Prairie State Legal Services, Inc.

Rating: 3.71 stars   7 reviews

Issues: Crime & Law

Location: 303 N Main St Suite 600 Rockford IL 61101 USA

Mission: The mission of Prairie State Legal Services is “to provide or coordinate the delivery of high quality legal services to low-income individuals, families, and groups.”

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Community Reviews

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Rating: 1 stars  

They don't really help. Just a front for fat cat lawyers to suckup grant dollars $8,000,000.00 and pretend to help poor people! Useless.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

None

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Rating: 1 stars  

In Aurora, a Prairie State Legal attorney (Kathy Bettcher) has been in collusion with one of America's worst slumlords, the Aurora Housing Authority (AHA), to help a development scheme.

AHA has been forcing people to live in substandard housing for years and exploited the poor, needy and taxpayers. Instead of helping those victimized by AHA, Prairie State Legal has been colluding with them.

Michael O'Connor, the executive director, has hidden from any response or responsibility for these issues.

So, we have no other choice but to conclude that Prairie State Legal does not deserve it's IRS exemption or donors. There is a great need for legal services for the poor and needy, but pouring funds into Prairie State Legal is fueling an enemy of the public.

We urge anyone to NOT donate to Prairie State Legal, but we do urge the legal system as a whole to address the incredible costs and unaffordability of legal services.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

attorneys such as Kathy Bettcher have misused the tax-exempt status granted to this organization. IRS should revoke it.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Dissolve this organization

Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

I am an advocate through a private social work agency, FamilyCore, for single parents in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties. Often my clients are in need of legal representation due to divorce and custody issues, appeals for Social Security Disability or pending evictions. Most of those who utilize the single parent program are low income and cannot afford an attorney. Many have mental health issues and few have a stable support system. Prairie State Legal Services has provided expert legal aid to so many needy families who would not have received justice without their representation. I have been in court and watched as PSLS attorneys fought for the rights of parents seeking to keep their children safe from abusive paramours. I have seen the disabled gain Social Security benefits because the attorney fought for their rights under the law. Parents who would have been homeless were allowed to remain in their apartments because an attorney from Prairie State knew the statues and presented a powerful argument to the judge. These individuals could not have navigated the legal system without the advocacy of an attorney from PSLS. Our community is in their debt, for they provide justice to the needy and without justice for the needy, what kind of society would we become?

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

weekly advocacy for single parents in the Tri-County area.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

provide increased funding so they could represent more clients.

Rating: 4 stars  

Prairie State is an excellent legal services organization that is an invaluable part of many communities in Central Illinois. Without Prairie State, untold numbers of low-income people in Illinois would be unable to access critical legal services. Prairie State accomplishes a lot with very limited resources. Denise Conklin (and Lisa Wilson before her) and Sandy Crow and all of the staff at Prairie State in Peoria accomplish a tremendous amount of good. I have been involved in numerous initiatives with Prairie State over the last 5 years and can attest to the quality and value of their contributions. As a volunteer lawyer on pro bono cases for individuals, I can also say that Prairie State makes the volunteer experience so much easier than it would otherwise be.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Peoria

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase state funding for legal services. Yes, even in Illinois.

Rating: 5 stars  

Prairie State is the most significant legal aid providing organization in the Peoria area. The agency assesses the community need, and flexes to that need. More importantly, legal services are provided in a professional and compassionate way. Prairie State also works hard to remain creative in its provision of services, partnering with other community law firms, bar associations and companies to broaden the scope of services it can provide. They are active in helping community attorneys train or otherwise become familiar with the legal areas most applicable to their clients, further increasing the number of legal professionals who can assist. It is a pleasure to work with such a fine organization, with such a compelling missino.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the training I, and others in my organization received, the ability to partner with attorneys at Prairie State in the provision of legal services.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide them with a larger budget and staff to fully meet community needs.

Rating: 5 stars  

Prairie State Legal Services is one of the most effective, efficient and well-managed non-profit organizations in Central Illinois. They help provide legal assistance to many who cannot afford to help themselves. Time is the most valuable, non-renewable resource we own and I am proud to volunteer my time for this organization. By providing free legal services, they make a material difference in many people's lives everyday. I hope you consider donating your time or your money to this outstanding organization.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

getting thank you cards and phone calls from the people I represented through Prarie State. They are thankful that Prarie State cared enough for them to provide adequate legal representation for them free of charge.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give them more funding to hire more full-time attorneys or staff and expand their positive impact on Central Illinois.

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Our Lawfirm has provided pro bono services for Prairie State Legal Services for several years. The lawyers and staff that work for this organization are to be commended for thier tireless hours in providing a much needed service to those that cannot afford legal assistance. Lisa Wilson, the former managing attorney and now Associate Judge, and her predecessor, Denise Conklin, have the compassion and dedication that is needed to handle the sensitive needs and of their clients. Sandra Crow, the office coordinater, has the determination, organization and heart that keeps the wheels of this organization turning. The people who work for and administer this organization are great examples of for us all. Good job Prairie State ! The Law Office of Kirk Bode

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The gratitude of the people that receive the services

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing!

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