PILI is excited to welcome Andrea Augustinas to our Board of Directors as the 2017 Law Student Intern Alumni Representative. PILI appoints one Intern and one Fellow every year from the most recent class to serve on the board for a two-year term.
Andrea is a third-year law student at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. She is a double PILI, having interned at Citizen Advocacy Center in Elmhurst during the summer of 2016 where she worked on issues of government transparency and accountability, and at CARPLS during the summer of 2017 where she provided direct, short-term legal advice to low-income clients on a variety of issues, primarily related to housing law, consumer law and family law. In between, she worked at the Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law.
“For me the appeal of these positions was not only being able to learn about new areas of law I had not necessarily encountered at school, but meeting a vast network of individuals who share my passion for helping underserved communities and exploring issues that impact people who are too often overlooked by the legal profession,” said Andrea.
Back at school, she is now participating in Chicago-Kent’s Center for Open Government legal clinic. The Center for Open Government helps ensure transparency, accountability and responsibility in local and state government. “My work at the Citizen Advocacy Center as well as the changes in the legal and political landscape since 2016 fueled my interest in doing more work in this field,” Andrea said.
Andrea has found her Internship experiences to be both rewarding and an important part of her legal education. “I find myself constantly saying that all lawyers ought to have some experience working with low-income or underserved clients, particularly in a fast-paced legal aid setting, because you cannot learn these skills anywhere else in the same way,” she said.
Not only has Andrea gained legal skills, but she’s been able to learn more about herself through her experiences, “I came to law school knowing I wanted to practice public interest law, and that my career, however it took shape, was going to be committed to helping those who need help the most,” she said. ”That commitment has only been enhanced by the Internship experiences PILI has allowed me to have.”