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Press Release: PILI Launches Community Law Clinic at Legal Prep Charter Academy

First Clinic 2 - Jan 2015

PILI volunteers and staff with Legal Prep’s Sam Finkelstein at our first Clinic in January

The Alumni Network Leadership Council of the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) has partnered with Legal Prep Charter Academy and Chicago Volunteer Legal Service (CVLS) to launch the Legal Prep Community Law Clinic, a community-based clinic for the student families and neighbors of Legal Prep in Chicago’s Garfield Park neighborhood.

Through the Community Law Clinic, Alumni of PILI’s Law Student Internship and Graduate Fellowship Programs volunteer to help families and neighbors of Legal Prep students address critical legal needs. With the support of CVLS staff, these volunteers provide pro bono services on all civil, non-fee generating, non-class action cases. Types of cases might include family law, eviction, consumer debt, foreclosure, adult/child guardianship, and more.

The Community Law Clinic is held on the second Tuesday of every month from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Legal Prep. The first clinic took place in January 2015. In addition to organizing the Clinic and recruiting Alumni to volunteer, PILI has invited law firms that offer PILI’s Graduate Fellowship Program to “adopt” a Clinic session. The firm would be responsible for recruiting four to six PILI Alumni from among its attorneys (PILI currently has over 3,600 Alumni, many of whom work in Chicago) to volunteer with the Clinic for that month. Kirkland & Ellis LLP, which has sponsored the largest number of PILI Fellows of any firm, has been the first to sign on and adopt the month of November 2015.

PILI Executive Director Michael G. Bergmann expresses PILI’s enthusiasm for this new and much-needed project, saying, “PILI is very excited to partner with Legal Prep on this meaningful service opportunity for PILI Alumni to help meet the legal needs of Legal Prep’s families and neighbors.” Rather Stanton, Development Director & Co-Founder for Legal Prep, agrees with this sentiment. “Legal Prep strives to be a cornerstone for positive change in the West Garfield Park community, and we couldn’t be more pleased to partner with PILI, PILI’s Alumni Network Leadership Council, and CVLS to build another bridge between the school and the community,” he says.

About Legal Prep Charter Academy: Legal Prep is a free, legal-themed, college prep charter high school in West Garfield Park that opened in the fall of 2012. Their mission is to use their unique law themed curriculum and culture of high expectations to cultivate compassion, self-motivation, and reflection in young adults who will be prepared to succeed at outstanding four-year colleges and universities.

About PILI: PILI’s mission is to cultivate a lifelong commitment to public interest law and pro bono service within the Illinois legal community to expand the availability of legal services for people, families and communities in need.

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