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A Donor's Guide to Supporting PILI During our 45th Anniversary and Beyond

This year, we are focusing on how we can take the initiative to further PILI's mission to engage, inspire and empower those advancing equal access to justice. Our supporters ensure this journey can carry on for years to come.


We want to expand on our work over the last 45 years and continue to optimize pro bono and public interest law engagement to best serve people, families and communities in need.

Fund More Law Student Internships

PILI currently funds 64 Law Student Internships each year — 16 school-year and 48 summer. These Interns are placed around the state, but the vast majority are in Chicago. Additional donations would allow us to fund more Interns in more locations across Illinois.

Increase the Stipend for PILI Interns

Summer Interns are paid a $6,000 stipend for 400 hours of work and school-year Interns are paid a $3,000 stipend for 200 hours. This is only slightly above minimum wage and significantly less than they would receive as a summer associate at a law firm. In order to keep up with cost of living and remain competitive, we would like to raise each summer Internship stipend by $500 and each school-year stipend by $250.

Expand Our Pro Bono Program

PILI has organized 11 Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees that cover 54 counties across the state and two geographic regions. In order to increase the number of clients we help, we would like to expand our reach and launch additional Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees to cover more parts of the state.

Build Out Infrastructure

Just like any flight needs an airport and runway from which to take off, PILI needs to have the internal infrastructure so that we can continue to increase the number of clients we serve. This includes expanding our programmatic work, hiring new staff to support our programs, investing in our endowment funds to sustain our growth, and providing predictability and stability of our donor support.


PILI supporters are our partners in carrying out this plan. Beyond making a regular donation to contribute to our work, below are some ways you can take the next step to support PILI's journey.

Support our 45th Anniversary Awards Gala

PILI's 45th Anniversary Awards Gala will be on the evening of Thursday, December 1, 2022 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. Individual sponsorships are available for $1,000.

Join our Giving Circles or Increase Your Level

Giving Circle Members ensure growth and stability by pledging to give a specific amount each year for five years:

  • $2,500 - Supreme Court Giving Circle
  • $1,000 - Presiding Giving Circle
  • $750 - Justice Giving Circle
  • $500 - Magistrate Giving Circle
  • $250 - Counselor Giving Circle
  • $100 - Advocate Giving Circle

Become a Member of the Cornerstone Society

The Cornerstone Society is reserved for major donors who want to either give to a specific project or make a general operations gift. These gifts can be given in one lump sum or split over the next five years, similar to the Giving Circles.

You can choose from the below menu or discuss different giving options:

  • $15,000 ($3,000/year) - Infrastructure Support
  • $17,875 ($3,575/year) - Named School-Year Intern for five years
  • $25,000 ($5,000/year) - Recognition as an Endowment Supporter
  • $35,750 ($7,150/year) - Named Summer Intern for five years
  • $45,000 ($9,000/year) - Special 45th Anniversary Donor
    Receive 2 premier tables of 10 seats each (20 total) at the Gala on December 1, 2022 in addition to a Named Summer Internship for five years and any other one menu options listed above.

Join PIL's Legacy Society

Tie your legacy with that of PILI by pledging to include us as part of your estate planning. Specific details are not required, but an earnest commitment to include PILI in your estate plan is necessary to be a Legacy Society Member.


Reach out today to let us know how you would like to support this work! Contact PILI Executive Director Michael Bergmann by email or at 312-832-5129 to make a pledge or discuss giving option.