The In-Court Attorney Referral Program is available for certain defendants who want an attorney to represent them but have not yet hired an attorney by the time they appear in court.
The program is limited to defendants who are in court for:
- misdemeanor traffic offenses;
- criminal misdemeanor offenses; or
- felony preliminary hearings; and
- who do not qualify for representation by the Office of the Public Defender.*
Judges may refer such defendants to attorneys who are participating in the In-Court Attorney Referral Program. Called “bar attorneys,” these attorneys are present in court and available for a consultation that same day.
Bar attorneys are a qualified, select group of attorneys who are supplied by local bar associations, including minority and women bar associations.
If the bar attorney files an appearance, the attorney and client will enter into a fee agreement for a reasonable fee or the cash bond. Bar attorneys do not charge for the initial conference.
The In-Court Attorney Referral Program operates under the auspices of the Circuit Court of Cook County in the following court locations:
(Traffic Section, First Municipal District, Chicago)
50 West Washington Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Branch Courts, First Municipal District (Chicago)
Branch 23, Misdemeanor/Ordinance, 5555 West Grand Avenue
Branch 50, Felony Preliminary Hearing, 5555 West Grand Avenue
Branch 29, Misdemeanor/Ordinance, 2452 West Belmont Avenue
Branch 42, Felony Preliminary Hearing, 2452 West Belmont Avenue
Branch 43, Misdemeanor/Ordinance, 3151 West Harrison Street
Branch 44, Felony Preliminary Hearing, 3151 West Harrison Street
Branch 2, Felony Traffic Offenses, 26th and California
Branch 3, Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses, 26th and California
Branch 66, Bond Court for homicide, sexually related felonies and juveniles charged
as adults, 26th and California
Branch 98, Bond Court for fugitive warrants, 26th and California
Second Municipal District
Third Municipal District
Fourth Municipal District **
Fifth Municipal District
Sixth Municipal District
*The Public Defender is available for appointment if a defendant is financially eligible for their services. The Public Defender accepts appointment for traffic and criminal cases (both misdemeanor and felonies) that are for jailable offenses.
The Public Defender and the bar attorneys are not available for appointments in civil cases.
**Bar attorneys are not available for local town calls.