Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI)

BPI is a public interest law and policy center that has worked for almost 50 years on compelling social justice issues in the Chicago region. Our current efforts focus on justice reform and police accountability, housing and community development, and public education and early childhood learning.

Justice reform and police accountability: we are working to reform Chicago’s police accountability system, reduce prison and jail populations in Illinois’ juvenile and adult systems, expand community-based alternatives to prisons and jails, and increase opportunities for released prisoners.

Housing and community development: we are working to increase affordable housing opportunities throughout the region, especially in safe neighborhoods with good jobs and good schools, and to revitalize public housing communities and strengthen neighborhoods that already have large supplies of affordable housing.

Public education and early childhood learning: we are working to improve the quality of public education for all Chicago’s children, particularly those living in low- and very low-income neighborhoods and in public housing communities.

We use a variety of strategies to advance our mission, including legal and policy research, advocacy, organizing, legislation, and litigation. Most projects require a combination of these. Most of our work is carried out in close collaboration with community-based organizations, and other policy and advocacy groups. This versatility promotes creative problem-solving and—coupled with our independence and tenacity—has positioned BPI at the forefront of many public interest issues that most affect the lives of people throughout the city and region.

PILI Interns and Fellows work under the direct supervision of BPI attorneys. They research legal and policy issues, write memoranda, briefs and policy papers, develop legal strategies, and participate in meetings with BPI staff and with coalition partners and decision-makers.

In addition to your cover letter and resume, BPI may request unofficial transcripts, writing samples, and list of references. After you submit your application for this agency, the agency will contact you to ask for these additional materials if they wish to pursue your application further.

This agency is approved to host a Law Student Intern during the summer. They are also approved to host Graduate Fellows.