1. Check in with your firm
Fellows are sponsored by their hiring law firms, so the very first step in applying for a PILI Fellowship is to make sure your hiring law firm offers this opportunity to its incoming associates. Participating law firms will send a letter or otherwise notify their incoming associates of the option to do a PILI Fellowship. How the firm participates in the Fellowship Program is set entirely by the firm. Some firms limit the number of associates who can be Fellows, so this step is very important.
2. Review Fellowship placements
After your firm approves your PILI Graduate Fellowship, you should review our list of agencies that participate in our Fellowship Program. Fellows are expected to work 300 hours between graduation and joining their firm. Many Fellows finish their hours in the summer, and others complete their 300 hours in the fall. You should indicate in your cover letter to the agencies what your desired schedule would be for your Fellowship. Most agencies can be flexible in their scheduling.
3. Submit your application through our website
PILI’s application system will no longer be administered through Illinois Legal Aid Online as it has been in past years. You will apply directly through our website. When our application system opens for the 2017 Graduate Fellowship Program on October 15th, you will be able to apply to up to 10 participating agencies from our list of 60. All applications must be submitted through PILI’s application system. Applicants should not contact the agency directly.
4. Interview and receive an offer
Once an agency has reviewed your application materials, the agency supervisor may arrange for a phone or in-person interview. Hiring is at the sole discretion of the agency. If you receive and accept an offer, congratulations! Do not accept a Fellowship with more than one agency. Specific details about your work schedule, including your hours and start date, can be worked out between you and your agency directly.
5. Notify PILI
The final step is to notify your firm and PILI that you have successfully secured a Graduate Fellowship placement. Send us an e-mail with your name, firm, agency, and start date.
Questions? Please contact Karen Lazcano by email or by phone at 312-832-5127.