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Getting Legal Help

This handbook is not designed to replace an attorney. The information provided here is to help you avoid problems. The Tenant Union can help you with many of the concerns that arise when you rent. However, we have no lawyers on staff. If you need assistance with matters related to going to court, you should consult with an attorney.

Student Legal Services

Free legal help is provided to students enrolled at the University of Illinois.

Student Legal Services has three attorneys who work full-time providing legal advice and court representation for University of Illinois students. The attorneys cannot represent you in a dispute with another student or in action against the University. They can help with almost all landlord-tenant matters.

To make an appointment, you need to appear in person at their office, with your student I.D. The office is located in Room 324 Illini Union, and is open from 8:30 a.m. - noon and from 1:00 - 4:30 p .m., Monday - Friday. The office will not make appointments or give advice over the phone.

Finding a Lawyer

In the phone book's yellow pages, under "Attorneys", you will find listings of most local lawyers. If you are shopping for an attorney, you should call first and find out how much a consultation or representation will cost.

Do not expect an attorney to give you advice over the phone.

You can expect to get information about the cost of the service on the phone. Attorney fees range from $150 to $250 per hour for consultation and often more for representation in court.

If you are looking for advice, try to get a half-hour appointment for a charge you can afford. Describe your problem as a "landlord-tenant" problem and tell the lawyer the name of your landlord when you make the appointment, just in case the landlord uses the same law firm you have called. Some lawyers will work out a payment plan with you if you will need more than a consultation.

Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance

Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation is the local office of a federally funded program to provide legal assistance to low income individuals and families. They handle problems people face as consumers, tenants, and public aid recipients.

Eligibility for help from Land of Lincoln will depend on your family income and the nature of your problem. Most U of I students would not be eligible for this service due to the income guidelines for eligibility. No fee is charged for services if you meet the eligibility requirements. Court costs, when relevant, are the only charges. If your problem involves public housing or an eviction, and you are income-eligible, Land of Lincoln would be a good place to call. The phone number to call for initial intake with an attorney is toll free at 877-342-7891. The local office number is 356-1351.

 

The Tenant Union does not provide legal services of any kind. All information provided in this publication is intended to help the average person prevent problems and deal with common concerns of renting. When legal help is needed, always consult with an attorney at law.