Administer Justice provides a wide range of services to meet both the immediate and future needs of low-income individuals facing civil legal matters. Most of our services are available at no cost; some require a one-time nominal adminstrative fee. Anyone will qualify for help if their household earns less than 250% of the federal poverty guideline. There are no restrictions to age, race, gender or religion or any other status. Our programs lead to personal empowerment built on Biblical principles.
Personal Legal Services: Clients are given a private appointment with an attorney to assess their need and help the client develop a plan for resolution. The only restriction is financial: the income level for the household must fall below 250% of the poverty guideline for our preliminary advice or document assistance, and below 125% to qualify for pro bono representation. We offer intake appointments to people from any county; we offer court-related services within Kane & DuPage Counties.
Tax Controversy Resolution: We are one of only two Low Income Taxpayers Clinics (LITC) who serve multiple suburban communities outside of Chicago. Some tax clients are having their meager wages garnished by the IRS and are accruing insurmountable interest and penalties. Our LITC tax attorneys also advocate for widows who are being fined for penalties caused by their spouse’s filing errors, as well as victims of identity theft whose social security number has been used fraudulently.
Financial Counseling: Clients can meet with a trained financial counselor to assist them with money management, budgeting, debt reduction, etc. Our budget counseling is based on Biblical principles.
Conflict Resolution: The effects of poverty and legal problems can be devastating to personal and professional relationships. Our volunteer Conflict Coaches are trained through Peacemakers Ministries, assisting clients to see the big picture and take action on those things they can control while letting go of the things they cannot.
Client Advocacy: After their legal appointment, clients can meet with a trained volunteer Client Advocate. These volunteers explore other needs that the client and their family may be facing (food, clothing, transportation, job training, emotional counseling), providing referrals to other area social service agencies based on geographical location. They also offer encouragement to our clients through prayer and scripture, connecting them to a local church where further healing can take place.
Free Legal Workshops: We believe that knowledge is the key to self-sufficiency. We host free workshops hosted by attorneys during which such topics as consumer debt, child custody, and immigration are discussed. Many attendees then schedule appointments to meet privately with an attorney about their specific situation.
Bi-Lingual Community Outreach: It is estimated that 75% of the poor who qualify for free legal assistance either aren’t aware that they are eligible for it, or don’t even know that such a service exists. That’s why we attend as many public awareness events, community fairs, and other types of outreach events to spread the word about Administer Justice. Booths are manned by bi-lingual attorneys and volunteers who can provide general information and encourage visitors to schedule appointments.