Legal Self-Help

The Circuit Clerk’s office and other court personnel can give procedural information but are prohibited by law from giving legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should seek the assistance of an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, listed below are some contacts for obtaining legal assistance, in addition to resources for locating an attorney.

22nd Circuit Self-Help Resources

McHenry County Law Library

Michael J. Sullivan Judicial Center – Room 344 
2200 N. Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, IL 60098
Hours: Open 8:00am – 4:00 pm (closed between 12-1:00pm), Monday – Friday

The McHenry County Law Library is open to any individual or attorney seeking legal information.  The Law Library maintains a section of printed materials, as well as online legal resources.  The law librarian cannot provide legal advice.  The Law Library is funded entirely by filing fees on most types of Civil cases. 

The Law Library has public/attorney computers which allow users access to Lexis Nexis, which has access to all Illinois and Federal law.  There is no cost to the user to access the computers.  In addition, users are able to access online court forms

McHenry County Legal Self-Help Center

Michael J. Sullivan Judicial Center – Room 368 
2200 N. Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, IL 60098
Hours: Open 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Monday – Friday 


Email: [email protected] 

The McHenry County Self-Represented Litigant Help Center is a collaboration between the 22nd Judicial Circuit and Prairie State Legal Aid. The staff at the Center cannot provide legal advice, but they will provide information which can assist you with your litigation.  Staff can provide procedural information about the legal process, public access to computers, access to online court forms & instructions, and online resources such as Illinois Legal Aid Online.  

22nd Circuit Divorce Self-Help Program (ERP)

Michael J. Sullivan Judicial Center – Room 344 
2200 N. Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, IL 60098

ERP Coordinator (815) 334-4166

The 22nd Circuit was one of the first in the state to offer an Early Resolution Program (ERP) for self-represented divorce litigants.  The ERP Coordinator works with local legal aid attorneys to assist self-represented litigants to narrow issues and aid in the completion of divorce paperwork during the ERP session.  This program is only for divorce cases with no children and must be uncontested.  ERP sessions are typically scheduled for one Thursday afternoon per month.  Both parties must agree to attend the session.  Parties are required to complete the paperwork which will be sent to them by the ERP Coordinator in advance of the ERP date and bring a check for the $60.00 transcript fee for the court reporter if the judge grants the judgment of dissolution.  For more information call the ERP Coordinator or visit the Law Library. 

Divorce Early Resolution Program Pamphlet

22nd Circuit Small Claims Mediation Program

Small Claims cases filed by self-represented litigants, and cases where self-represented litigants have appeared on both sides, shall (whenever feasible) be scheduled for the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month to be eligible for the 22nd Circuit Small Claims Mediation Program.  The summons return date shall be set for 9:15 a.m. on either the 2nd or 4th Wednesday of each month. The Court will arrange for a mediator to be available to the parties at those times.

McHenry County Public Defender (Criminal & Juvenile only)

Michael J. Sullivan Judicial Center – Room 142
2200 N. Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, IL 60098


The McHenry County Public Defender represents individuals charged with a criminal offense in McHenry County.  The representation begins only after the accused person requests the appointment of counsel by the Court, is shown to be indigent by filing an affidavit of assets and liabilities, and the Court in a written order directs that person to be represented by the Public Defender’s Office.  

Public Defenders represent clients (both adults and juveniles) in criminal cases in which you can be sentenced to jail or prison.  This includes all felonies and misdemeanors and some traffic matters.  The office also represents parents in abuse and neglect matters as well as individuals subject to involuntary commitment.  They do not handle criminal appeals or any type of civil (including orders of protection) matters.  

McHenry County Bar Association – Attorney Help Desk

Michael J. Sullivan Judicial Center – 2nd Floor Rotunda
2200 N. Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, IL 60098

(815) 338-9559

Email: [email protected]

The McHenry County Bar Association Attorney Help Desk has volunteer attorneys available on Monday mornings, from 9:30am to 11:30 am in the 2nd floor Rotunda (just off the elevator) of the Courthouse for free consultations. 

Legal Self Help 

Other Resources

Prairie State Legal Services (Civil Cases Only)

400 Russel Court
Woodstock, IL 60098

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. is a non-profit law firm that provides free civil legal aid to low-income persons and seniors who have important legal problems affecting their basic human needs.  Prairie State serves clients in 36 counties in northern and central Illinois, outside of Cook County, from 11 local offices. Prairie State’s Woodstock office is located across the street from the Judicial Center in Woodstock.   

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Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO)

Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) is an online resource that provides easy to understand legal information and assistance to the public and self-represented persons. ILAO delivers easy-to-understand legal information and assistance to those who cannot afford a lawyer.  ILAO’s Form Library provides over 70 apps that generate free legal papers for those seeking solutions to their legal problems. It also contains over 1,700 pages of legal content which is translated into both Spanish and Polish.

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Illinois State Bar Association Lawyer Finder

Illinois Lawyer Finder / Phone Referral Service
Call (800) 922-8757
Monday – Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Illinois Lawyer Finder allows you to search an online directory for lawyers in your area who practice in the field of law you need.  Use the Illinois Lawyer Finder Phone Referral Service to get a 30-minute consultation for no more than $25.


Illinois Court Help

Illinois Court Help is a free service provided by the Illinois Courts which can connect you to the information you need to go to court. Get specific answers to your questions about the court process, like how to file court documents. Get connected to legal aid and community resources to help you solve your problem. Visit to find more information. For statewide court information call or text (833) 411-1121 Illinois Court Help

Illinois Court Help

IL Free Legal Answers

Illinois Free Legal Answers is a secure website where those who meet income requirements can ask a lawyer for  help with a legal issue, including civil appeals.  Qualified users can post questions about civil (non-criminal) appeals and volunteer lawyers will logon to the site and answer questions.  Illinois Free Legal Answers is the only help desk in Illinois dedicated to civil appeals and is sponsored by the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI).


New Leaf Illinois

New Leaf Illinois is a statewide, state-funded initiative made up of 18 non-profit organizations throughout Illinois who provide free legal representation or legal information to people who want their cannabis convictions off their record.  


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Eviction Help Illinois

Free legal aid and mediation services for Illinois residents who are either renters facing potential eviction or landlords not represented by a lawyer are available at or by calling 855-631-0811 or texting eviction to 844-938-4280.  


Legal Self-Help Videos

Useful legal information can be found at Below are links to videos produced by Illinois Legal Aid Online to assist with some common questions from parties representing themselves in court.

Starting a Lawsuit

Filing an Appearance and Answer

Filing Court Papers for Free

Service of Process

Asking the Court to do Something

Missing a Court Date

Court Orders