Public Interest Law Initiative

How to Apply

Important dates:

The application system opens for each Internship period on the below dates. You will apply directly on PILI’s website.

  • Fall: August 1st
  • Summer: October 15th for 2Ls at 10 a.m. CST, December 1st for 1Ls (due to NALP restrictions).
  • Spring: November 1st at 10 a.m. CST.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all agencies have completed their hiring. Please note that each agency supervisor handles hiring differently: some make hiring decisions early in the application period, while others wait until later. You are encouraged to apply early to ensure the fullest consideration of your application.

PILI offers Internships at 27 different legal service agencies in Illinois, and each applicant may apply to up to 10 agencies.

Please note: While all  27 of our participating agencies host summer Interns, only a limited number have been approved to host school-year Interns.

Learn more about PILI’s school-year Internship opportunities »

Getting hired as a PILI Intern:

Agencies that have been approved to host PILI Interns make their own hiring decisions. PILI recruits applicants, but does not play a role in selecting who ultimately gets hired where. Agencies are looking for law students who are dedicated to public interest law and service, so when preparing your resume and cover letter(s), mention experiences that demonstrate your commitment, including volunteer or community work, and note any special skills, e.g., language proficiency, computer experience, etc. Read the position description on our website thoroughly and consult each agency’s website too so that you can demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to their specific mission.

Agency responses:

Each agency has its own hiring practices and operates on its own timeline.  Agencies may not always acknowledge every application because many agencies have neither the staff nor the funds to do so. Typically, agencies will directly contact selected applicants for interviews. If you have not yet heard from an agency, you are free to follow up with that agency to check on the status of your application, but do so in a professional and respectful manner.

Stipend for PILI Interns:

Unlike many internship funding programs, PILI does not pay stipends directly to our Interns.  Rather, PILI makes a grant directly to the agency in the amount of the stipend for 400 hours in the summer and 200 hours over a semester. Interns are then to be paid by the agency based on the agency’s regular payroll procedures.

Questions? Please contact PILI Program Associate Brent Page by email or by phone at 312-832-5128.

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