Public Interest Law Initiative

How to Apply

Important dates

The application system opens for each Internship period at 10:00 a.m. CST on the below dates. You will apply directly on PILI’s website.

  • Fall Semester: August 1st
  • Spring Semester: October 15th
  • Summer: October 15th for 2Ls and December 1st for 1Ls (due to NALP restrictions)

Apply Now

PILI offers Internships at 28 different legal service agencies in Illinois, and each applicant may apply to up to 10 agencies. 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.

Once an agency has completed its hiring, it will be removed from this list and you will no longer be able to apply to that agency.

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

Learn more about PILI’s summer 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.

Learn more about PILI’s participating agencies, including position descriptions »

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

Interns are typically paid $6,000 for 400 hours full-time during the summer and $3,000 for 200 hours part-time during the semester, less applicable taxes. Unlike many internship 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. Additionally, PILI permits Interns to receive law school credit in addition to their stipend if approved by both their law school and their agency.

Learn more about PILI’s Internship stipend »

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

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