Public Interest Law Initiative

PILI Intern and Fellow Orientation

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PILI’s Law Student Intern and Graduate Fellow Orientation provides a valuable learning experience, establishing a solid foundation for its Interns and Fellews from which they can better serve clients and the organizations at which they work this summer. This program is only open to PILI Interns and Fellows, and advance registration is required. Business casual attire is appropriate.

More information about this year’s Orientation will be coming soon. In the meantime, please contact PILI Program Associate Brent Page by email or by phone at 312-832-5128 for additional information.


9:30 a.m.   Registration & Continental Breakfast

10:00 a.m.   Welcome & Overview of PILI and Illinois Legal Aid Landscape

Michael G. Bergmann, Executive Director, Public Interest Law Initiative
Learn more about PILI, our Internship and Fellowship Programs, and what to expect this summer. You will also hear about the many public interest law organizations we work with in Illinois, the work they do and the communities they serve.

10:30 a.m.   Getting to Know the Communities You Will Serve

Amy Rynell, Senior Director of Research & Policy, Heartland Alliance
Public interest law attorneys need a deep understanding of the many dimensions of the communities they serve in order to represent them effectively. During this session, you will receive an overview of the factors contributing to underrepresentation and the cycle of poverty and violence for millions of people in Illinois, and learn to refine your skills for working with diverse client communities.

11:15 a.m.   Break

11:30 a.m.   Writing for Public Interest Law Attorneys

Larry McEnerney, Director, University of Chicago Writing Program
This workshop will provide specific strategies for writing clear, concise and compelling legal documents. Learn to eliminate common writing weaknesses and better organize your writing.

1:00 p.m. Intern & Fellow Lunch with PILI Alumni

Justice Mary Jane Theis, Illinois Supreme Court
Justice Theis will speak on the importance of public service in your legal career and the impact you can have working in public interest law or the private sector. While a great deal of emphasis as an attorney is placed on winning, Justice Theis will also discuss balancing zealous advocacy with professionalism and civility.

A Conversation with PILI Alumni
Following the presentation, you will hear from a member of the Alumni Network Leadership Council, and have the opportunity to get to know one another and members of the Alumni Network.

 2:15 p.m.   Conflict Management

Rae Kyritsi, Programs Director, Center for Conflict Resolution
Conflict in the courtroom (and even the workplace) may be unavoidable. Gain insights, tools, and techniques on how best to manage disputes and create meaningful resolutions.

3:30 p.m. Making the Most of Your Internship & Fellowship

PILI Alumni will share tips and best practices to help you maximize the impact you can have  through your Internship or Fellowship and beyond.

4:45 p.m.   Break

5:00 p.m.   CLE Program: The Art of Networking in the Legal Profession

Angel Gomez, Performance Accelerated
Forget preconceived notions you may have about shaking the most hands or playing the business card shuffle. Come learn the art of creating mutually beneficial relationships to support your work and building a quality network.

6:00 p.m.   Networking Reception

We end our day with a special reception to kick-off the PILI Advising Program. Meet members of PILI’s Board of Directors and Alumni Network serving as Advisors, and celebrate the start of the Internship and Fellowship Programs. All Interns and Fellows are invited to attend, whether or not you signed up to participate in the Advising Program.

Online registration is now closed. If you would still like to attend, or if you have any questions, please contact Administrative Assistant Karen Lazcano by email or by phone at 312-832-5127.

Venue: The John Marshall Law School, Room 1200

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