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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

CARPLS

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Crime & Law, Legal Services

Mission: Using innovation and technology, CARPLS' experienced attorneys level the legal playing field, promote a more effective justice system and give clients powerful tools to solve problems and overcome life's challenges.

Results: We serve more than 50,000 people annually. Since our launch in 1993, we have provided more than 800,000 free legal consultations to low- and moderate-income individuals in Cook County. We manage 25 per cent of all legal aid cases in Cook County at a cost of only $32 per consultation.

Target demographics: Low- and moderate-income individuals and families find access to justice

Direct beneficiaries per year: 50,000+

Geographic areas served: Cook County, Illinois

Programs: Our free legal aid hotline and four court-based advice desks.

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer attorney, I have never felt more rewarded than when I successfully empower one of our clients with critical legal knowledge about their specific situation. CARPLS serves an absolutely critical need in the Chicago community by providing legal guidance or referrals to those most at need. The fact that CARPLS is able to efficiently achieve its mission with technology and a cadre of dedicated personnel reflect the nonprofits commitment to the community and pioneering spirit to do good. For me personally, helping the underserved navigate the complexities of the law represents the legal profession's critical and traditional role in society. CARPLS continues that legal tradition in the 21st century.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CARPLS is a tremendous resource to the Chicago community. It offers people who cannot afford legal services the much needed access to those while at the same time it offers attorneys the opportunity to explore alternative areas of law. That's a veritable win win!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CARPLS is unique in its model and effectiveness. I am so proud to have volunteered with this agency. Only wish there were more hours in the day to volunteer!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first started working for CARPLS back in 2011 when I was a summer intern. Through my internship, I was able to witness the true passion all of the attorneys had for helping those in need have access to the justice system. Once I graduated from law school in 2016, I started volunteering for CARPLS as a hotline attorney twice a month. Again, the passion of the volunteers and staff is unparalleled and the organization is truly helping lower income individuals receive the legal advice they need and deserve.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with CARPLS and am so proud to be part of the organization. I am frequently touched by the gratitude of the clients we serve, and know that it is a wonderful gateway into the legal system for those who may otherwise feel excluded. It's coordination with the other legal aids in the city of Chicago is imperative.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a board member of CARPLS on an off since the 1990s. It is a remarkable and innovative organization that leverages technological advances to provide legal services to the most vulnerable and needy in our community. During a time in which budget pressures have caused state and local governments to cut back legal aid funding, CARPLS has managed to expand the services it provides by doing things more effectively and efficiently. At CARPLS, 100 cents on the dollar go directly to providing services to those below the poverty line. CARPLS provides a valuable service to the needy in the Chicagoland community, and therefore to all of us.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a CARPLS board member for several years. The organization's best aspects: 1) they offer access to legal services in 12 or 13 legal areas useful to the working poor of Cook County; 2) they are very cost-effective from the standpoint of expenses per client service; 3) the staff is excellent - continuing to innovate with technology, client service offerings, access channels, donor value propositions.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

CARPLS fills a very important need in Cook County. People often have legal questions -- like what rights they have in a landlord/tenant dispute, or how family law issues work -- but don't know where to turn for help. CARPLS attorneys speak directly with clients to provide them with legal advice. It's a great model, and a great organization!

2 David375

Board Member

Rating: 5

Wonderful Organization - dedicated staff that does great work!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Without CARPLS, the legal system in Chicago would grind to a halt. CARPLS is an extremely efficient and effective organization that helps thousands of people in need get necessary and valuable legal aid. As a donor, I am honored to support this excellent organization.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

CARPLS is great at providing access to justice and streamlining the legal services delivery system process.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

CARPLS helps everyday people, who want legal advice but can't afford a lawyer, solve legal problems with advice from a lawyer. No other organization provides meaningful access to justice as effectively as CARPLS.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to this quality organization for years because they provide an enormous amount of assistance to the most needy in Cook County on a limited budget

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer and associate board member, I see first-hand the profound impact CARPLS has on under-served communities. The need for legal aid has never been greater, and CARPLS helps fill that void unlike any other legal service provider around. By assisting our most vulnerable through their own crises - eviction, wage garnishment, employment termination, the denial of Social Security benefits, among many others - CARPLS changes lives for the better on a daily basis.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have served as an attorney volunteer and as a member of the Associate Board and Board of Directors. CARPLS is an excellent organization with committed, professional attorneys and staff. Since its inception, CARPLS has been innovative in providing legal service to low-income residents of Cook County. Going to court is intimidating and confusing - even for experienced lawyers - but CARPLS staff attorneys provide clear, step by step guidance to its clients, whether its over the telephone or at its court help desks. CARPLS has a vision for its future and deep bench of staff, donors, advisors, and board members who will make it happen.

Ashlee5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a supervising attorney, I am proud to be on the staff of CARPLS. We are an amazing organization that provides immediate help to clients up to 350% of the federal poverty level in any area of law.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CARPLS is the perfect organization for volunteers who want to give back and see the results right away. Clients calling CARPLS are pro se, and the CARPLS advice helps them understand how to get through the court process. Volunteers are particularly trained in the "big ticket" areas of law: so even if the client's call is beyond the volunteer's usual practice area, the volunteer is still well-equipped to give advice and answer questions. Plus, staff attorneys are extremely experienced and are always available for assistance. The work will never follow you out of the office because all of the clients are pro se.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CARPLS has lawyers ready to answer your questions and give you the help you need. Whether on the hotline or at one of the court based help desks, CARPLS staff can address legal problems including landlord tenant disputes, family matters, collections, employment, contract disputes and so on. To those who qualify, the help is free and informative. Let CARPLS help you, like they've helped so many other Cook County residents and call the hotline: 312-738-9200.

Advisor

Rating: 5

CARPLS is a great non-profit because its volunteers and staff attorneys do so much ... for so many ... with so little!

I was on the CARPLS board of directors for eight years. Even though I rolled off the board years ago, I continue to support the organization because it efficiently and effectively uses technology, volunteers and staff lawyers to help thousands of low-income people navigate a legal system that can be intimidating and overwhelming. Although CARPLS provides free legal services to more low-income people than any other legal services provider in the Chicago area, it is not just about the number of people CARPLS reaches. It's how the combination of expertise, human touch and ease of use provide dignity and hope to individuals in need.