LAF provides high-quality civil legal services to low-income and disadvantaged people and communities throughout Cook County.
At LAF we work together to provide high-quality civil legal services to low-income and disadvantaged people and communities. Through advocacy, education, collaboration and litigation we empower individuals, protect fundamental rights, strengthen communities, create opportunities and achieve justice.
In carrying out our mission we treat all people with compassion and respect.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The American legal system is complex for anyone. But for someone who is living in poverty and unable to hire an attorney, our legal system is downright intimidating. For over 40 years, LAF has provided people living in poverty in metropolitan Chicago with free professional legal services. Each year, LAF makes equal justice a reality, impacting the lives of about 55,000 of the most vulnerable members of our community.
Each issue is unique, and each of LAF’s 80 full-time attorneys and staff gives their clients individualized attention. Their work results in such successes as the gaining custody of a child, obtaining an order of protection against an abusive spouse, preventing an unfair eviction, or getting justice for a victim of consumer fraud. LAF’s work starts by making the legal system accessible to clients and concludes with a resolution that changes their lives and gets them back on track.
LAF’s work is more important than ever. The number of people living in poverty in Cook County has increased by half a million people. In a single year, LAF helped over 1,600 families whose homes were in foreclosure. In that same year, LAF kept 6,400 people from homelessness by preventing unfair evictions or saving subsidized housing vouchers. Furthermore, 60 percent of LAF’s clients are women, many of them raising children on their own.
Today, governmental budget cuts are a financial reality. But LAF’s services have never been more needed. So LAF relies on private donations to fulfill its mission.