Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights

Founded in 1969, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights is Chicago’s preeminent non-profit civil rights legal organization. Building on our history of long-standing partnerships with the private bar, our mission and strategic direction includes an explicit focus on racial equity and community-driven goals. We provide legal representation through pro bono and co-counsel partnerships with the private bar and collaborate with grassroots organizations and other advocacy groups to implement community-based solutions that advance civil rights.

PILI Fellows and Interns have the opportunity to collaborate on transactional matters, litigation, and policy advocacy in our core issue areas of Voting Rights and Civic Empowerment, Education Equity, and Equitable Community Development and Housing. They may also provide settlement assistance to pro se parties in federal court settlement proceedings on civil rights claims.

PILI Interns and Fellows providing support on litigation and policy advocacy will be engaged in assignments including legal research and writing, intake interviews of prospective clients, on legal and fact investigations, providing community education on legal rights, and relationship-building with community organizations. They may draft memos and court filings, attend court hearings and depositions, assist with advocacy to government officials and the media, and participate in coalition meetings and other opportunities to see civil rights work in action in the community.

PILI Interns and Fellows providing transactional assistance to economic development and social services nonprofits and low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs conduct client interviews, provide client counseling on corporate structure and formation, draft articles, bylaws and operating agreements, draft and review contracts, and provide legal advice for clients’ compliance and operational needs. For nonprofit clients, PILI Interns and Fellows may assist with income tax exemption applications and charitable registrations. They may also write articles and legal alerts, and research legal issues specific to nonprofits and small businesses.

Chicago Lawyers’ Committee strives to provide PILI participants with a meaningful and challenging civil rights learning experience, while obtaining high quality work product in order to fulfill the Committee’s goal of securing racial equity and economic justice.

Applicants must have excellent legal research and writing skills, communication skills, and a demonstrated commitment to public service. Experience in racial justice work, policy advocacy, or community organizing is a plus. Skills in Spanish or other languages other than English are also a plus. Chicago Lawyers’ Committee is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages students of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, people who speak languages in addition to English, and others whose background and experiences would help our organization better understand and serve our clients and community members. In a cover letter, applicants should specify their interest in providing support for either (1) Litigation and Policy Advocacy, or (2) Transactional Assistance.

One Law Student Intern and one Graduate Fellow will be focused on providing transactional legal assistance to nonprofits and small businesses.

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