Public Interest Law Initiative

Report on PILI’s Fall 2019 Interns

Posted on: January 10, 2020

Who where they?

In fall 2019, there were 9 Law Student Interns:

  • 2 were 2Ls and 7 were 3Ls
  • 5 identified as female and 4 as male
  • 5 identified as racially or ethnically diverse and 1 identified as LGBTQ
  • 2 were double PILIs

Interns came from the following Law Schools:

  • 3 from Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • 4 from Loyola University Chicago School of law
  • 1 from DePaul University School of Law
  • 1 from UIC John Marshall Law School

What did they do?

Interns worked at the following agencies:

  • CARPLS
  • Center for Disability and Elder Law
  • Chicago Legal Clinic
  • Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
  • Equip for Equality
  • Legal Aid Society
  • Legal Aid Chicago
  • National Immigrant Justice Center
  • Shriver Center on Poverty Law

Interns worked in the following practice areas:

  • Civil Rights
  • Disability
  • Domestic Violence
  • Employment Law
  • Family Law
  • Guardianship & Estates
  • Housing Law

Interns report on their impact:

 “The look on all of our client’s faces when we finish their case has impacted me significantly. It makes me realize how necessary this work is for the greater good and health of our justice system.“

“In my capacity as an Intern, I was able to empower people to advocate for themselves, advocate on their behalf when necessary, and overall provide a voice to those who go unheard sometimes.  Interning has further affirmed my desire to work in this field.”

“My biggest accomplishment was settling a case that was originally set for a two-week trial. The child went home to his loving parents, who were able to care for him and could not wait to have him back home.”

Direct & Brief Legal Services

Interns provided direct legal services to 208 clients and brief legal services to 536 clients for a total of 744 clients served. Of those clients:

  • 72% were people of color
  • 63% were people over 50
  • 53% identified as women
  • 27% were people with disabilities
  • 15% were veterans
  • 10% were immigrants
  • 6% identified as LGBTQ
  • 3% were children
Other Legal Services

All of those who responded provided other legal services as well, including:

  • Legal or policy research/writing (7)
  • Administrative and legal support work (intake, case paperwork and filing) (6)
  • Class actions/impact litigation (2)
  • Drafting/reviewing legislation (1)
  • Community outreach/education (1)

Overall feedback from Interns:

Overall rating of PILI experience:

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “very poor” and 5 being “very good,” Interns rated the program a 4.9 overall.

Quality of Experience

Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements:

5 = Strongly Agree, 4 = Agree, 3 = Neutral, 2 = Disagree, 1 = Strongly Disagree

Average
The work I performed was challenging and stimulating. 4.7
I was given the opportunity to see a reasonable range of my agency’s workload. 4.4
I was provided levels of responsibility consistent with my ability throughout the semester. 4.6
I was satisfied with my agency’s efforts to provide me with an educational experience. 4.4
My agency helped me develop an understanding of the practice of public interest law. 4.8
I received enough training and assistance to understand the legal work asked of me. 4.6
Most of the work I was assigned was legal or law-related. 4.8

 

Impact on Career

Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements:

5 = Strongly Agree, 4 = Agree, 3 = Neutral, 2 = Disagree, 1 = Strongly Disagree

Average
Even before doing this Internship, I had intended to pursue a career in public interest law. 4.4
As a result of my Internship, I am able to make a more informed decision about a career in public interest law. 4.7
As a result of my Internship, I am more likely to integrate public interest/pro bono law into my future practice. 4.7
As a result of my Internship, I am more likely to seek a job in public interest law. 4.3
As a result of my Internship, I have developed new legal skills. 5

Quotes from Interns

“Between the practical experience and educational seminar, the PILI internship program is a great extension of my legal education.”

“The PILI network is a strong one and I’ve met many amazing people through it. Working without pay throughout the semester is not feasible for me, so PILI allowed me with the funding I needed to be able to pursue the work I wanted to.”

“Through PILI, I got a much stronger client-based work experience than my fellow classmates at their internships in other types of firms.”

“It has given me incredible work experience including actual litigation experience as a law student that many of my colleagues at school have yet to experience. This will give me an edge when I go to apply for my first job out of law school.”

“PILI has absolutely opened doors not only at this agency but others as well given its well respected reputation.”

Learn more about the Law Student Internship Program »

Stay Connected. Sign Up For Our Newsletter: