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Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO)

Chicago, United States
Joined January 2021

At Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), we know that justice is scarcest for those who need it most. We simplify the law so all people, regardless of race, language, income or education, can get justice.

Presence in: United States
Focus: Generalist Legal Services

Justice is scarcest for those who need it most. At Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), we believe people can use the law to seek justice. We believe that, when empowered with knowledge and direction, people can be their own advocates. We design plain-language, 24/7 tools so families can understand and assert their legal rights. provides free, actionable tools in English, Spanish and Polish. Our tools address 600 issues that most impact lower-income families, such as job loss, eviction, domestic abuse, and debt.

ILAO’s other essential services include:

  • A triage, intake, and referral system that directs people to the best available resources, including forms, self-help guides, and lawyers. In FY20, nearly 10,000 people applied online for legal aid.
  • Interactive apps, similar to TurboTaxⓇ, that help people without lawyers create personalized, accurate court forms and legal papers, using a simple question-and-answer format. In FY20, clients customized over 18,000 documents.
  • A real-time, chat service where remote volunteers help people navigate LiveHelp use has increased 105% since May, helping 90 people/day.
  • Community navigators, who are grassroots leaders, educating their neighbors on legal rights. In 2020, ILAO has trained more than 30 community members, who have educated more than 6000 Illinoisans.

People Associated With This Organization

Teresa Ross

United States  
Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO)
Joined January 2021
Interests: Generalist Legal Services
I am a non-traditional lawyer with a background in design and user experience, and a love for evaluation and data analysis. For more than a decade, I have worked at Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), currently as its Executive Director. ILAO is a team of leaders with a wide variety of expertise. We seek out partnerships with forward-thinking organizations that seek to democratize justice, which is why we join this network - to learn from and share with partners who have common goals.
Teresa Ross is the network champion (main point of contact) for Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO).

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