The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) is proud to announce Vanessa Weathersby as the newest Alumni Class Representative. She will serve as the Intern Representative for the 1986-1990 Class, succeeding Charles Wintersteen in the role.
As Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month ends and we approach Pro Bono Week, PILI was honored to interview PILI Alum Militza Pagán, a staff attorney with the Shriver Center on Poverty Law in Chicago, to highlight her impactful work throughout the state of Illinois.
Every time I attend a PILI meeting, I am inspired by my colleagues and am reminded of my own commitment to do pro bono work. Second, PILI meetings and events are fun — great people and interesting conversations.
To watch clients in tears, and to be in tears with them, celebrating a professional and personal victory is an unparalleled reminder that this work matters. That it will forever matter. That we have a responsibility, regardless of sector and seniority, to commit some of our time to public service and to aid those who are less privileged than ourselves.
“My commitment to services is deeply rooted in my life and career. I have often sought out opportunities to give back to vulnerable communities through nonprofit work. Now, as an attorney, I look forward to continuing this important work through pro bono opportunities.”
“I think in law school, because of all the work and stress, it’s easy to lose focus of why we chose this career but engaging in direct client representation through public interest work has allowed me to remember why I came to law school—to make justice accessible to everyone.”
“As a PILI Intern, I have been able to join a cohort of so many great friends that are passionate about using the legal tools we have gain during law school to provide representation to communities that have limited access to legal representation.”
“Justice means access and equality for all.”
“Justice is being able to be heard, to tell your story. It means having a seat at the table and being able to get to the place you need to be in order to have your story hear.”
Happy Valentine’s Day! We spoke with one of our PILI Alumni Couples, John and Jami Gekas, about their experience as PILIs and how their commitment to service plays a role in their relationships. Jami was a PILI Fellow at Legal Aid Chicago in 2001 and is now a partner at Foley & Lardner. John was […]