PILI is excited to welcome Lindsey Schmeidler to our Board of Directors as the 2016 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.
Lindsey is a second-year law student at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. She is a double PILI, having interned at CARPLS last summer and again this fall. She is extremely focused on public interest law and has already accomplished a lot in her short legal career.
“A commitment to service is the driving force in my legal education and career,” said Lindsey. “PILI has truly been a saving grace in giving me the financial ability to continue my lifelong commitment to public service.”
As a PILI Intern at CARPLS, she worked on the telephone hotline where she gave advice and referrals to clients who needed help with family, consumer and housing law. She also spent time at CARPLS’s court-based help desks in the Daley Center, drafting documents for clients and researching clients’ cases.
During the summer, Lindsey also participated in PILI’s Educational Seminar Series where she met other public interest-minded law students from across the nation.
“In particular, these events gave me and my fellow PILIs a chance to share our frustrations with policies and laws that we believed to be unfair to our client populations, our anxieties about finding public interest jobs following graduation, and our awe at the responsibility we were handed from our agencies,” said Lindsey. “In my opinion, this is the single greatest achievement of PILI – they give public interest-minded law students a platform for engaging with each other.”
When not at her PILI Internships, Lindsey is hard at work in law school. In addition to her regular classes, she is working with Professor Ron Staudt using the program Access to Justice Author (A2J Author) to develop guided interviews for pro se litigants that results in a court document. She has also been exploring increasing access to justice by better implementing technology in the court systems, at legal aid organizations and for use by pro se litigants. She believes her school work and her PILI Internship experiences have worked together to improve her legal education.
“Following my experience as a PILI Intern, I am more attuned to the ways in which the legal doctrines that I learn will and do affect the population of low-income individuals,” Lindsey said. “As a student, I have been able to connect the theory that I learn in class every day to actual legal problems that real people are facing.”