Public Interest Law Initiative

PILI Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Schultes, 2015 PILI Graduate Fellow

Posted on: November 4, 2015

Sarah HeadshotThe staff and Board of Directors at PILI are excited to welcome Sarah Schultes, a first year associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, to the Board as the 2015 Fellow Alumni Representative. PILI appoints one Intern and one Fellow every year from the most recent class to serve on the Board for a two-year term. Sarah recently finished her PILI Fellowship at the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice. Sarah is a double PILI, having also worked as a Law Student Intern at the Legal Council for Health Justice (formerly known as AIDS Legal Council) in 2013.

“My fondest memories are of getting to know the great people I met at both organizations and the relationships that I continue to have with them,” Sarah says.

During her Internship at the Council for Health Justice, she assisted individuals in securing public benefits and researched the effects of the Affordable Care Act on individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Illinois. Afterwards, she went back to The University of Chicago Law School and worked at their Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project at the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic. This clinic provides legal representation to poor children and young adults accused of delinquency and crime. After graduation, she started working as a Graduate Fellow at the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice, an independent research and advocacy organization seeking to make the courts fairer, as well as more efficient and accessible. Sarah assisted in researching a number of court-related issues and drafted proposals for legislation and Illinois Supreme Court Rules.

“The exposure to different types of public interest work, and getting to meet attorneys across the city that are committed to public interest work really opened my eyes to all of the opportunities that exist in Chicago,” says Sarah. She is also grateful for the breadth of experience she gained. “My experiences at two different organizations highlighted the diversity of legal needs that exist for low-income individuals and the importance of all attorneys – whether at large firms or small organizations – giving time to help these individuals.”

Sarah is committed to giving her time to pro bono work and serving those in need. Although she has only just started at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, she hopes to take on a pro bono case before the end of her second week.

“I can say with certainty that my experience as a PILI has had a positive impact on my law school experience, and on my choices about where to work upon graduation,” she says.

Read more PILI Alumni Spotlights »

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