Deadline for comments is May 31

The Grant Committee of the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation (IEJF) has released a draft of its fiscal year 2014 grant criteria for public comment. The IEJF distributes funds allocated by the Illinois General Assembly to non-profit organizations that provide civil legal aid to low-income families, seniors and veterans throughout the state.

According to the guidelines set by the Illinois Equal Justice Act (30 ILCS 765/) passed in 1999, the IEJF makes grants in five categories: legal information for the public; self-help legal assistance projects; mediation; telephone advice and referral services; and civil legal assistance. The only changes recommended by the Grant Committee involve report and other deadline dates.

The Board of Directors welcomes written comments and suggestions from the public. The draft guidelines are attached as well as available online at Comments are due by May 31, 2013. Guidelines will be finalized and posted by June 30 in advance of the August 15, 2013 application deadline. Grant decisions will be made in December 2013 though the grant year is September 1, 2013 – August 31, 2014.

Comments must be submitted in writing to Leslie Corbett, Executive Director, Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, 180 N. Stetson, Suite 820, Chicago, IL 60601 or to by May 31, 2012. Ms. Corbett can be reached at 312-938-2381.

The state appropriation for these vital legal aid services currently stands at $1.4 million, a 20% reduction from the 2012 fiscal year funding level and a 70% reduction from its 2009 funding level. The state budget will not be finalized until May 31, 2013. Grant awards are dependent on receiving timely payment from the state.

For a list of past grant awards or for more information on the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, please see For information on efforts to maintain the state appropriation for civil legal aid, please see

PDF: Memo – Draft Grant Criteria Available for Public Comment