“On Friday morning last week, a dozen lawyers sitting in cubicles took calls in a downtown Chicago office. A video screen on the wall tracked the activity: 34 people had called in the first hour asking for free legal help. Six callers were waiting in the queue, and the longest waiting time in the queue was 12 minutes and 46 seconds. “Friday usually starts off slow,” said Allen Schwartz, the executive director of CARPLS, which stands for Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Services. This pioneering legal aid hotline, now in its 23rd year, handled roughly 50,000 free consultations for 28,000 clients last year.”
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