Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced amendments to Rule 756 and Rule 751, which will give $10 from the attorney registration fee to the Illinois Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) and an additional $10 allocation for the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) to provide funding for Illinois Court Help.
The amended rules are effective July 1, 2021.
The Illinois Supreme Court Rules including Amended Rules 756 and 751 can be found here.
The $20 reallocation ($10 for LAP, $10 for Illinois Court Help) will not increase attorney registration fees. Instead, these amounts will be redirected from the ARDC’s allocation, which is currently $230 from the $385 registration fee.
“The demand for the services these two groups provide grew in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chief Justice Burke said. “The Court is delighted to allocate these funds so they can continue the excellent work they do and provide additional assistance to those in need.”
The fee reallocation to LAP (doubling it from $10 to $20) will help expand programming given increased need due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. With the increase, LAP will be able to better meet the ever-increasing needs of the populations it serves – judges, attorneys, and law students.
“LAP is deeply grateful to the Supreme Court of Illinois for recognizing the increasing mental health and wellness issues Judges, Lawyers and law students are facing due to the demands of the profession and the negative impact the pandemic has had on their mental health and wellbeing,” said Dr. Diana Uchiyama, Executive Director, Lawyers’ Assistance Program.
“We are thankful to the Supreme Court for recognizing the importance of LAP’s mission and for showing confidence in the positive work and outreach LAP is having on the legal community in Illinois,” said Judge Daniel Kubasiak, Board President, Lawyers’ Assistance Program.
The fee reallocation to the ATJ Commission will provide a long-term funding mechanism for Illinois Court Help, which was created during the COVID-19 pandemic when court users and self-represented litigants have often been unable to receive assistance in courthouses. This service allows court users to call or text (833) 411-1121 to connect with a trained court guide who can provide up-to-date court information and answers to specific questions about the court process.
“The Commission on Access to Justice is immensely grateful to the Court for its support of Illinois Court Help and for ensuring all court users have access to much needed legal information and court processes,” said 1st District Appellate Court Justice Mary K. Rochford, Chair of the ATJ Commission. “Illinois Court Help has already proven to be a transformative service for self- represented litigants and with this funding we will be able to grow the service to meet demand.”
The last fee reallocation came in 2015 when an additional $5 was provided to the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism to bring its total allocation to $25. The last increase came in 2017 when $3 was added to the registration fee for LAP to bring its total to $10.