Public Interest Law Initiative

PILI Educational Seminar Series


Are you a law student intern or fellow serving at a public interest or government agency this summer?

You’re invited to attend PILI’s Educational Seminar Series. This year all our programs will be virtual through Zoom. These weekly seminars start with Orientation on May 28th and run through mid-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. PILI also maintains an online archive of past seminars.

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

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

  • Serving with Excellence in Legal Aid: Understanding Implicit Bias

    • June 3rd, 2020 – 12:00 pm, at Virtual Event

    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.

  • How to Interview Your Legal Aid Client

    • June 10th, 2020 – 12:00 pm, at Virtual Event

    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.

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

    • June 16th, 2020 – 12:00 pm, at Virtual Event

    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.

  • An Intro to Illinois Landlord-Tenant Law

    • June 24th, 2020 – 3:30 pm, at Virtual Event

    Wait, can my landlord really do that? Maybe not. From discrimination to habitability issues to withholding security deposit, join us for a basic overview of Illinois’ landlord-tenant laws and tips to protect your rights and the rights of your clients.

  • Protecting Your Client from Violence and Harassment

    • June 30th, 2020 – 12:00 pm, at Virtual Event

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

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

    • July 8th, 2020 – 3:30 pm, at Virtual Event

    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.

  • Understanding Illinois’ Child Protective System

    • July 15th, 2020 – 12:00 pm, at Virtual Event

    Each year, the Illinois’ Department of Child and Family Services investigates thousands of cases of abuse and neglect. Learn about the legal implications for parents and their children when they become part of an investigation and what reforms may be on the horizon.

  • Public Interest Law Career Path

    • July 22nd, 2020 – 12:00 am, at Virtual Event

    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.

  • Community Lawyering

    • August 5th, 2020 – 12:00 pm, at Virtual Event

    Community lawyering is an umbrella term for collaborative, community-based approaches to legal services. Hear attorneys discuss different approaches to working closely with communities to make legal services more readily available and accessible to low-income and underserved people.

  • Incorporating Pro Bono into Your Career

    • August 11th, 2020 – 12:00 pm, at Virtual Event

    PILI Alumni will share insights and practical advice from their own experiences about how to make pro bono fit into a busy professional life.

View all upcoming events »

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