Apply for help
LCA offers pro bono legal help to financially eligible applicants with arts-related legal matters in all disciplines of the literary, performing and visual arts and in many, but not all, areas of law. To learn more about our work and the types of legal matters we handle, please click on Legal Services. We do not, for example, handle family law (i.e., divorce) or criminal law matters. You may be able to find assistance in those areas of the law through Illinois Legal Aid Online, the Chicago Bar Association or the Illinois State Bar Association.
Applying for legal assistance through LCA begins with the Application below. Please fill out the Application completely and accurately, so that we can promptly assist you.
Client Policies and Procedures
By submitting an Application for legal services, you are acknowledging that you and any additional members of your group or business have read our Client Policies and Referral Procedures, and that you understand and agree with the terms.
There is a non-refundable $25 processing fee for individual applicants. The fee is $75 for corporations, established entities or groups of two or more persons. No fees will be due until your application has been reviewed by LCA staff, the intake process is complete, and we have determined that you are qualified under LCA guidelines. Once we have reviewed your Application, we will contact you to discuss your legal issues and advise you of the process for payment of the applicable fee.
Limiting the Scope of your Request
In our experience, attorneys are more likely to volunteer for a matter that has a specific, limited scope. Since our goal is to facilitate the placement of your matter with a volunteer who will provide free legal services, we recommend focusing on the legal issue that you consider your highest priority.
We are not able to provide emergency legal service, because we are not a law firm and do not have staff available to meet pressing demands. We cannot undertake to prioritize time-sensitive matters above other matters, nor can we undertake to research the pendency of time deadlines, such as statutes of limitations, court deadlines, and the like. If you feel your matter requires a quick response from LCA, by all means tell us that. But, you should also independently seek assistance from other sources who may be able to respond more quickly. You may be able to find assistance for time-sensitive matters through Illinois Legal Aid Online, the Chicago Bar Association, or the Illinois State Bar Association.
Outside of Illinois
We are located in downtown Chicago and the majority of our volunteers are licensed in Illinois. If your legal needs do not involve parties or legal issues in Illinois, we recommend searching for counsel using our Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts List to find a VLA organization in your home state.
IMPORTANT FINAL STEPS
Finally, after you submit the application, we will be reaching out to you, by phone, for the purpose of completing the intake process. We understand how annoying it can be to answer the phone to robo-callers; but, the easier it is for us to reach you, the sooner we will be able to submit your request to our panel of volunteer attorneys. Please try to answer the phone if at all possible, until the intake process is complete.
Note Regarding Changes
A lot of time and energy goes into processing a request for legal help. It involves LCA staff, volunteer attorneys and often times a pro bono coordinator, please let us know if at any time your situation has changed and you no longer need legal help or if the nature of the help that you need has changed. If you have a different legal issue, we may need a new application.