Self-Help Center will help citizens without lawyers

By Steve Gonzalez | Feb 6, 2007

The Madison County judiciary is introducing a "Self-Help Center."

Chief Judge Ann Callis says the center will address the need for legal information for persons appearing in court without a lawyer.

The center, funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, will work with Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc., the Circuit Clerk's Office, the Madison County Bar Association, the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice, and Illinois Legal Aid Online to develop resources to help the public find answers to their questions about the Madison County legal system.

One of the Foundation's priorities is to increase access to the courts and to legal information for the public.

Madison County is one of seven courts statewide funded by the Foundation this year to develop self-help centers.

Located in the Madison County Law Library, the Self Help Center will use a combination of print and Internet resources to better meet the various needs of its patrons.

The Internet support will include a Madison County homepage with links to appropriate content and forms, Madison County forms, as well as general tips for going to court.

The Madison County homepage will link users to all of the content of the statewide website www., which maintains a library of self-help legal information. Additional self-help materials will continue to be developed and made available through the Madison County Self-Help Center on an as needed basis.

Two dedicated computers with Internet access and a printer will be available for public use at the Center.

Staff will be available for approximately 15 hours per week to guide patrons to appropriate online and other resources.

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