The Illinois Access to Civil Justice Council unanimously approved grants to the below 10 non-profit organizations on June 11, 2020, totaling $1,007,009.

Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Service (CARPLS) $313,009


To operate a statewide telephone hotline that serves as the primary entry point for the IL-AFLAN. The hotline provides advice, brief services, and referrals to thousands of qualifying active duty military personnel, veterans, reservists, and members of the national guard.

Prairie State Legal Services $160,000

Bloomington, Galesburg, Joliet, Kankakee, McHenry, Ottawa, Peoria, Rockford, Rock Island, St. Charles, Waukegan, and Wheaton

To fund general legal aid services for hundreds of people in Northern and Central Illinois via a designated project point person and portions of several staff attorney salaries spread across PSLS’ offices. Services include cooperation with the Lovell VA Health Care Center and making and taking referrals from the hotline across PSLS’ service area.

Land of Lincoln Legal Aid $150,000

Alton, Champaign, East St. Louis, Carbondale, and Springfield

To fund two medical legal partnerships (MLPs) with the VA Illiana Health Care System via Land of Lincoln’s Champaign office, and with the Marion VA via the Carbondale office. Additionally, a staff attorney will be located in the Metro-East area to coordinate with Scott Air Force Base. Land of Lincoln will also provide services to hundreds of people and will make and take referrals from the hotline across Land of Lincoln’s service area.

Legal Aid Chicago $149,000

Cook County

To support the work of LAF’s Veterans Rights Project, which provides legal assistance in the areas of housing, financial stability/benefits, health and safety, and medical and service record assistance. LAF will also hold medical records clinics and will make and take hotline referrals.

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) $75,000

Cook County

To operate a general practice pro bono program that will accept and place cases with over 100 trained and supervised pro bono attorneys. CVLS will make and take referrals to the hotline.

Center for Disability and Elder Law (CDEL) $35,000

Cook County

To support CDEL’s medical-legal partnership (MLP), which has been in operation at the Jesse Brown VA since 2015 and to expand those efforts to Hines VA. CDEL will make and take hotline referrals. Services focus on disability and elder law services, including adult guardianships, estate planning, housing, and more.

Public Interest Law Initiative $35,000

Central and Southern Illinois

To provide legal services in Southern and Central Illinois using a network of pro bono attorneys recruited from PILI’s judicial circuit pro bono panels, conflict panels, and help desks. A full time project coordinator is the point person and PILI will accept cases across the civil legal needs spectrum. PILI will also make and take referrals from the hotline.

Southern Illinois University School of Law Veterans Legal Assistance Program $35,000

Perry, Franklin, Hamilton, White, Jackson, Williamson, Saline, Gallatin, Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin, Alexander, Pulaski, Massac Counties

To provide discharge upgrades and VA benefits appeals services as well as some family and consumer cases when Land of Lincoln has a conflict. SIU will make and take hotline referrals.

UIC John Marshall Law School Veterans Legal Support Center and Clinic $35,000

Cook County

To provide discharge upgrades and VA benefits appeals services. John Marshall will make and take hotline referrals, and will build on their Urban-Rural partnership with SIU Law.

Loyola University of Chicago School of Law Veterans Legal Clinic $20,000

Cook County

To operate a Veterans Legal Clinic, housed within the Community Law Center. The Clinic provides general legal aid services and partners with the School of Social Work to bring social services referrals and services to veterans with legal needs. The clinic will make and take hotline referrals.