Illinois Guardianship & Advocacy Commission

The Illinois Guardianship & Advocacy Commission protects and enforces the rights of individuals with mental illness, developmental disability, or physical disability.  PILI Fellows will work closely with the staff attorneys of the Legal Advocacy Service (LAS) division.

Staff attorneys of LAS provide advice and representation to thousands of persons with disabilities, including minors and adults as well as residents of the community and treatment facilities. Our services include: 1) serving as court-appointed counsel, in the trial and reviewing courts, in hearings for involuntary mental health treatment; 2) responding to requests for information regarding the legal rights of persons with disabilities; and 3) investigating alleged violations of those legal rights and providing advocacy to remedy substantiated violations.

PILI Fellows will have the unique opportunity to represent respondents in civil commitment and treatment hearings, work on briefs in appeal from orders for civil commitment or involuntary psychotropic medication, and provide research and case preparation assistance to the LAS staff attorneys – which includes interviews of medical staff, families, social worker, etc.  Depending on interest, Fellows may have the opportunity to participate in mental health law educational trainings and provide information to persons in treatment facilities who have questions about their legal rights.

PILI Fellows will work with attorneys assigned to the John Madden Mental Health Center in Maywood, where they will have significant opportunity to develop practical skills of personal interest through trial and appellate work, client contact, medical chart review, research, etc.

This agency is approved to host Graduate Fellows.