Legal Aid Information for Attorneys

Your Legal Aid Case, Final Reports and Pro Bono Appointments: A Review

When you are assigned a DuPage legal aid case, you will be emailed a packet of information on your assignment which will include a Final Report Form to be completed and returned to the Legal Aid office at the close of your case.

When you have completed your case, do not forget to estimate your hours and forward the Final Report which should reflect the disposition of your case and the estimated number of your court appearances. Unless you request differently, our program does not want to assign you more than one case a year and this helps us keep track of what you have handled. Additionally, your cases and hours are used in making our grant requests to various entities and your hours and case numbers are very impressive to our grantors and can make a difference in the amount of funds we are awarded. We do a grand sweep of outstanding assignments at the end of our fiscal year every June.

If you are unable to accept a case for whatever reason, please don’t hesitate to tell us and we will re-assign the qualified applicant to someone else.

Since we send you a Certificate of Indigence in the packet, you do not have to pay for filing fees.  (The Certificate of Indigence must be signed by the Legal Aid administrator for legal aid cases.)

The Certificate of Indigence means your client is qualified as an indigent person under 735 ILCS 5/5-105.5. It has the same effect as the Order when an Application to Sue or Defend as an Indigent Person is filed which is signed by a Judge.

If your client needs to publish in the local newspaper to effectuate service, this is also provided for no cost to you or your client. Make sure the Clerk who is filing the Certificate of Service is aware that your client is indigent. If you receive a bill for the publication, please let us know and we will make sure that the bill is redirected.

If your client requires service of the opposing party in a foreign jurisdiction, please let the Sheriff’s Office in that jurisdiction know that your client is indigent by sending a form letter such as this sample that our office uses.

If the out of county Sheriff cannot comply with your request for free service (and some do not accept it), please let us know and our office will pay the cost of service.

If your client has to take the Parent Education Seminar (Caring Coping and Children class), you can fax (630-407-2451) or email ( the Certificate of Indigence to the Family Center and ask them to waive the fee for the course because your client is indigent. They are very helpful about this at theFamilyCenter.

Those of you who are assigned to a case in a pro-bono capacity by a judge, please let us know. We can then record your pro bono service as your assigned case through our program and we can use your hours in our statistical records.

If you meet with a client that you believe is indigent and you would like to represent him or her pro bono if he or she is qualified, please let us know and we will credit you for that case after screening the individual you wish to represent.

Finally, if during your representation of your assigned pro bono client, their financial situation improves, let us know that you would like to be assured they still qualify and you can refer them back to us for re-screening.

Thanks to all of you for your service as the pro bono advocate for our applicants.