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Grants to Illinois Nonprofits to Provide Information about the Legal System to State Residents

Legal Information to the Public Grant


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Illinois

Important Dates
Deadline: 07/28/23 Save

Grant Description
Grants to Illinois nonprofit organizations to provide information about the legal system to residents throughout the state. Funding is intended for the operation of legal information centers, and for legal information projects. Funds may be used to support operating costs, including personnel, as well as for the creation and distribution of legal information and self-help materials.

The Illinois Equal Justice Foundation (IEJF) makes grants to help Illinois residents understand how to use the legal system to resolve a problem.

In the Legal Information for the Public category, the IEJF will consider support for two types of projects:

  • Legal Information Centers: Legal information centers are designed to operate as a “starting point” for people who are considering the use of the legal system to resolve a problem. A legal information center will offer printed, video and/or Internet -based materials on topics such as the operation of the court system; how to obtain legal representation; legal rights and responsibilities in various substantive areas of the law; and alternatives to litigation.  Legal information centers should be located in libraries, courthouses, or other locations that are accessible to the public.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, virtual information centers and projects under this category will be considered.
  • Legal Information Projects:  Legal Information projects are efforts that complement legal information centers by helping Illinois residents who are unable to obtain or do not have legal representation to understand and resolve their legal problems in accordance with applicable law and court procedures.  Legal information projects can include:  the preparation and distribution of self-help packets that include legal information, forms and instructions; pro se classes taught by attorneys; and/or other creative efforts to help give Illinois residents the information and resources to resolve their legal problems on their own when appropriate.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, virtual information projects and projects under this category will be considered.

Evaluation Criteria - Applications in the Legal Information for the Public category will be evaluated based on:

  • Demonstrated need for the proposed services, as reflected by factors such as the number of pro se filings in the applicant’s service area, and evidence of support for the project from judges, court clerks, legal services providers, bar leaders, librarians, local government officials and others who deal with members of the public who are seeking legal information.
  • Preference will be given for efforts to establish new legal information centers in counties where none exist.
  • Preference will be given to projects that are either statewide or are developing materials or models that can be replicated by other legal information centers in Illinois.
  • Preference will be given for efforts to provide legal information to vulnerable populations such as immigrants, physically and mentally disabled people, homeless people and senior citizens.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
In the Legal Information for the Public category, the IEJF will only consider applications from Illinois-based not-for-profit organizations that:
- Provide legal information free of charge.
- Provide legal information as described in the Purpose section of these guidelines under the supervision of a licensed attorney, the court, or for legal matters where accredited non-attorney representatives are permitted to provide services (e.g., immigration and tax matters), a representative accredited by the appropriate administrative agency to provide services in matters pending before that agency.
- Provide legal information in areas of the law that include problems commonly faced by members of the public (e.g., family law, housing, consumer and credit issues, immigration), including areas of the law that affect lower-income Illinois residents.
- Provide legal information in a location that is accessible to the public.

Organizations are eligible to apply for a grant from the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation if they:
- Are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
- Provide services to low-income people free of charge or on a sliding scale based on income. Low-income is defined as a household income of up to 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. Applicants who charge fees for their legal services are required to provide the IEJF with a copy of their fee schedule. However, legal information for the public, self-help legal assistance and mediation services must be provided free of charge.

In the Legal Information for the Public category, the IEJF will not consider proposals for:
- Telephone-based services;
- Civil legal services programs’ efforts to provide legal information and self-help assistance as part of their screening and intake systems;
- General efforts to inform the public about the law, such as Law Day activities; the development and dissemination of law-related curricula to schools; essay contests; or other community legal education - initiatives that are not designed to help people address specific legal problems; and
- Legal information and self-help projects involving issues of criminal law.

- Funds appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly, including funds distributed by the IEJF, may not be spent on a sectarian purpose.
- Said funds may not be used for the purpose of lobbying; encouraging political activities, labor or anti-labor activities, boycotts, picketing, strikes or demonstrations; or investigative or legal compliance activities related to a pending dispute.
- A recipient may not use funds received under the Illinois Equal Justice Act to file an individual action or class action under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act or other labor laws.
- No more than 10% of grants awarded by the IEJF can be used for overhead costs. Failure to abide by this may jeopardize future funding from the IEJF.

Pre-Application Information
- June 30, 2023 – Applications are available
- July 28, 2023 – Completed applications & proposals due
- July/August 2023 – Grant review & site visits
- September 2023 – Board decisions announced

Applications must be submitted electronically by the due date indicated above.

Application procedures and forms will be available by June 30, 2023 at under the Civil Legal Aid Grants tab. From there you can login to the grant portal.

Grant payments will be disbursed in December, April and June.

Civil Legal Aid Grants information:


Term of Contract
All funds must be expended by August 31, 2024.

Contact Information
Apply online:

For questions, please contact Program Officer Tyrina Newkirk at or (312) 546-6086.

Illinois Equal Justice Foundation
65 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 1900
Chicago, IL 60601

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