Public Interest Law Initiative

How to Apply

New application procedures:

Due to website changes at Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO), which administers PILI’s application system, the procedure for applying for Internships has changed.

PILI will administer applications for the fall 2016 Internships. Learn more about applying for a fall Internship »

Spring semester and summer 2017 PILI Internship applications will be back on the new ILAO website. Please check back in the fall for more details.

Important dates:

The application process for each Internship program will open up on the following days:

  • Fall: August 1st
  • Summer: October 15th for 2Ls and 3Ls 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 25 different legal service agencies in Illinois, and each applicant may apply to up to 10 agencies.

Please note: While all 25 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:

PILI recruits applicants and hosts, funds stipends, and acts as a clearinghouse. Each agency has the sole hiring discretion. These public interest law agencies want students who are dedicated to public interest law and to service. Therefore, when preparing your application, mention experiences that demonstrate your commitment, including volunteer or community work, and note any special skills, e.g., language proficiency, computer experience, etc.

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 customary payroll procedures.

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