PILI Intern & Fellow Orientation

Each year, PILI hosts an orientation for Interns and Fellows to kick-off the summer. This program serves as an introduction to the Illinois legal aid community and some of the struggles your clients face as well as the impact you can have. We also focus on developing practical skills that will be useful this summer and throughout your career.

This program is open for all interns at Illinois agencies to attend virtually. PILI Interns and Fellows are invited to attend in person. We have a full day of speakers lined up as well as opportunities to network with PILI’s Board and Alumni, so most in-person attendees find business casual attire appropriate. Advance registration is required.

In an effort to keep everyone safe and comfortable, we ask that you do not attend this event in person if you are feeling unwell on the day of this program/event, have recently tested positive for COVID-19, or if you have possibly been exposed to COVID-19 recently.

Summer 2022 PILI Intern & Fellow Orientation Agenda


9:30 a.m.       Registration & Continental Breakfast

10:00 a.m.    Welcome & Overview of PILI
Michael G. Bergmann, PILI Executive Director
Brent Page, PILI Senior Managing Attorney
Learn more about PILI, our Internship and Fellowship Programs, and what to expect this summer. You will also hear about the impact of the work you will be doing over the summer.

10:30 a.m. How to Interview Your Legal Aid Client
Alyssa Phillips, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
Christy Joyce L. Savellano, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
Learn strategies to interview low-income clients in a variety of settings and tools for eliciting information needed to assist them such as questioning techniques, approaches to make the client feel comfortable, and how to structure the interview.

11:30 a.m.    Break

11:45 a.m.    Helping Ourselves to Help Others: Understanding and Addressing Vicarious Trauma
Virginia Ryan, Family Horizons Counseling
It is common for those working with clients who have experienced traumatic life events to also bear an emotional impact from the exposure to hearing the client’s stories and witnessing the client’s pain and fear. Learn how to become aware of the signs and symptoms of vicarious trauma and practical tips you can utilize to promote self-care to help you become a better advocate for your client.

1:00 p.m.       Intern & Fellow Lunch with PILI Alumni
Following brief remarks you will have the opportunity to network with each other and members of PILI’s Alumni Network.

2:15 p.m.       Conflict Management
Rae Kyritsi, Programs Director, Center for Conflict Resolution
Conflict in the courtroom (and even the workplace) may be unavoidable. Gain insights, tools, and techniques on how best to manage disputes and create meaningful resolutions.

3:30 p.m.       Making the Most of Your Internship & Fellowship
Emma K. Garl Smith, Legal Aid Society, 2019 PILI Intern
Paris Mayfield, Duane Morris, 2021 PILI Fellow
Vaughn Olson, Judicial Clerk, 2019 PILI Fellow
Kevin Zickterman, City of Chicago Law Department, 2012 PILI Intern

PILI Alumni will share tips and best practices to maximize your Internship or Fellowship experience and beyond.

5:00 p.m.       Networking Reception
We end our day with a special reception to kick-off the PILI Advising Program. Meet members of PILI’s Board of Directors and Alumni Network and celebrate the start of the Internship and Fellowship Programs. All Interns and Fellows are encouraged to attend, whether or not you signed up to participate in the Advising Program.

Please register below by Monday, May 30th. If you have any questions or problems with the form, please contact Grayson Alexander by email or by phone at 312-832-5127.