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Russell Knight

Russell D. Knight has been practicing family law as a Chicago divorce lawyer since 2006. Russell D. Knight amicably resolves tough cases while remaining a strong advocate for his client’s interests.

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Pro Bono Divorce Lawyers Chicago

Free divorce lawyer chicago

Divorce is expensive.  Divorce with children is even more expensive.  Divorce lawyers in Chicago, Illinois can charge over $400 an hour and ask for $ 5000 retainers.  This is far outside the means of many Chicago residents.  Yet, lower income Chicago residents still need to get a divorce and resolve their family law issues.  There are many reduced-fee and no-fee divorce attorneys in Chicago, Illinois who describe this billing system by the latin term “pro bono” which means “for good.”  So, who are the Pro Bono Divorce Lawyers in Chicago?

Many of the pro bono divorce lawyers in Chicago are volunteers who work through the below organizations to provide pro bono free or sliding scale services. These organizations screen potential pro bono applicants to find the pro bono divorce lawyer that is the best fit for that client.  This screening system ensures that the right people get the right help.

Failure to get a divorce lawyer will require you to represent yourself and have all the responsibilities of a lawyer. The court will not help you out in your divorce case. “Trial courts are not the research assistants of the litigants; the parties have a duty to fully present their legal arguments to the court for its resolution of their dispute.” Walters v. Nadell, 481 Mich. 377, 388, 751 N.W.2d 431, 437 (2008). 


Ascend Justice (Formerly Known As The Domestic Violence Legal Clinic.  They primarily handle domestic violence cases)
555 W. Harrison St.
Suite 1900
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-325-9155

Apna Ghar
4350 N Broadway, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60613
Uptown Office: (773) 883-4663

Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic
740 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642
Phone: 312-738-2452

Center for Disability and Elder Law
79 W. Monroe Street
Suite 919
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312-376-1880

Centro Romero
6216 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60660
Phone: 773-508-5300

Greater Chicago Legal Clinic (they do domestic violence but not divorce cases pro bono. They handle divorces on a sliding-scale basis)
2938 E. 91st St.
Chicago, IL 60617
Phone: 773-731-1762

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
100 N. LaSalle St.
Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-332-1624

Coordinated Advice & Referral Program for Legal Services (CARPLS)
17 N. State St.
Suite 1850
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-738-9200

Legal Aid Bureau of Metropolitan Family Services
One North Dearborn
Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-986-4200

Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago
111 W. Jackson Blvd.
Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312-341-1070

Life Span Center for Legal Services and Advocacy
20 E. Jackson Blvd.
Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312-408-1210

If you only need child support and nothing else, the Cook County State’s Attorney can help you with that matter. The Cook County State’s Attorney will help establish and collect child support but they will not assist in an underlying divorce including any alimony, property division or any parenting/custody issues.

Cook County State’s Attorney
28 N Clark
Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-345-2200

In addition, there are many divorce attorneys in Chicago who help people on a limited-scope basis.  A limited-scope appearance is a divorce lawyer entering into a contract with you saying “I’m only going to represent you for X not the entire case.”  This usually means the lawyer represents the client for one court hearing or to negotiate and draft one document like a marital settlement agreement of an allocation of parenting time and parenting responsibilities.

Limited scope appearances seem to work well for some divorce attorneys and their clients but I, personally, am not a fan of limited scope appearances in family law. The reasons for which I explain here.

If you’re in dire need of a family law or divorce lawyer in Chicago, Illinois but cannot afford a big retainer, please contact the above agencies.  If you do not qualify for one of these agencies you are welcome to contact my office to discuss your options with an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer.  While I am not a pro bono divorce lawyer, my rates are fair and reasonable. Additionally, I have accommodated people with payment plans after we’ve established a relationship of mutual trust and respect.

Additionally, your spouse may be responsible for your attorneys fees which would only require you to supply a private Chicago divorce lawyer with the initial retainer which may be reimbursed after an order for attorneys fees is later entered.  This is an option that I am eager to discuss with potential divorce clients.