Free legal help is something many people need in these tough economic times, but if you try to represent yourself, it can be a frustrating task. The legal system can be intimidating to the novice, so changes have been made recently to help those without the means to hire a lawyer.
The Illinois Supreme Court recently marked the 1 year anniversary of the Access to Justice commission. The goal, as indicated in its name, is to make justice more accessible to all. Last month, the commission held listening conferences throughout the five judicial appellate circuits and offered solutions, according to Land of Lincoln Attorney Joan Spiegel.
Another change was to make available a certified interpreter to defendants, as a growing number of the poor finding themselves in court do not speak English fluently, if at all. Spiegel also reminds there are about 150 lawyers in Madison County that provide hundreds of hours of free help each year.