resources at Illinois Legal Aid Online

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Thanks to a pointer from SelfHelpSupport.org, I spent some time yesterday at the website Illinois Legal Aid Online and found a few resources I’d like to tell you about.  ILA’s December 2006 eNewsletter describes two useful services:

  • The video “Going to Court on Your Own“, which helps to demystify the court process for pro se litigants.  Because “Going to court on your own can be very confusing and intimidating,” the short instructional video “introduces those who cannot afford an attorney to the court process and instructs viewers on the basics of going to court pro se. The video is intended to help pro se litigants better understand the steps and procedures involved in going to court and familiarize them with the clerk’s office, the court room and the different people they will encounter at the courthouse.”  It was developed and produced by the Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association, The Chicago Bar Foundation and Illinois Legal Aid Online [which is a pleasant change from the Illinois State Bar’s campaign to educate the public against using a “lawyer in a box”].
  • The development of Automated Forms Online for Legal Aid and Pro Bono Attorneys is also discussed in the eNewsletter, with links to the materials.  The forms, pleadings and documents can be found on www.IllinoisLegalAdvocate.org and www.IllinoisProBono.org. “Automated forms make it easier and faster to draft documents because the user is presented with only a series of questions to answer using a computer. When all of the questions are answered the user clicks a button, and the completed forms appear on the computer screen and can be saved or printed.” The first forms for attorney users are now live on the websites:  Power of Attorney for Health Care; Power of Attorney for Property; Resignation of Agent for Power of Attorney; and Notice of Revocation of Agent for Power of Attorney. Divorce pleadings, adoptions forms, and eviction defense forms are expected to be online soon.

Note: We discussed document assembly online in a posting last October, where we described the National Public ADO (Automated Documents Online, or NPADO), which can be used by individual consumers or their advocates, and is ”a proven facility for delivering interactive interviews and document generation to self-represented individuals and advocates alike, from a web-connected browser, anywhere and anytime, using industry-standard software” — for free!  For more on automated document services, see yesterday’s posting about LegalZoom.

Finally, I discovered that Illinois Legal Aid has created self-help and informational materials for defendants or respondents (which will be noted at our posting on help for the pro se defendant).  Along with many other general or plaintiff-oriented self-help articles, you’ll find links to the following pieces in the SideBar of this Illinois Legal Aid Online webpage:

  •  How Do I Respond to a Lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County?
     How Do I Settle an Eviction Case with My Landlord? 
     How to Defend Against a Default Judgment If Your Landlord is Trying to Evict You
     How to Get More Time after You Are Ordered to Move Out by a Judge 
     How to Help Defend a Foreclosure Case
     How to Respond to a Petition for Rule to Show Cause
     I am Being Sued in Kane County for an Amount of $10,000 or Less
     What Can I Do If I Am Sued for Mortgage Foreclosure?
     What Can I Do If My Landlord Wants to Evict Me?
     What To Do When You’re Sued by Mistake

 

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