The Settlement Assistance Project provides pro bono representation to low income individuals with meritous discrimination claims in federal court settlement conferences and US Equal Employment Commission mediations. Volunteer lawyers serve protected classes by assisting them in representing themselves in a court of law, allowing them to defend themselves from discrimination on the basis of race, age, gender, immigration issues, familial status, and other factors. We provide residents of Cook County with legal advice and brief legal assistance to help them effectively navigate the legal system. Assistance is offered to pro se litigants in civil rights cases commonly faced by the public. The majority of these cases are employment disputes, but the Project also addresses housing discrimination, prisoners’ rights, and excessive force cases against the police department.
The Settlement Assistance Project provides pro se litigants with a top quality lawyer for their settlement conferences. That lawyer helps the pro se litigant prepare for the settlement conference by coaching him or her to offer the best possible case and negotiate skillfully. A CLC volunteer assesses the pro se litigant’s case comprehensively, and provides advice on the strengths and weaknesses of his or her case; the monetary value of the case; and what to expect in the litigation should the case not settle. This information allows the pro se litigant to better navigate the justice system and make the most strategic choices along the way.