For People Without Lawyers

The following programs are available in the Fifth Municipal Courthouse for people without lawyers:

Civil Cases

Pro Bono Attorney Program
Southwest Bar Association
Law Library Room 221
2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month
9 am to 12 noon

Legal Advice Desk
Chicago Legal Clinic
Law Library Room 221
1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month
9am to 12 noon

Legal assistance and advice provided in: 
  • landlord tenant disputes
  • breach of contract claims
  • small claims matters
  • filing of wills
  • civil orders of protection
  • expungment paperwork review
  • limited divorce/custody/parentage
All individuals seen on a first come first served basis.
Referrals to an attorney are also available.
The Pro Bono attorney cannot represent clients in court.

Criminal Cases
In Court Referral Program
Monday through Friday

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;
  • misdemeanor domestic violence offeneses;
  • orders of protections;
  • 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.

Orders of Protection
Domestic violence advocates are present in court to assist victims.

Court Forms
Court forms are available in the Office of the Clerk of the Circuir Court, Room 121.

For assistance with other legal issues or questions, click here People Without Lawyers.

Copyright 2020 by Circuit Court of Cook County