Public Interest Law Initiative

PILI Educational Seminar Series


Are you a law student intern or fellow serving in the Chicago area this summer?

You’re invited to attend PILI’s Educational Seminar Series. These weekly lunchtime seminars start in early June and run through the beginning of August. They focus on covering a range of hard skills and substantive law topics related to public interest law and pro bono. We also discuss career development ideas for law students interested in public interest law. All law student interns and fellows are invited to attend, regardless of whether you receive PILI funding. 

See a list of upcoming events. For those serving in an Internship or Fellowship outside of Chicago or during the school year, PILI also webcasts most of our seminars and maintains an online archive of past seminars.

Fill out the below form to receive updates about seminars. If you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Fernandez by email or by phone 312-832-5127.

Upcoming PILI events open to all public interest law student interns and fellows:

  • How to Interview Your Legal Aid Client

    • June 6th, 2019 – 11:45 am, at The John Marshall Law School, Room 1200

    Learn strategies to interview low-income clients in a variety of settings and tools for eliciting information needed to assist them such as questioning techniques, approaches to make the client feel comfortable, and how to structure the interview.

  • Helping Ourselves to Help Others: Understanding and Addressing Vicarious Trauma

    • June 12th, 2019 – 11:45 am, at The John Marshall Law School, Room 1200

    Learn how to become aware of the sign and symptoms of vicarious trauma and practical tips you can utilize to promote self care to help you become a better advocate for your client.

  • How to Be an Effective Advocate: A View from the Bench

    • June 18th, 2019 – 11:45 am, at The John Marshall Law School

    A panel of judges will share their expectations and suggestions for new attorneys to be effective advocates, and will discuss the role attorneys play in addressing the access to justice gap.

  • Serving with Excellence in Legal Aid: Understanding Implicit Bias

    • June 26th, 2019 – 8:15 am, at The John Marshall Law School, Room 1200

    This seminar will address how we can become more aware of our own assumptions, behaviors and impact, especially when we are interacting with people whom we (consciously and unconsciously) see as different from us. Unpacking the concept of implicit and unconscious bias to understand the “mental shortcuts” that we take that impact how we work with and value others is critical to serving legal aid clients with excellence.

  • Why the 2020 Census Matters and How You Can Help

    • July 2nd, 2019 – 11:45 am, at The John Marshall Law School, Room 1200

    Learn about the daunting set of challenges facing the 2020 Census and how you as lawyers and law students can help ensure it be fair and accurate.

  • Post-Grad Fellowships: From Pipe Dream to Project in Action

    • July 10th, 2019 – 3:30 pm, at John Marshall Law School, Room 1200

    Two agency supervisors and the fellows whose project they green-lighted dive deep into how to design and implement an Equal Justice Works or Skadden Fellowship, moderated by a law school career counselor.

  • Protecting Your Client from Violence and Harassment

    • July 18th, 2019 – 11:45 am, at The John Marshall Law School, Room 1200

    Learn about orders of protection, civil no contact orders, criminal remedies and other ways to protect your client from unwanted harassment.

  • Joint First 10 & PILI Happy Hour

    • July 24th, 2019 – 5:00 pm, at Tradition

    Learn more about this network of engaged Chicago public interest lawyers by connecting with its members, other PILI Interns and PILI Alumni!

  • Public Interest Law Career Path

    • July 25th, 2019 – 11:45 am, at John Marshall Law School, Room 1200

    This seminar features dedicated public interest law attorneys who will share their experiences in charting a career in public interest law. Panelists will include attorneys who have experience in legal aid and government, and with judicial clerkships and post-graduate fellowships.

  • Social Justice Strategies and the Power of Direct Representation, Policy Work and Impact Litigation

    • August 8th, 2019 – 11:45 am, at The John Marshall Law School, Room 1200

    When considering the influence of public interest and pro bono attorneys, there are differences and intersections between direct representation, impact litigation, policy advocacy. Hear from attorneys from diverse backgrounds discuss their work, when certain types of legal tactics make the most sense, and the challenges that come up in the field. Speakers: John Bouman, President,...

View all upcoming events »

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