Legal Council for Health Justice

Legal Council for Health Justice (formerly known as the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago) uses the power of the law to secure dignity, opportunity, and well-being for people facing barriers due to illness or disability.

Legal Council for Health Justice offers three different opportunities for PILI Interns and Fellows in each. Please specify in your cover letter which program you would like to apply for, if you have a preference:

1) AIDS Legal Council
The AIDS Legal Council program provides legal assistance in cases where an individual’s HIV status—real or perceived—is the cause of his or her legal difficulties. The Council provides direct legal services to people in need, educates the public about HIV-related legal issues, and advocates for social policies that ensure fair treatment for all people affected by HIV/AIDS. Council staff and volunteers serve clients and community through individual advice and representation; training and outreach to clients, case managers and service providers; individual and impact litigation; and administrative and legislative advocacy.  ALC provides counseling and direct representation to clients in a range of legal areas, such as patient confidentiality, public benefits, Social Security disability, health insurance, advance directives and estate planning.  Law student volunteers would participate in all aspects of the Project’s work including counseling clients, organizing and summarizing medical records, researching and writing memos for Social Security hearings and other matters, and assisting with outreach efforts.

A PILI Intern and Fellow will spend a substantial amount of time dealing directly with clients and handling day-to-day legal matters.  For example, Interns and Fellows interview clients, counsel clients about HIV/AIDS-related legal matters, draft wills and powers of attorney, conduct legal research, draft legal memoranda and briefs, and represent clients in administrative proceedings.  Students with 711 licenses may appear in court on behalf of clients.

2) SSI Homeless Outreach Project
The SSI Homeless Outreach Project specializes in providing trauma-informed advocacy to persons who are homeless, disabled and who are survivors of significant “adverse childhood experiences” (“ACE”). ACEs include all forms of abuse and neglect; household domestic violence, substance abuse and mental illness; and parental abandonment and incarceration.

A PILI Intern and Fellow will have the opportunity to conduct outreach to and interview clients, assist clients to complete necessary paperwork, develop evidence in support of claims, gather and summarize medical records and draft written legal arguments supporting a finding of disability under federal law and may attend and/or participate at administrative hearings.

3) Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children
The Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children is a legal partnership with medical providers serving pediatric patients with significant health challenges with the ultimate goal of improving children’s access to a full-range of social, educational, developmental, medical and legal services and supports and removing systemic barriers. The program combines direct service, outreach and education, policy and impact efforts—serving as an incubator for health policy development for low-income children with significant health care needs. The Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children has four main service components:

  1. Direct Legal Services
  2. Technical Assistance & Provider Trainings
  3. Impact advocacy, including class actions &
  4. Policy Development

A PILI Intern & Fellow will have an opportunity to work on projects in all service areas. Please specify in your cover letter if you have a preference as to policy or direct service work. As valued members of the team, the PILI Intern & Fellow are well integrated into day-to-day program operations and participate in agency staff, team and committee meetings.

This agency is approved to host Law Student Interns in each program area during the summer. This agency is also approved to host Graduate Fellows.