New Self-Help Web Center to be Launched at Markham Courthouse

Launch of a new self-help web center for people who need assistance in the Sixth Municipal District Courthouse in Markham.

Scheduled Attendees to Include:

  • Honorable Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County
  • Honorable Marjorie C. Laws, Presiding Judge, Sixth Municipal District
  • David Moses, Chief Deputy Clerk, Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Office
  • Dawn Porter, President, South Suburban Bar Association
  • Kendra Reinshagen, Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services
  • Montel Davenport, Acting Executive Law Clerk, Cook County Law Library

The Self-Help Web Center will serve as a central starting point for people without lawyers to get assistance by receiving brief legal information on simpler civil legal problems and additional court- and community-based legal resources and referrals in more complex legal matters. The Sixth Municipal District Self-Help Web Center will be staffed by Legal Aid Society attorneys on Monday and Friday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon.

Monday, January 23, 2012
10 a.m.

Markham Courthouse, 16501 South Kedzie Parkway, Markham, IL

A recent report found that more than 600,000 people have a need for legal aid services each year in Cook County with only 300 full-time staff attorneys to meet this need; this leaves many thousands of people without access to legal representation. Consequently, the Circuit Court of Cook County has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of low-income and vulnerable people coming to court on their own because they have nowhere else to turn.

The most basic of human needs—like caring and providing for children, protecting personal safety and securing housing—are put in serious jeopardy when people cannot move past their legal problems. Yet tens of thousands of people find themselves attempting to resolve complex issues in a court system designed for highly trained attorneys—not the average citizen—to navigate. Most people without lawyers, despite their best intentions and commitment, have huge challenges in handling their own cases and need help to successfully navigate the justice system.

Central legal self-help centers—like the new Sixth Municipal District Self-Help Web Center—serve as a starting place for people who come to court on their own and as a hub for the various legal information and advice resources in each of the major civil court locations. The Sixth Municipal District Self-Help Web Center will provide litigants with current information on Illinois law and court procedure, court forms, automated court documents, instructional videos and referrals to other court- and community-based legal advice resources to help make their court experience less intimidating and frustrating.

The Sixth Municipal District Self-Help Web Center is the result of a collaborative effort among the Circuit Court of Cook County, Cook County Law Library, Circuit Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, South Suburban Bar Association, Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services, the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, Cabrini Green Legal Assistance, Illinois Legal Aid Online, Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice and the Chicago Bar Foundation. Presiding Judge Marjorie Laws chaired the Markham Self-Help Center Planning Committee.

The online resources available at Sixth Municipal District Self-Help Web Center are now also available online to anyone with internet access at The underlying website has been developed and is maintained by Illinois Legal Aid Online, an Illinois non-profit organization.