Public Interest Law Initiative

PILI Alumni Spotlight: John Adams, 2016 Graduate Fellow

Posted on: November 3, 2016

John AdamsSidley AustinChicago OfficeOcober 4, 2016

PILI is excited to welcome John Adams to our Board of Directors as the 2016 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.

John is a first-year associate at Sidley Austin LLP. He recently graduated from the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law with a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration, and completed his PILI Fellowship at the John Marshall Veterans Legal Support Center and Clinic. He primarily worked on implementing legislation which mandates that each Illinois county creates a Veterans Treatment Court, specifically designed to treat and rehabilitate military veterans who have gotten involved in the justice system.

“I had the opportunity to work with the most amazing, dedicated people,” said John. “We each provided a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing Veterans Treatment Courts.”

John is himself a veteran, having served in the United States Marine Corps from 2008 to 2012. He then worked at Operation Gratitude, Inc., a military-support nonprofit, before starting at Northwestern.

Since finishing his PILI Fellowship and starting at Sidley Austin, John has remained active with his pro bono work. Together with other students at the Veterans Clinic, he published an analysis of the Veterans Treatment Court, titled The Illinois Veterans Treatment Court Mandate: From Concept to Success, in Southern Illinois University’s Paul Simon Public Policy Review. The guide will help public officials implement the Veterans Treatment Courts statewide. He is also already working on a Section 1983 pro bono case at Sidley Austin.

“Most immediately, my PILI Fellowship broadened my network,” said John. “Long-term, PILI will keep me engaged in public interest and service to further develop legal skills outside of my immediate practice. Above all, PILI gives my legal practice a sense of purpose – to ensure equal access to justice and equitable outcomes to all.”

Read more PILI Alumni spotlights »

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