Public Interest Law Initiative

Guest Post: New Board President Sarah Bernstein on Getting Involved with PILI

Posted on: September 26, 2018

This is a guest post from incoming PILI Board of Directors President, Sarah Bernstein. Sarah was recently elected to a two-year term starting September 1, 2018. She leads the transactional practice of the Motor Vehicle Group at Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP. 

It is my honor to serve as the incoming President of PILI’s Board of Directors. For the next two years, I will have the privilege of working with the tremendously talented PILI staff and our exceptional Board of Directors to continue to guide PILI in pursuit of our mission and vision. I am excited for my new role and the challenges that it will bring.

As my first official act (or close to it), I encourage you to become involved with PILI, and if you are already involved with PILI, I urge you to become more involved.

Of course, I would be remiss if I did not suggest that you consider supporting PILI with a monetary donation. For those who have not heard, over the past year, in addition to increasing the number of PILI Interns and Fellows and the PILI Internship stipend and expanding the Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees, PILI has entered the area of direct services. This includes the launch of the PILI Conflict of Interest Pro Bono Referral Panel pilot program, the anticipated launch this fall of the Legal Help Within Reach project and PILI’s participation in the Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network. We are thrilled about these new programs and intend to work hard to ensure their success. A donation to PILI would help support our efforts in these areas as well as help us to continue to provide quality programming in every area.

But, in addition to supporting PILI financially, there are also endless ways for you to become involved with PILI by giving of your time. I hope to see all of you at PILI events over my term. In addition to our Annual Awards Luncheon held in December and our Annual Pro Bono Reception in June, we offer a wide variety of informative and engaging pro bono forums and programming and social events to foster engagement in the pro bono community.

For example, it is not too late to register for PILI’s Illinois Forum on Pro Bono, which will be held on the afternoon of October 4th this year. If you are a PILI Alum, then we welcome your involvement in our Legal Prep Community Law Clinic or by attending one of our Alumni events. If you are located outside of Cook County, then consider volunteering to handle an Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network pro bono matter for a member of our armed forces or take a shift or two at one of our Self-Represented Litigant Help Desks at the Peoria and Tazewell County Courthouses. Participate in the soon to come Legal Help Within Reach program and volunteer at free legal clinics in rural and underserved communities.

We at PILI are committed to our mission to cultivate a lifelong commitment to public interest law and pro bono service within the Illinois legal community. We would love for you to be a part of that journey.

This is part of PILI’s guest post series. If you are interested in writing a guest post for PILI, contact us.

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