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What Information Do You Need to Find?

"I need to get information on a legal topic. Where can I find quality legal information online?"
"Where can I find court forms for Cook County? Where should I look for legal forms?"
Court Procedure
"What happens when I get to court? How should I behave in court?"
"How can I go about researching my legal issue? How should I start? What are the best resources?"
State Laws
"I need information on the laws of other states? Is that information online for free?"
Find an Attorney
"I can't afford an attorney. Where can I go for legal help? I want to hire an attorney. How do I find someone?"
EBSCO Legal Information Reference Center

The Reference Center contains full-text publications (including NOLO Press titles) and general legal forms.


Note: This page offers free internet resources for the self-represented litigant. In addition to free web resources, the Cook County Law Library offers many excellent legal resources at the Main Library in the Daley Center and at the branch locations.

Topical Information

Illinois Legal Aid
A web-based resource for information about your legal rights and responsibilities. Search for articles and forms for all types of frequently encountered legal issues in over 25 areas of law. Includes informative articles, legal forms, and videos on legal topics. Online assistance is available.


WebWatch is a series of research guides covering many topics including:

  • Illinois State Resources
    Includes Illinois Constitutions, statutes, legislative history, judicial, and agency resources.
  • Family Law
    Resources for divorce, child support, domestic violence, and international issues.
  • Tax and Revenue
    Federal, states, and foreign country resources.
  • Litigation
    Expert witnesses, forms, evidence, jury instructions, jury verdicts, ADR, and more.
  • Bankruptcy
    Federal statutory, judicial, regulatory, and international resources.
  • Legal Topics
    Find information online for over 45 different topics.

Your Guide to the Law
Over 18 topics ranging from bankruptcy to wills. From the Chicago Bar Association.


Consumers' Guide to Legal Help: Illinois (ABA)
Links to lawyer referral services, free legal assistance and legal information. Links available for other states.


Practical Law (ABA)
Includes information on family law, autos, consumer law, real estate, workplace, and healthcare law.


Self Help Legal Center
Information packets cover child support, children, financial matters, court proceedings, divorce/separation, health & aging, how to serve, immigration, individual forms, mediation, property, protective orders and expungement. Some packets cannot be used in Cook County actions. Provided by the Southern Illinois University School of Law.


Legal Topics A-Z
Legal information arranged by topic. Includes useful charts and articles. From National Center for State Courts.


Cornell Legal Information Institute
Links to the sources of the law and Wex, a legal dictionary/encyclopedia.


See also EBSCO Legal Information Center.


Clerk of the Circuit Court Forms
Searchable and fillable Cook County Circuit Court forms.


WebWatch: Legal Topics
Select for Forms - Legal and Procedural for links to many types of forms.


EBSCO Legal Information Center
Written in plain English with accompanying administrative and litigation related forms.

Court Procedure

Going to Court
Information about court procedure and evidence. Provided by Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO).


How Courts Work
Topics include: Courts and Legal Procedure, Steps in a Trial, The Human Side of Being a Judge, and Mediation. From ABA Division of Public Education.


Resources for Self-Represented Litigants in Federal Court
Forms, guide, and instructions for filing case in federal court.

State Legal Information

WebWatch: Illinois Legal Resources
Illinois state legal information available on the internet.


Lists nonprofit legal aid providers in other states to help finding information related to housing, work, family, bankruptcy, disability, immigration and other topics.

How to Research Legal Issues

How to Research a Legal Problem: A Guide for Non-Lawyers   (Word version)

Legal Research Toolkits: State-specific information on how to conduct legal research.

Making Sure You Have the Most Current Information
Above resources provided by the Legal Information Service to the Public Special Interest Section, American Association of Law Libraries (AALL).


How to Do Legal Research: Basics
Topics covered include Overview: What are you looking for; How to start; Case law; Statutory law; Administrative law; Secondary sources; Updating case law. A tutorial on legal research from the Cornell Law Library.


Finding Illinois Law: A Librarian's Guide for Non-Lawyers
Chapters on how to read a legal citation, basic legal research techniques, and a glossary of legal terms with emphasis on Illinois law. From the Chicago Association of Law Libraries (CALL).


