The IEJF makes grants to provide legal advice and referral services in civil matters to Illinois residents via regional legal services hotlines.
A regional legal services hotline is an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization that:
- Provides callers with general information on how to use the legal system.
- Offers free legal advice and self-help materials to low-income callers.
- Refers low-income callers to appropriate civil legal services providers.
- Provides coordinated intake and referral services.
Use of Grant Funds
Grants will be made to support the operating expenses of regional legal services hotlines. These operating expenses include staff salaries and benefits, as well as other costs directly related to providing advice and referral services to callers.
In the Telephone Advice and Referral Services category, the IEJF will only consider applications from Illinois-based not-for-profit organizations that:
- Provide free legal advice and referral services to low-income persons.
- Serve Cook County or have a designated service area of at least 25 Illinois counties.
- Provide legal advice and referral services on one or more civil legal issues.
- Use licensed attorneys to provide legal services to callers.
The IEJF will not make grants to support the client screening and intake systems of individual legal services programs if they do not provide direct service in the form of legal advice, brief services and/or referral.
(see criteria listed in Overview Section as well)
Grant applications in the Telephone Advice and Referral Services category will be evaluated based on:
- Demonstrated need for the proposed services, as reflected in the number of eligible clients in the applicant’s service area; the volume of calls received; and current unmet demand.
- Efficient service delivery, which takes into consideration factors such as the relative costs of the applicant’s services; the use of volunteers; the availability of appropriate client self-help materials; and the use of technology to increase client access and streamline case-handling procedures.