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PILI Spotlight: 2022 Alumni Representatives to PILI’s Alumni Network Leadership Council

PILI is excited to welcome Mariah Levy and Elisa Epstein to our Alumni Network Leadership Council as the 2022 Intern and Fellow Alumni Representatives. Each year PILI picks representatives from the most recent class of Interns and Fellows to serve on the Council for a two-year term. Mariah is an Associate at Latham & Watkins and did her PILI Graduate Fellowship at Bluhm Legal Clinic. Elisa is a 2L at University of Chicago Law School and did her Law Student Internship with the ACLU of Illinois.

Mariah Levy

Associate, Latham and Watkins
2022 Graduate Fellow

What have you been up to since your PILI Fellowship concluded?

I’ve been in my Associate role since September 2022. As an unassigned associate, I’ve been able to work on both transactional and litigation matters, which has broadened my perspective quite a bit in a short time. Recently, I’ve also been able to take on pro bono matters.

What was your favorite thing about being a PILI Fellow?

I love having the opportunity to engage with others who value service. It’s important to maintain momentum when trying to solve complicated and persistent issues. A combination of passion and dedication to values like equity and fairness set a wonderful foundation for collaborating meaningfully. When it comes to difficult tasks like promoting justice and consistent advocacy, we’re always stronger together.

How has your commitment to service played a role in your life and career?

Prior to law school, I was a social worker with a focus on addictions counseling. Addiction, like many other conditions, can be difficult to manage as both an individual or community. And it’s something that has touched the lives of most. In the process of looking for ways to support happier and healthier lives as a social worker, I found a renewed sense of commitment to doing my part in the world. Because we are all in community with one another—from neighborhoods to cities to states to our full globe—we should share a collective responsibility for our health and happiness. In law, we work in service of clients who are trying to achieve a variety of goals. Regardless of what those goals are, we always have a responsibility to provide assistance in navigating a complicated system with a complex set of rules. My career has helped me appreciate how we are all connected to something greater. Since we’re all connected, being in service of others is being in service of ourselves.


Elisa Epstein

2L at University of Chicago Law School
2022 Law Student Intern

What have you been up to since your PILI Internship concluded?

Since my summer PILI Internship with the ACLU of Illinois concluded, I’ve been back in school as a 2L at the University of Chicago Law School.

What was your favorite thing about being a PILI Intern?

I loved that being a PILI Intern gave me the opportunity to connect with other law students and lawyers passionate about public interest work and working in a variety of capacities throughout the city. And, of course, I gained so much from my internship experience itself!

How has your commitment to service played a role in your life and career?

In my career before law school, I was a human rights advocate in Washington, D.C working to protect and promote human rights in US foreign policy and national security. That experience informed my decision to come to law school by showing me the value of a legal education in the promotion of human rights – from systemic change to seemingly small fixes that make a big impact. I understand the power that a legal education confers, for better or for worse, and am committed to using the immense privilege that comes with a law degree in service of civil and human rights.

Posted in Alumni Spotlights, Fellow Alumni, Intern Alumni, News.