Welcome From the Chief Judge

Welcome to the Center for Self-Representation. The Center has grown out of our concern that courts can be too complicated for people to navigate, even in simple cases, when they need to represent themselves. At the same time, the number of people who use our courts without a lawyer multiplies every year. There is no substitute for competent legal counsel, but the right to represent oneself is an important one preserved by the Constitution. The judges and staff of the Circuit Court are committed to making our courts more user friendly, ensuring that equal access to justice is a reality, not just a slogan. 

In developing the Center, we have worked with the Lake County Circuit Clerk, the Honorable Erin Cartwright Weinstein, Prairie State Legal Services, the Illinois Technology Center for Law and Public Interest, and the Illinois JusticeCorps, administered by the Illinois Bar Foundation, with funding support from the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation. We have also received grant funds from the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice to establish a physical Center for Self-Representation in the Law Library.

You will find helpful information on this website, including a basic “How to” guide, court forms you will need, checklists, and tips on how to prepare your case. You will also find links to other useful resources and websites. We appreciate your interest, and we ask that you help us make the Center for Self-Representation even more functional by providing your feedback.

Chief Judge of Lake County