Legal Topics on the Web: Adoption-Home Repair

This guide features links to publicly accessible websites on 21 common legal topics, from finding an attorney to home repair. Links to the Law Library catalog are also included. PDF format resources require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

See also the second part of this guide: Legal Topics on the Web: Housing-Workers' Compensation.

I. Adoption

II. Automobiles

III. Bankruptcy

IV. Business Law

V. Civil Rights

VI. Consumer

VII. Copyright

VIII. Courts and Procedure

IX. Criminal Law

X. Debtor/Creditor Law

XI. Disability Law

XII. Discrimination Law

XIII. Domestic Violence

XIV. Education Law

XV. Employment Law

XVI. Family Law

XVII. Finding an Attorney

XVIII. FOIA/Public Disclosure Laws

XIX. Forms

XX. Health Care Law

XXI. Home Repair

 

I. Adoption

  • Adoption - Information on adoption procedures in Cook County, including FAQs, information on adoption records, orders and forms. From the County Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway - Information on child abuse and neglect, adoption, financial resources, adoption laws and legal issues, and publications on adoption. Provides information on the different types of adoption, search for state statutes and statistics. From the United States Department of Health & Human Services.
  • International Adoption - Information on adopting from overseas including processes, country information, and forms. From the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service.

 

II. Automobiles

  • Driver Services - Includes Rules of the Road, information on licenses, title and registration, traffic safety and other information. From the Illinois Secretary of State.
  • Legal Resources: Car - Legal information on your car from buying a car, auto accidents, traffic courts and DUI. From the Illinois State Bar Association.
  • Buying and Owning a Car - Information on car maintenance, buying a new or used car, financing, leasing and renting a car. From the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

 

III. Bankruptcy

 

IV. Business Law

 

V. Civil Rights

  • Gobernio USA - Guía oficial de información y servicios del Gobierno.
  • Section 1983 Litigation (PDF) - Publication from the Federal Judicial Center providing a summary of the legal principles governing litigation under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983.
  • Civil Rights: An Overview - Information with links to the U.S. Constitution, federal statutes, regulations and opinions. From the Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII).
 

 

VI. Consumer

  • Protecting Consumers - Information on advertising, auto buying, financing and repair, children's issues, charities, consumer alerts and warnings, credit and lending, franchise information, general consumer issues and common scams, healthcare, housing, ID theft, internet, protecting small businesses and telecommunications. From the Illinois Attorney General.
  • Consumer Legal Guides - Over 25 guides in PDF format on a variety of consumer topics. From the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA).
  • Financial Literacy 101 - Information on credit accounts, buying/leasing a car, buying a home, setting up a household, money management and investing. Provided by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation.
  • Consumer Complaints - Instructions for how to file a complaint against a company. From the Official Guide to Government Information and Services.
  • ABA Guide to Consumer Law - Fifteen chapters in PDF format covering topics such as contracts, leases, warranties, automobiles, insurance and buying and selling a home. From the American Bar Association.
  • Law Issues for Consumers: Consumer Law - Information on the law of ATM machines, buying and using computer software, and legal issues involving the Internet. From the American Bar Association Division of Public Education.
  • Consumer Protection Publications -  Online consumer information from federal government sources. Most publications are in PDF format. Many titles also available in Spanish.
  • Consumer Information - Numerous publications with advice on avoiding scams and rip-offs. Consumer topics include automobiles, computers/Internet, credit, education, job placement, energy, ID theft, investments, shopping, and telephone/telemarketing. Provided by the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Recalls.gov - One-stop source for U.S. government recalls on consumer products, motor vehicles, boats, food, medicine, cosmetics and environmental products.
  • Consumer Help - From the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Information on checking accounts, consumer credit, consumer protection laws, electronic banking, foreclosures, fraud and scams, and home mortgages.

 

VII. Copyright

  • Copyright & Fair Use - Links to primary materials, guides and policies. Provided by the Stanford University Libraries.
  • Patent, Copyright & Trademark - General information on patents, copyright, creative arts & music, software & web development, trademarks, and trade secrets.

 

VIII. Courts and Procedure

For resources for lawyers and self-represented litigants see Legal Research - Litigation Resources

Resources on courts and court procedure for jurors and other members of the public are below.

  • How Courts Work - Topics include: Courts and Legal Procedure, Steps in a Trial, The Human Side of Being a Judge, and Mediation. From the American Bar Association Division of Public Education.
  • Civil Procedure - Resources on court procedure including how to file court papers for free, serving summons, the basics of going to court, and selected statutes of limitation. From Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO).

