map.

American Bar Association Public Resources
Includes information on consumer legal issues; links to legal research sites; educational materials; Practical Law guides to everyday law; and general publications about the law and the legal system.

American Judicature Society Pro Se Forum
The "Pro Se Forum offers publications and resources for court staff and judges who deal with pro se litigants, links to national, state, and local programs that assist self-represented litigants, and research and reports on pro se assistance programs."

Findlaw's Find A Lawyer (West's Legal Directory)
Search for a lawyer or law firm, or browse by state or practice area. Also includes articles and Q&A on Finding and Hiring a Lawyer.

State by state guide to legal help from the American Bar Association

For the Consumer: Bureau of Consumer Protection
File a complaint, order FTC publications, link to any of the Bureau's divisions or to other Consumer Protection websites.
Publisher: Federal Trade Commission.

HALT is a nonprofit organization "dedicated to the principle that all Americans should be able to handle their legal affairs simply, affordably and equitably." Its Legal Information Clearinghouse has free "Citizens Legal Guides" and "Everyday Law Series" and some state-by-state information.

How to Protect and Benefit from Your Ideas
The American Intellectual Property Law Association makes some Educational Materials available for viewing free to the general public. Includes "What is a Patent and Trademark" and How to Protect and Benefit from Your Ideas.

LawHelp is a portal to nonprofit legal services providers in most states. The site is a project of Pro Bono Net, a nonprofit organization headquartered in New York, and partnering legal aid organizations.

Find a Lawyer at Lawyers.com
Free searching of the LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. Search for lawyers and law firms by name, area of practice, location, language, law school, or license to practice.

In addition to selling excellent self-help law books and software, Nolo's Legal Companion has free online guides and podcasts on Business & Human Resources; Patents, Copyright & Art; Wills & Estate Planning; Property & Money; Family Law & Immigration; and Rights & Disputes. You will also find Help With Legal Research and a Everybody's Legal Glossary.

The Pro Se Law Center
A resource center on self representation in civil law matters, including "a searchable Directory of Pro Se Programs operated by legal service providers" "white papers and research on the research concept" and a "Discussion space where organizations that want to design and operate pro se assistance programs can post questions and receive answers from other professionals who are engaged in operating pro se programs."

Topical Index to State Statutes
A set of links to state statutes organized by topic, maintained the Legal Information Institute at the Cornel University Law School. USA.gov
Search or browse web pages from federal and state governments, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. There are portals designed for citizens and businesses. Browse the A–Z agency index, or federal, state, local, and tribal government pages.
Publisher: Federal Citizen Information Center.

YAHOO's Index of Self-Help Law Sites


ARDC Lawyer Search
Search for attorneys licensed by the Supreme Court of Illinois by filling in the attorney's last name and selecting an exact or phonetic last name search. You can narrow your search by including first name or location.
Publisher: Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission.

Citizen Self-Help
Links from the Illinois Courts official site.

DuPage County Bar Association Small Claims Information
Information in question-and-answer format about small claims lawsuits in DuPage County (18th Judicial Circuit).

Illinois Attorney General: Protecting Consumers
Provides information and documents on a wide variety of consumer and small business issues, including Auto Buying, Financing and Repair; Children's Issues; Charity Issues; Credit and Lending Issues; Franchises; General Consumer Issues and Common Scams; Healthcare Issues; Home Repair and Housing Issues; ID Theft; Internet and Telecommunications. There are also links to many other resources. In English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Polish, and Vietnamese.

Illinois State Bar Association's lawyer directory.
Publisher: Illinois State Bar Association.

Illinois Legal Services Program Directory
A searchable directory offers contact information for various types of legal organizations in Illinois including bar associations, law school clinics, legal clinics, lawyer referral services, and pro bono programs. [hat tip to the fine folks at the Illinois Statet Library]

Kane County Law Library: Self Help Legal Center
Information on suing or being sued in Kane County, getting a divorce in Illinois, and expunging a criminal record. Some of the information is also available in Spanish.

Lake County Center for Self-Representation
Information and resources on Small Claims Court, Domestic Abuse, Probate Court, Name Changes, and Guardianship of Minors.

The Law and You in Illinois
IllinoisLawyerFinder.com offers helpful information, written in lay person's language, for those wanting to learn more about Illinois law. Topics include bankruptcy, family law, estate planning, and Illinois Legal Aid Programs.
Publisher: Illinois State Bar Association.

State of Illinois Business Portal
Government information, resources, and forms for starting, running, or changing a business in Illinois.

Other States

Indiana Legal Services: Indiana Justice Center
Provides legal information in English and Spanish on topics including Family Issues, Government Programs, Health and Medical Matters, Housing, Jobs/Employment, Non-Citizens, Our Legal System, Seniors, Students, and Your Money and You. There is also a section for finding free or low-cost legal help and links to other helpful sites.

Indiana Supreme Court Self-Service Legal Center
The Indiana Supreme Court's Self-Service Legal Center provides self-help court forms and encourages local courts to develop their own pro-se assistance programs. Form packages include forms for divorce without assets and children, motion for fee waiver, visitation, child support, and name change. Also includes a list of frequently asked questions, links to legal assistance programs, and information on ADR/Mediation. Provides information and forms in English and Spanish.

Michigan Legislature: Publications
The Michigan Legislative Service Bureau makes a number of its publications available free on this website, including Changes and Choices: Legal Rights of Senior Adults, Consumer Protection Resource Guide, Crime Victim's Rights, [Planning for Your] Peace of Mind, Tenants and Landlords, Veterans' Benefits, and Your Child.

Minnesota Judicial Branch Self-Help Center
Includes "TIPS for Representing Yourself in Court;" information on Family Law, Domestic Abuse & Harassment, Criminal Expungement, Landlord & Tenant, Probate and Wills & Estates, Car Title Problems, Name Change, and other legal topics; and links to other helpful resources.

Ohio State Bar Association: Public Information
Information for consumers, journalists, business people, teachers and students. Includes the complete texts of The Law and You, Legal Basics for Small Business, and Legal Handbook for Ohio Journalists; the “Fine Print” business newsletter; LawFacts pamphlet series on commonly encountered legal issues; "Law You Can Use" question-and-answer columns for consumers; and many more helpful resources.



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