Criminal Law

Law Referral Services

While everyone has the right to a lawyer, the cost of hiring one to represent them in court may not be accessible for everyone. Therefore, the following resources link individuals to various referral services at a low-cost.

Chicago Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service 

Referral service connecting people with experienced lawyers who charge fees for their serves after a $30 initial consultation.  

Phone: (312) 554-2001 

Illinois State Bar Association LawyerFinder 

Referral services connecting people with lawyers throughout Illinois who charges fees for their services after a $25 initial consultation.  

Phone: (800) 922-8757 


Justice Entrepreneurs Project

Referral service for lawyers who offer lower cost legal service that often include fixed fees and flexible representation options in many areas of law.  

Phone: (312) 546-3282 


Limited Scope Referral Panels  

Lawyers who offer unbundled legal services in family law & eviction law.

South Suburban Bar Association

Referral service for lawyers who represent clients in the south suburbs of Chicago and at the Sixth Municipal District Courthouse in Markham.  

Phone: (708) 239-8500 


Administrative review is the formal process that is used when the individual or the individual’s legal representative is not satisfied with the decision from formal hearings. 

To find out how to file for administrative review, click here.

Location: 2650 South California Avenue, Room 526, Chicago , IL 60608

Phone: ( 773) 674-3147 | (773) 647-3140

Hours: Monday- Friday 8:30AM to 4:30 PM 

If you cannot afford the fees to file court papers or to serve a court case you can ask to thave them waived.

Fee Waivers for Civil Cases

Help filling out fee waiver forms

More information on filing court papers for free 

US District Court 

Eastern Division 

Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse

219 S Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60604 

Phone: (312) 435-5670 

Hours: 8:30AM  to 4:30PM

Western Division

Stanley J. Roszkowski United States Courthouse
327 South Church Street, Rockford, IL 61101

Phone: (815) 987-4354

Hours: 8:30AM to 5:00PM

For court schedules, click here

Pro se

Someone who files a civil case on his or her own behalf is often referred to as a pro se. For more resources/information please refer to the following page.


Free Self-Help Assitance 

A program for pro se litigants who may need free assistance. 

For English pdf

For Spanish pdf


Prisoner’s Rights 

The following link leads to a page with various resources for prisoners and their family members. From rights during a criminal investigation to visiting someone in prison to life after prison. 

For more information refer to this page.


Online Case Search 

This page leads to a portal where individuals can search their cases online including but not limited to: traffic tickets, unclaimed child support checks, and naturalization declarations of Intention. 


Federal Records Look Up

Federal Record Center (FRC) and National Archives and Records 

Location: 7358 S. Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60629-5898

Phone: (773) 948-9000 


Adult/Juvenile Expungement

What is criminal record expungement?

A criminal record is created when you are arrested or charged with an offense even is you are released without charge or found not guilty. Because the public can view your criminal records, it may affect future opportunities you apply to. Filing for a criminal record expungement will erase the charges and arrests from your record and help you with future opportunities. 

Informational links

Juvenile Record Expungement Basics

  • Explains the different types of juvenile records, automatic expungement and age at which you’re still considered a juvenile.

Articles on Criminal Records

  • Information on different types of criminal records. This link sends you to Illinois Legal Aid’s page, they provide comprehensive resources on types of offenses that can be expunged, procedures and additional resources. 

Starting your case

  • This link provides a step-by-step on how to begin your expungement process. 
Other Helpful Links

Illinois Legal Aid Online

Provide self-help resources, guidance to understand criminal records and expungement and offer referrals to free or low-cost resources based on income. Services available in Spanish and Polish. 

ILAO also has a helpful program that walks you through the preparation of the documents for your case and filling out the set of court forms. For more information click here.

Can help answer questions about sealing and expunging records but cannot represent you in court

Location: 203 N LaSalle Blvd, Chicago, IL 60601 

Hot Line: (866) 787-1776


Juvenile Expungement Help Desk

Cook County Juvenile Center

Location: 1100 S. Hamilton Ave., Ground Floor, Chicago, IL 60612

Hours: Monday – Friday  9AM to 4PM (hours subject to change, walk-ins only) 


Cook (Richard J Daley Center)

Location: 50 W. Washington, Chicago, Illinois

Room 1006

By appointment only

Hours: Monday – Thursday 9AM to 12PM

Cook (Markham) Markham Courthouse 

Location: 16501 Kedzie Parkway, Markham, Illinois

Room 102J

Hours: Wednesday 10AM – 2PM

Cook (Skokie) Skokie Courthouse

Location: 5600 Old Orchard Road, Skokie, Illinois

Room 136 

Hours: Tuesday & Thursday 10AM – 12PM

Cook (Bridgeview) Bridgeview Courthouse 

Location: 10220 S. 76th Avenue, Bridgeview, Illinois

Room LL-Canteen

Hours: Tuesday 9AM to 12PM