Public Interest Law Initiative

PILI Intern and Fellow Orientation


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.

More information about this year’s Orientation will be posted in the coming months. In the meantime, please contact PILI Executive Director Michael Bergmann by email or by phone at 312-832-5129 for additional information.

Agenda from 2016 PILI Intern & Fellow Orientation

9:00 a.m. – Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:30 a.m. – Welcome & Overview of PILI and the Illinois Legal Aid Landscape

Michael G. Bergmann, Executive Director, Public Interest Law Initiative

During this presentation, you will 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 clients they serve.

10:00 a.m. – Making the Most of Your Internship & Fellowship: Tips from the Inside

This panel of PILI Alumni will share tips and best practices to consider at the outset of your Internship or Fellowship experience in order to maximize the impact you can have for your clients, your agency and your own legal career.

11:00 a.m. – BREAK

11:15 a.m. – Working with Legal Aid Clients

Public interest lawyers need to have a deep understanding of the many dimensions of their clients’ lives in order to serve them effectively. Panelists will provide information and tools to help you refine your skills to relate to and represent diverse client communities.

12:15 p.m. – Intern & Fellow Luncheon Sesssion with PILI Alumni  

Being a Zealous and Civil Advocate

Honorable Debra B. Walker, Chair, Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

Much time is spent talking about being the best lawyer for your client, and a great deal of emphasis is put on winning. Indeed, being a zealous advocate is a concept that is embodied in the rules of professional conduct, but being zealous should be balanced with the need for civility and professionalism in the practice of law. During this presentation, you will learn about the need for civility and professionalism in all aspects of the practice of law and how critical those concepts are to both serving your client and protecting your reputation as a lawyer. You will also learn about the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism’s Mentoring Program, which pairs new lawyers with seasoned practitioners who share their judgement and skills through this invaluable program.

A Conversation with PILI Alumni

Following the presentation, you will hear from Kate Pomper Costello, the Chair of the Alumni Network Leadership Council, and have the opportunity to get to know one another and members of the Alumni Network.

1:30 p.m. – Conflict Management

Rae Kyritsi, Programs Director, Center for Conflict Resolution

During this presentation, you will learn tools and techniques for communicating with others in order to effectively manage disputes and to create meaningful resolutions. These skills will be helpful to you in both the workplace and in serving you clients.

2:30 p.m. – BREAK

2:45 p.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, whether briefs, memos, or letters. Learn to eliminate common writing weaknesses and better organize documents, construct paragraphs, structure sentences and choose words.

4:15 p.m. – Tips for Building & Maximizing Your Professional Network

4:30 p.m. – Networking Reception

We will end our day with a special networking reception with Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride. At the reception, we will also kick-off the PILI Advising Program with member of PILI’s Board of Directors and Alumni Network also in attendance.

Venue: The John Marshall Law School, Room 1200

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