The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) works to cultivate a lifelong commitment to public interest law and pro bono service within the Illinois legal community and to expand the availability of legal services for people, families, and communities in need. It does so by encouraging lawyers to do pro bono, by funding law students to intern with a public interest law office, and by facilitating fellowships for new law school graduates to work for a government or public interest law office before entering private practice. More information about these and PILI’s other programs is available on PILI’s website.
In many ways, Chuck owes his career at the Public Guardian’s Office, where he currently serves as the Deputy Public Guardian in charge of the Adult Guardianship Division, to PILI. Chuck first worked at the Public Guardian’s Office during the summer of 1990 as a PILI Fellow, funded by the law firm now known as Katten, Muchin, and Rosenman. The fellowship afforded Chuck the opportunity to represent abused and neglected children in Juvenile Court, to handle several appellate cases, to represent an undocumented child in immigration proceedings, and to sue the State of Illinois to establish a legal identity for a foundling child. It was a tremendously rewarding and eye-opening experience. In fact, Chuck’s PILI Fellowship at the Public Guardian’s Office contributed to his decision to eventually practice full time in the public sector. When Chuck started at Katten, Muchin, and Rosenman as an associate that fall, the firm allowed him to bring three cases with him from the Public Guardian’s Office to handle pro bono. Chuck returned to the Public Guardian’s Office full time a year later, in the fall of 1991. It is unlikely that Chuck would ever have worked at the Public Guardian’s Office if not for his PILI Fellowship.
Over the years Chuck has remained active in PILI. He currently serves on PILI’s Alumni Leadership Council, as the Council’s liaison to the PILI Board of Directors, and on PILI’s fundraising and events committee. PILI honored Chuck with its Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008. Last year, PILI featured Chuck in its Alumni Spotlight column (you can read the column by clicking here).
PILI is a bedrock of Chicago’s public interest law community. You can donate to PILI in celebration of Rachel and Chuck’s special day by filling out the form below. Thank you for supporting PILI’s important work!