Nolo's Free Dictionary of Law Terms and Legal Definitions

Attorneys: Help Desks, Legal Assistance Providers, and Referral Services

Free/Low-cost Legal Services for Domestic Relations in Cook County
Lists names of agencies, types of cases handled, intake procedure and income guidelines. Check with individual agencies for latest information.


Where to Go for Legal Assistance in Chicago
A listing of attorney-referral and free or low-cost legal services in the Chicago area. Provided by the Chicago Bar Association.


Legal Assistance Providers
Selection of links to legal aid providers in Chicago, suburban and downstate areas compiled by the Illinois Attorney General's office.


Legal Self Help Centers
Legal self-help center staff can help you find useful information on your legal problem, but cannot provide legal advice. Links to agencies in counties outside of Cook.


The Markham Branch offers a Self-Help Web Center with computers for online access to helpful resources available on Illinois Legal Aid Online and a hotline phone to Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Services (CARPLS), the free legal aid telephone service. On Tuesdays and Fridays only, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (noon) volunteer legal aid attorneys will staff the center.


If you believe you need the professional legal assistance of an attorney and want to hire an attorney, there are services to help you find legal representation. The following is a selected list of bar association lawyer referral services. The bar association will match the caller with an attorney working in caller's particular area of interest. Generally, the initial meeting involves a minimal cost to cover the administrative costs of the referral service. Before the meeting, check with the lawyer is there is any fee for their time/service. During or after your initial consultation, the lawyer will discuss the legal fees required to handle your matter. The services are generally no obligation on your part or the lawyer to go beyond the first initial telephone contact or meeting.

Chicago Bar Association   (312) 554-2001
Cook County Bar Association   (312) 630-1157
Illinois State Bar Association    (800) 922-8757
North Suburban Bar Association    (847) 564-4800
Northwest Suburban Bar Association    (847) 290-8070
South Suburban Bar Association    (708) 239-8500
Southwest Bar Association of Chicago    (708) 371-4930
West Suburban Bar Association    (708) 366-1122
Women's Bar Association of Illinois    (312) 341-8532


The following sites are searchable directories of attorneys:

Find a Lawyer

Martindale Hubbell Lawyer Locator

Best Law Firms
Search for law firms by location and practice area. Provided by U.S. News & World Report and American Lawyer.


Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission
The official source for checking on the registration and disciplinary background of attorneys licensed to practice in Illinois.


Disclaimer:  The Cook County Law Library website is purely a public resource of general information which is not intended to be used as a source of legal advice. The web sites listed in these guides are for information only and are not endorsed or supported by the Cook County Law Library. Please independently verify the accuracy and currency of all information. Consult an attorney for legal advice. While the Cook County Law Library strives to make the information contained in this website current and complete, this information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship, should not be relied upon, and is not a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state.

Agency Contact Information Portlet  
Contact Information
Contact Information

Bureau Name:

Administration, Bureau of

Main Office:

50 W. Washington St. Room 2900
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Telephone: (312) 603-5423
Fax: (312) 603-4716

Montell Davenport, Executive Law Librarian


M-F: 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Open Sat: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. for attorneys presenting a current ARDC card and current photo ID, and for litigants presenting official court papers stamped within a year and current photo ID.

Sun: Closed

See below for branch locations and hours of operation.

Bridgeview Branch:
10220 S. 76th Avenue 
Bridgeview, IL 60455

Telephone: (708) 974-6201

Hours: M-F: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat-Sun: Closed

Criminal Court Branch:
2650 S. California Avenue 
Chicago, IL 60608

Telephone: (773) 674-5039

Hours: M-F: 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sat-Sun: Closed

Markham Branch:
16501 S. Kedzie Parkway 
Markham, IL 60426

Telephone: (708) 232-4125

Hours: M-F: 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Sat-Sun: Closed

Maywood Branch:
1500 Maybrook Drive 
Maywood, IL 60153

Telephone: (708) 865-6020

Hours: M-F: 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Sat-Sun: Closed

Skokie Branch:
5600 Old Orchard Road 
Skokie, IL 60077

Telephone: (847) 470-7298

Hours: M-F: 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Sat-Sun: Closed