The ICADV Virtual Legal Clinic

The Virtual Legal Clinic (VLC) began as a partnership with the former Lt. Governor of Illinois, Sheila Simon, in 2011.  It is now a project coordinated by the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence through over 25 of its member agencies throughout the state of Illinois.

Free Consultations

It is the only project of its kind in Illinois and possibly the nation.  The VLC provides domestic violence survivors with free, confidential, face-to-face consultations with attorneys via online technologies.  Victims set up appointments through their local domestic violence agency and connect from a computer in a private room set aside by the agency. The attorney connects from his or her office anywhere in the state to provide legal advice on a limited-scope basis for approximately one-hour. It’s safe, it’s easy, and it’s empowering.

woman in shadow tossing hand through her hair [How do I sign up for this kind of help?]

How do I sign up for this kind of help?

Contact your local domestic violence program to find out if they are participating in the VLC and whether or not you are eligible.

man working at laptop [How do I volunteer to help?]

How do I volunteer to help?

Are you a lawyer interested in providing these pro bono consultations to victims? Learn more by visiting our VLC site!

What is the VLC?

Victims receiving services through these participating ICADV member agencies could be eligible to receive a VLC consultation about their legal rights.

Common topics covered in these consultations include:

  • What’s a legal separation?
  • How long do I have to live apart from my spouse before I can get a divorce?
  • Even if my marriage was short, am I entitled to anything?
  • What does joint custody mean?
  • What does “best interests of the child” mean in my custody case?
  • Can my abuser be forced to pay child support?
  • How will the abuse I suffered affect my custody case?
  • What happens if I have a joint bank account with my abuser?
  • Will I be responsible for my abuser’s debt?
  • How do I gain control of my financial life?
  • Can my employer fire me because I am a domestic violence survivor?
  • Can my landlord evict me for calling the police?
  • Can my abuser get me kicked out of the country?
  • How do I protect my mother who was threatened by my abuser?