Help For Self-Represented Litigants
Legal Advice vs Legal Information
Legal Information & Legal Advice: What’s the Difference?
Circuit clerks and court personnel cannot tell you what to do or give any legal advice. They can give you the information you need to make your own decision and share information about other resources in the courthouse and local community. For more information on the difference between legal information and advice, see the Illinois Supreme Court Policy on Assistance to Court Patrons.
Legal Information Is: General factual information about the law or legal process intended to help a court patron navigate the court system.
* Legal information is neutral. It does not give one person an advantage over the other.
* Legal information is universal. It is always the same, no matter who is asking.
* Legal information is objective. It is always the same, no matter the facts of the case.
* Legal information is unrestricted. Non-lawyers, including circuit clerks and court staff, can give legal information.
Legal Advice Is: Guidance regarding a court patron's legal rights and obligations in light of their unique facts and circumstances.
* Legal advice is biased. It is intended to give one person a legal advantage over another.
* Legal advice is customized. It will change depending on who is asking and what they want.
* Legal advice is subjective. It will change depending on the facts of the case.
* Legal advice is restricted. Only lawyers are authorized to give legal advice.
How to E-File in Odyssey File & Serve
Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) Resources
Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc.
New Program - Free Legal Aid for Illinois Service Members and Veterans
Low and moderate-income service members and their families are eligible for free legal services.
Free Statewide Legal Aid Hotline 855-IL-AFLAN (452-3526)
Approved Statewide Forms
The following forms have been approved for use by the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and are required to be accepted in all Illinois courts.
Additional Resources on this Website
To find information on Language Access, Court Disability Access, or Parenting Classes, please click on Community Directory.
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