Form books, and online forms available through subscription services and elsewhere, provide sample documents for use in many areas of law. While useful to the practitioner, they are not intended to be used without modification.
- The user must modify the document to conform to applicable law of the jurisdiction in which the document will be used.
- The user must also be sure the information in the form is still current. Thus the law underlying the form (e.g., a statute) must be checked and updated to ensure the document conforms to current law.
Form books and online forms are available for many purposes.
- Practice form sets will have samples of documents used in court filings, such as complaints, motions, responses, affidavits, etc.
- Legal/Substantive form sets will have samples of documents such as wills, contracts, etc.
- Discovery form sets will contain material that can be used in the discovery process such as sample interrogatories (questions).
Form books and online forms can be jurisdiction-specific or generally applicable.
- Practice forms -- those filed in court -- should be jurisdiction-specific. When looking for appropriate practice forms it is helpful to check with the court in which the document(s) will be filed because the court may have its own forms. You can check the court's website (see the law library's Illinois Legal Websites: Courts page for links) or contact the clerk of the court directly.
- If a jurisdiction-specific form is not available, more general forms can be used for guidance in creating a document. For example, there are few Illinois discovery form books, but Bender's Form of Discovery or another general set will likely have useful information.
The form sets listed below are a non-exhaustive list of materials available in the law library and through various online services.