Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI)

PILI’s mission is to engage, inspire and empower those advancing equal access to justice. Through our programs, we connect law student, recent law school graduates, lawyers and legal professionals with public interest law and pro bono service opportunities.

PILI’s Law Student Internship and Graduate Fellowship Programs place law students and recent law school graduates at public interest law organizations, with PILI providing funding for their work as well as supplemental educational, networking and mentoring opportunities. Our Alumni Network builds and maintains the connection between past PILI Interns and Fellows and the public interest law community through educational, networking, leadership, and service opportunities. Our Pro Bono Program works to increase the availability of pro bono legal help for those who cannot afford an attorney in Illinois by developing innovative pro bono opportunities, offering pro bono programming and resources, cultivating best practices, and celebrating the life-changing pro bono performed throughout the state.

PILI is seeking a Law Student Intern to work as part of its Pro Bono Program. The Intern will have the opportunity to learn about civil legal aid and explore common legal issues that most affect lower income communities around the state as well as the legal aid and pro bono landscape. Due to PILI’s unique position in the public interest law sector, it can also connect the Intern with other opportunities in the community. Interns will support the Programs Team, and specifically the Pro Bono Program, by:

  • Conducting preliminary intake screening interviews, gathering relevant facts and identifying legal issues;
  • Maintaining records and entering data in PILI’s case management system;
  • Researching legal issues;
  • Assisting with preparing for clinics and handling client and pro bono attorney communication;
  • Assisting with reviewing client questions on Illinois Free Legal Answers and drafting responses;
  • Identifying possible pro bono attorneys and conducting outreach; and
  • Participating in meetings with PILI staff and external stakeholders.

Oral and written proficiency in Spanish is preferred. The Law Student Intern will also assist PILI with pro bono opportunities in response to the needs of recently arrived migrants in Chicago, as the legal aid response continues to evolve.

At PILI, we believe that diversity and inclusion are fundamentally important objectives that make organizations more effective. In our hiring and our work, we support diversity in all of its forms, encompassing but not limited to age, disability status, economic circumstance, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, and sexual orientation.

This agency is approved to host a Law Student Intern during the summer.