FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lisa Colpoys, Executive Director
Illinois Legal Aid Online
Illinois Legal Aid Online’s LiveHelp service puts the law within reach for Illinois residents
For Illinois’ most vulnerable residents, finding answers to legal questions has never been easier thanks to Illinois Legal Aid Online and its nationally recognized LiveHelp chat service. Website visitors seeking legal help on IllinoisLegalAid.org and AyudaLegalIL.org can ‘click to chat’ to reach a live person trained to guide them through a rich, online library of resources to resolve their civil legal problems. Staffed by volunteers from nearly every law school in the state, Illinois Legal Aid Online’s LiveHelp program is changing the face of justice in Illinois, one chat at a time.
Launched in October 2009, LiveHelp leverages technology and service-minded law students to respond to the growing gap between available services and need for legal aid in Illinois. Illinois Legal Aid Online’s recent launch of AyudaLegalIL.org, a mirrored version of the award-winning IllinoisLegalAid.org, expanded LiveHelp’s reach to include Illinois’ growing Hispanic populations. Engaged to address the growing demand for access to legal information among Spanish-speaking communities of Illinois, bilingual LiveHelp operators are now available to help visitors navigate through Spanish-language legal resources and information on www.AyudaLegalIl.org.
LiveHelp’s continued success is due in large part to the skilled volunteers who hail from 8 Illinois law schools. Susan Curry, Director of Public Interest Law and Policy at University of Chicago Law School is a supporter of the program. “LiveHelp is not only a lifeline for those with few resources who find themselves trying to navigate uncharted legal waters,” says Curry, “but also a great opportunity for law students to gain valuable public service experience.”
A nationally recognized leader in using technology to deliver legal services, Illinois Legal Aid Online responds to more users in need of legal help in absolute numbers than any other legal aid organization in the state. In fact, LiveHelp volunteers engage in more chats in a single week than similar programs in other states receive in an entire month.
The LiveHelp program continues to grow each year thanks to core funding from the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, and volunteers who have collectively donated over 8,000 hours to staff the service. In 2012, Illinois Legal Aid Online’s LiveHelp program was honored with the Connector Hero award by the customer engagement software company, LivePerson. The national award recognizes an organization that uses the chat service in the spirit of altruism to provide easier access to assistance for all their constituents.
With the total number of daily chats at 84 and growing, over 20,000 people this year will gain access to free resources for successfully resolving their legal problems thanks to the LiveHelp program. In a state where the legal needs of less than 2 in 10 lower income residents are met, the guidance from LiveHelp operators has become essential to providing access to justice for all.
About Illinois Legal Aid Online
Illinois Legal Aid Online is a nationally-recognized, groundbreaking statewide technology center for legal services. Since 2001, ILAO has put the law within reach for millions of lower-income, disabled, and vulnerable Illinois residents by developing technology and information to increase access to justice. For more information, please visit www.IllinoisLegalAidOnline.org.
Illinois Legal Aid Online | More news from this organization