 

IX. Criminal Law

  • Crime & Traffic - Topics covered include general information, crime victim compensation, defenses, expungement, crimes and victim's rights. Provided by Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO).
  • Criminal & Traffic Expungement & Sealing Procedural Guide (PDF) - FAQs and forms about sealing. Also contains information on Executive Pardons; Criminal Identity Theft; and on Certificates of Innocence, Good Conduct, and Relief from Disabilities. Provided by the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

 

X. Debtor/Creditor Law

  • Money & Debt - Articles on wage garnishment, bankruptcy, repossession, loans, credit scores, and more. From Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO).
  • Dealing with Debt - Articles on consumer credit, fair credit billing, fair debt collection, mortgage payments, debt management plans and more. From the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

 

XI. Disability Law

  • Equip For Equality - Chicago based organization that advocates for the rights of disabled people in Illinois and administers the Protection & Advocacy Program for Illinois.
  • United States Access Board - The homepage for the federal agency committed to accessible design, featuring extensive information includes guidelines and standards, publications and enforcement.
  • A Guide to Disability Rights Laws - Provides a brief overview of ten federal laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities. From the United States Department of Justice.

 

XII. Discrimination Law

  • Illinois Human Rights Commission - The Commission's primary responsibility is to make impartial determinations of whether there has been unlawful discrimination as defined by the Illinois Human Rights Act.
  • Title VII and Section 1981 (PDF) - A manual for use by attorneys appointed by judges in the Northern District of Illinois to represent indigent clients in employment discrimination cases. From the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) - Facts and guidance arranged by type of discrimination (age, disability, equal pay, genetic information, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, retaliation, sex and sexual harassment). Information on filing a claim, statistics and laws.
  • Business & Work - Articles on employment and employment discrimination from Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO). Topics covered include applicable law, limitations, filing a charge, investigation, evidence, right of action and relief. Addresses federal and state laws. 
  • Discrimination - Information on discrimination - employment, housing, voting, disability, education, age, sexual orientation. From Lawyers.com.

 

XIII. Domestic Violence

 

  • Advocating for Women - Information and brochures on domestic violence, teen dating violence, and crime victim services. From the Illinois Attorney General.
  • Safety Planning -  Information on "creating a plan to keep yourself and any children and/or pets safe while living in an environment of domestic violence and abuse, preparing to leave, leaving, and after leaving an abuser." From the Domestic Violence Resource Center (DVRC).
    • Sample safety plan (PDF) - A fill in the blank form for establishing a domestic violence safety plan. From the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence (NCDSV).
  • Cook County Clerk of Court Brochures - Topics include orders of protection, dating violence, and guidelines for victims of domestic violence. Provided by the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
  • WomensLaw.org - State-by-state legal information and resources on domestic violence.

 

XIV. Education Law

  • School & Education - Information on special education for disabled students, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), education for homeless students, educational rights and privacy. Provided by Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO).
  • Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) - A bibliographic database of more than 1.1 million citations going back to 1966. More than 110,000 full-text non-journal documents going back to 1966 are available for free. ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

 

XV. Employment Law

  • The Law & Your Job - How Law Affects the Workplace, Major Federal Laws, and Sexual Harassment. From the American Bar Association Division for Public Education.
  • Business & Work - Topics covered include employment, Family and Medical Leave Act, licensing, minimum wage, records, termination, wage claims and workers' compensation. Provided by Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO).
  • Popular Topics - Topical index of United States Department of Labor web pages, including equal employment, health benefits, hiring, labor relations, leave benefits, termination, unemployment insurance, veterans' employment, wages, work hours, workers' compensation and Spanish resources.

 

XVI. Family Law

 

XVII. Finding an Attorney

  • Legal Assistance Referrals - Selection of links to legal aid providers in Chicago, suburban and downstate areas compiled by the Illinois Attorney General's office.
  • Martindale.com - Search for attorneys by name, by location/area of practice, by firm, or for lawyers in corporations, agencies of the US government, or law school faculty.
  • When You Need a Lawyer -  Information on when to hire a lawyer, how to find a lawyer, questions to ask your lawyer, legal fees and expenses, and what to do if you are not satisfied with your lawyer. From the American Bar Association Division for Public Education.

 

XVIII. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Public Disclosure Laws

  • Open Government Guide - A compendium of state's open records and open meetings laws. Provided by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
  • Freedom of Information Center - Comprehensive collections of links to guides, laws, sample letters and other resources on freedom of information. The Freedom of Information Center is located at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
    • State FOI Laws - collection of links to state open meetings and open records laws.

 

XIX. Forms

 

Cook County Forms

 

State of Illinois Forms

 

Federal Forms

 

 

XX. Health Care Law

  • Illinois Hospital Report Card and Consumer Guide to Health Care - Find and compare info in volume and cost of services in hospitals and ambulatory surgery treatment centers, quality and safety data, nurse staffing data, patient satisfaction surveys, summaries and links to Illinois laws that ensure consumer protection.
  • Hospital Compare - This tool provides you with information on how well the hospitals in your area care for all their adult patients with certain medical conditions. Maintained by the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • Health Information Privacy - Information and resources on the Health Information Privacy Act (HIPA). Includes resources available in Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Tagalog. Provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights.
  • Toolkit for Health Care Advance Planning - Ten PDF format tools for developing health care advance directives. Includes self-help worksheets and suggested resources. From the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging.

 

XXI. Home Repair

  • The Law and Your Home - Information on the law of home remodeling projects. Provided by the American Bar Association Division for Public Education.

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