Prairie State Legal Services

About Prairie State Legal Services

Who We Are

Prairie State Legal Services is a leading provider of civil legal services in the Midwest. We provide excellent opportunities for students to perform meaningful work and gain valuable experience while addressing the problems of the poor, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.

What is Prairie State Legal Services?

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. is a not-for-profit law firm that provides civil legal services at no fee to the poor, elderly, and people with disabilities. Prairie State has 12 offices serving 36 counties in northern and central Illinois. The offices are staffed by full-time attorneys, many with well over ten years of legal experience and some with more than 25 years of experience.

Prairie State focuses on helping clients who have legal problems that affect their basic human needs—like housing, basic income, and safety. Some typical cases for us include preventing eviction or mortgage foreclosure, helping survivors of domestic violence get orders of protection to help ensure their safety, and helping persons with disabilities get public benefits like medical assistance and Supplemental Security Income.

Who does Prairie State Legal Services help?

Prairie State focuses on providing legal services to the most vulnerable groups in our society, including the poor, people with disabilities, and people age 60 and over. We screen clients to ensure that they are eligible for services and that their problems fall within Prairie State’s case priorities targeting basic human needs.

In the past year Prairie State has helped over 16,000 clients, benefiting 30,000+ adults and children with issues such as family law, housing, protection from abuse and exploitation, and protection of social service benefits among many others.

Why intern for Prairie State?

Prairie State provides substantive, hands on internships to law students, paralegal students, and undergraduates.

You can help bridge the gap between funding and need. Each year Prairie State Legal Services is forced to turn down thousands of requests for legal assistance from the most vulnerable members of our community because our paid staff cannot meet the demand. With current funding, Prairie State Legal Services can only help 1 out of every 25 people in need. As a Prairie State intern, you can help bridge the justice gap and change lives.

You can invest in your community. Every hour spent doing legal aid work benefits many. Legal aid enables low income people to work towards self sufficiency, which helps reduce the costs to our economy, legal system, and communities.

Contact us at an Office Location near you for more information about internship opportunities with Prairie State Legal Services.


Outreach Fellow

July 2019 Joliet, IL
“Lovely team, lovely mission! ”

Law Intern

May 2019 - August 2019 Galesburg, IL
“I loved the small atmosphere of Prairie State and how I was exposed to such a variety of law. As an undergrad, this was especially useful in narrowing down my interests. I worked closely with my supervising attorney, and since the office is small, I received an amount of individualized attention I don't think would have been possible at a larger firm.”
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