Although he will not graduate from Valparaiso University School of Law until May, Johnny Frevert is already deeply committed to the public interest. Frevert, the 2010 Intern Representative on PILI’s Board of Directors, was hosted by CARPLS for both a summer Internship and a fall school-year Internship where he advised pro-se litigants at CARPLS Collection, Divorce and Municipal Advice Desks.
Reflecting on his two PILI Internships, Frevert is grateful for the “invaluable amount of real-world and real-time experience dealing face-to-face with clients and their legal issues.” He was particularly affected by one client he was advising at the CARPLS Collection Desk on how to get her bank account unfrozen. “The client’s assets were all exempt from collection under Illinois law, which really put her at ease. Near the end of our consultation, she wanted to know if CARPLS had a website so she could donate money to help us continue assisting people like herself. While I was very touched that someone with little to no assets would be willing to contribute to CARPLS, I simply told her, as I had told many clients before, that that is what we (CARPLS) are here for, and that she should concern herself with getting herself back on her feet.”
Frevert began working as a volunteer with the CARPLS hotline when he was a 1L, and his dedication to the public interest has profoundly influenced his career path. “I decided to move to Chicago and practice law in Illinois for the very reason that there are so many gifted attorneys committed to the goal of making sure that everyone has access to the law and not just those who could afford a retainer agreement,” Frevert remarks. “The externships which I have chosen come from a desire to serve the wider public good, and the career paths I have been investigating do not stray far from public service.”
In addition to his experiences with CARPLS, Frevert has externed in the Special Litigation Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, and he is currently an extern with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in the Narcotics Division.
Frevert’s goal is to either find a position in state government or continue working in the legal aid community with an Illinois legal aid organization. “My hope,” says Frevert, “is that some day in the future I can give PILI more than just my time so that they may continue granting this invaluable experience to other worthy candidates.”
Originally published Jan 2011 Read more PILI Alumni Spotlights »