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Illinois  Illinois Legal Organizations

Learn more about legal organizations and bar associations for Illinois attorneys including the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA).

According to the ABA 2019 National Lawyer Population Survey, Illinois is the state with the fifth-highest number of resident active attorneys. The survey showed Illinois had 62,720 active lawyers living in the state in 2019.

Illinois State Bar Association

Springfield Office
Illinois Bar Center
424 S. Second Street
Springfield, IL 62701-1779

Chicago Regional Office
20 S. Clark St., Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60603-1802

The Illinois State Bar Association was founded in 1877. Today the organization has more than 30,000 members. The Illinois State Bar Association works to support lawyers practicing in Illinois and promotes improvements in the administration of our civil and criminal justice systems. The ISBA manages a lawyer referral service in Illinois.

Other Voluntary Legal Associations in Illinois

Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers


The Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers was founded in 1986. IACDL is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to defending the rights of all persons as guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Members of IACDL include private criminal defense lawyers and public defenders throughout the State of Illinois. The IADCL also seeks to preserve the adversarial system of justice, promote study and research and to educate the public and attorneys.

Illinois Trial Lawyers Association


The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) is a statewide organization founded in 1952. Today the ITLA has more than 2,000 members representing many of the top personal injury attorneys in Illinois. The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association works to protect the rights of individuals within the civil justice system while holding wrongdoers accountable.

Illinois Chapter of the NELA

The NELA / Illinois was founded in 1986 as the state affiliate of the National Employment Lawyers Association for the state of Illinois. The NELA state affiliate in Illinois promotes the rights of employees in the workplace. Many of the top plaintiff's employment attorneys in the state of Illinois belong to this trusted organization. Benefits of membership include networking opportunities, training, and educational programs, quality CLE seminars and timely publications.

Other Legal Organizations in Illinois

Chicago Bar Association

Founded in 1874, The Chicago Bar Association is one of the oldest and most active metropolitan bar associations in the United States. With nearly 20,000 members practicing law in Cook County and the State of Illinois employs an Executive Director who is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Association staff of 60.

Read more about the Lawyer Referral Service managed by the Chicago Bar Association.

Cook County Bar Association

Since 1896, the Cook County Bar Association (the "CCBA") has been at the forefront of legal issues of concern to the Black community. For more than 100 years, the CCBA has opposed injustice and promoted civic and legal rights of African-Americans.

Peoria County Bar Association

With more than 500 members, the Peoria County Bar Association has a long history of Bench and Bar activity. The Peoria County Bar Association has approximately 45 qualified attorneys in the Lawyer Referral Service program in Peoria County, IL.

This article was last updated on Friday, January 17, 2020.