The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission), and the Access to Justice Division of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) have launched the application process for a grant initiative and are extending invitations to join their network of court personnel who assist self-represented litigants (SRLs) and advance access to justice. The application process for the grant is open now through June 26, 2023.
The grant program, called Access to Justice Improvement Grants, asks courts to think about what their locality needs to help advance access to justice and encourages them to submit a proposal for funds to help achieve that goal. Over the past six years, grant funds have been used to develop a range of innovative projects from repurposing courthouse space for self-help centers and improving signage materials to creating early resolution programs that resolve divorce cases more quickly or partnering with legal aid agencies for courthouse-based help desks.
The Request for Proposals are available here.
Even if a grant is not awarded or requested, a designated staff member may participate in the Court Navigator Network (Network) which will include grant recipients and Illinois JusticeCorps members. Network members serve as a bridge, linking their courthouses with others throughout the state to share ideas, develop new resources, and establish programs for assisting SRLs. See the ATJ Improvement Grant RFP for more information about joining the Network.