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Food Lawyer Network

Resources and Referrals for the Illinois Food System

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Who We Are.

Food Lawyer Network is an Illinois organization based in the Chicago area that supports a vibrant, local food system--diverse in both the food products available and the people who grow, raise, produce, cook and sell them.

We help food business entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, small farms and urban farms, farmers markets, co-ops, restaurateurs, and others within the food system by providing pro bono or reduced-cost legal services from volunteer lawyers.

FLN is an informational resource and a referral service; we do not represent you as your legal counsel. We will gather facts and review your legal matter to help find legal representation through our referral program.

During the COVID-19 crisis we are operating on the honor system and will temporarily not be requesting income verification for pro bono (free) services. If you are able to afford reduced-rate legal services, you may work out a payment rate directly with your referred attorney. Please be aware that while legal services may be provided free, you may still be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses related to your legal issue such as filing fees.

Once we review your application we will call you to assess your legal needs. We are a small but growing service and will make every effort to connect you with an attorney to help you with your legal matter. However, we cannot guarantee representation at this time.

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Where We Help.

What FLN Attorneys Can Advise On:

  • General business matters

  • Business and nonprofit formation and dissolution

  • Regulatory Compliance: USDA, FDA, Health Department

  • Local municipalities licensing and permits

  • Cottage food laws

  • Contract drafting, review, negotiation

  • Dispute Resolution / Mediation

  • Intellectual property (copyright, trademarks, noncompete & nondisclosure agreements)

  • Employment

  • Women/Minority/Veteran-Owned Business Certification

  • Additional areas of practice may be available upon request

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Other Legal Resources

Farm Commons: A nonprofit organization that provides the legal resources sustainable farmers need to become the stable, resilient foundation of a community-based food system.

Farmers Legal Action Group (FLAG): Farmers’ Legal Action Group (FLAG) is a nonprofit law center dedicated to providing legal services and support to family farmers and their communities.

Chicago Bar Foundation: The Chicago Bar Foundation brings the legal community together to improve access to justice for people in need and make the legal system more fair and efficient. 

Illinois Legal Aid Online: A non-profit organization that simplifies the legal system to ensure justice.

Institute For Justice: Non-profit legal group that engages in litigation and legal research across the country.

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Get Help

Committed to Excellence

The Food Lawyer Network is happy to offer its services to those in need. Please simply use the link below to access our application page where your can outline your needs. Our team will review your submission and respond to your concerns as soon as possible.

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How to Help

If you're an attorney looking to work with the Food Lawyer Network, please use the link below to submit your information. Our team will review your application and get back to you as soon as possible.

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Any Questions?

Please send us any questions you have about the Food Legal Network and our services.

Thanks for submitting!

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