Legal FAQ

The following legal resources may provide you with assistance and referral information to help you with concerns or problems you may encounter.

Attorney Referrals

I am not sure I need a lawyer. How can I figure that out?

While you should not be hesitant to contact a lawyer if you feel you need legal advice, many common problems may be resolved without requiring a lawyer's services. The following link offers guidance to help you determine if consulting an attorney is the best way to proceed.

If I need a lawyer, how can I find one?

The following three legal referral databases will assist you in finding legal representation:

The Illinois State Bar The Illinois State Bar Association's legal referral service is available to anyone who can afford the services of a lawyer. If you prefer a telephone referral, call the Illinois State Bar Association at 217-525-5297 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The Chicago Bar Association The Chicago Bar Association's (CBA) Lawyer Referral Service makes referrals to both civil and criminal lawyers experienced in almost every area of the law.

Avvo is the world's largest free legal directory of lawyers. The Avvo website also contains answers and advice for students who are trying to understand legal situations.

What if I need a lawyer and can't afford one?

Illinois Legal Aid

If you cannot afford an attorney, Illinois Legal Aid provides information about referrals for free and low cost legal services.

Doesn't the University Law School have a Legal Clinic I can use?

The Mandel Legal Aid Clinic does not represent students or employees of the University because: 

1) Representing members of the University community in matters against the University presents a conflict of interest for the clinicians who are employees of the University; 

2) The clinic serves the people of the city of Chicago who otherwise cannot afford to retain legal services; 

3) University students do not meet the eligibility guidelines for representation by the clinic; and 

4) Students' legal representation sometimes requires specialized knowledge in areas that the clinicians do not have.

What is the University's Office of Legal Counsel and can it represent me?

The University's Office of Legal Counsel provides legal services and advice to the University of Chicago. The Office of Legal Counsel does not provide legal advice to individual officers, employees, or students on non-University matters or on University matters where the individual's interests conflict with institutional interests. In situations where there is not an actual or potential of a conflict of interest for the University, the Office of Legal Counsel may be able to refer you to outside attorneys.