Public Interest Law Initiative

PILI Alumni Spotlight: Kyle Shires, 2014 PILI Fellow

Posted on: October 30, 2014

web_res_Kyle_C_Shires_5894Kyle Shires is the newest Fellow Representative to PILI’s Board of Directors.  Last summer, Kyle served as a PILI Fellow at Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), sponsored by Jenner & Block. He worked on several projects involving ILAO’s educational websites for legal aid providers and pro bono attorneys.  Website topics ranged from landlord-tenant laws to expungement and sealing.  Kyle chose to do a PILI Fellowship because he wanted to learn how to balance the demands of his career as a corporate lawyer at Jenner & Block with his desire to serve his community. He has a sincere passion for the mission of ILAO, and wishes to continue “making pro bono work a significant part of my practice, which shouldn’t be difficult given Jenner’s well-known commitment to pro bono work.”

Kyle has fond memories of his participation in the PILI Fellowship program, particularly how his Fellowship at ILAO increased his awareness of the network of legal aid attorneys and organizations that support the Illinois community. For an attorney embarking on a career which will definitely include pro bono work, this information was invaluable to Kyle.  Both at ILAO and at Jenner & Block, Kyle says he has been introduced to a group of amazing and passionate people who inspired him to view public service as a moral civic duty. “Without my PILI Fellowship experience,” Kyle explains, “I would not have gained this perspective, which significantly shaped the way I view our profession.” Kyle also joined Team PILI last September at Race Judicata, a charity race to support Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.

Prior to his PILI Fellowship, Kyle worked as a Summer Associate at Jenner & Block during law school at the University of Illinois College of Law, where he had the opportunity to work with a partner to create an instructional guide about Illinois Supreme Court rules and legislation affecting family law. This experience helped him greatly during his Fellowship at ILAO and as a full-time Associate at Jenner & Block.  Kyle is involved in several community organizations, including the Korean American Bar Association of Chicago (KABA) and the Global Business Brigades (GBB), which assists small businesses in impoverished communities.  In addition to serving as a Representative on PILI’s Board, Kyle also recently joined the Young Professionals Board of ILAO, continuing his involvement with his Fellowship organization.

Despite his busy professional and volunteering schedule, Kyle finds free time to play basketball, travel, and connect with the people he met at ILAO and through PILI.  His reason for wanting to serve as a Representative on PILI’s Board? “The PILI Fellowship was an amazing learning experience for me,” he states. “I wanted to help ensure that future Fellows had an experience similar to mine. I couldn’t think of a better way to stay involved than service as the Fellow Representative.”

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