PILI is grateful to Marlow Svatek of Sidley Austin LLP who has been serving as Chair of our Alumni Network Leadership Council for the last year and will conclude her term at the end of this month. Marlow is a “Double PILI” having served as a PILI Law Student Intern at the National Immigrant Justice Center during law school and as a PILI Graduate Fellow at the ACLU of Illinois upon graduation before joining Sidley, where she is currently a managing associate in the litigation group with a focus on consumer class actions and appellate litigation.
As Marlow concludes her service as chair, we asked her a few questions about her involvement with PILI.
What have you been up to since your PILI Law Student Internship concluded?
I did a PILI Internship at the National Immigrant Justice Center and then a PILI Fellowship at the ACLU of Illinois. After my Fellowship concluded, I clerked and then started practicing at Sidley Austin. I handle a broad range of commercial litigation matters, focusing on consumer class action defense.
What was your favorite thing about being a PILI Intern?
During my time as an Intern at NIJC, I got to help immigrants from several West African countries successfully seek asylum here in the US. I was able to hone my legal skills, but I also got to use my intercultural and language skills from living and working abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso prior to law school. I loved being able to greet clients in their native language before an intake interview to help make them a bit more comfortable.
How has your commitment to service played a role in your life and career?
Pro bono work has played a critical role in both my personal life and career development. I am extremely grateful to Sidley for supporting my robust pro bono practice, which has included asylum matters and impact litigation cases to protect immigrant rights. Many of my career “firsts” — depositions, examining witnesses, oral arguments, etc. — were in pro bono cases. My pro bono matters feed my soul, give me much-needed perspective, and remind me why I became a lawyer in the first place.
Why do you like serving on the Alumni Network Leadership Council?
Serving on the Alumni Network Leadership Council has been a fantastic way to stay connected with PILI and its vast Alumni Network, which encompasses 5,000+ Alumni around the world in private practice, government, academia, and non-profit organizations. I have made new friends and expanded my professional network, and I love being able to play a role in ensuring that the next generation of PILI Interns and Fellows has a a successful and meaningful experience.