PILI would like to extend a formal congratulations to the eight law students upon their competition of their Fall 2021 PILI Law Student Internship. As the fall session wraps up, we wanted to ask the PILI Interns about their experiences working for public interest agencies throughout Chicago. Read more about them, and the what they’ve gained, through their various Internships through PILI.
“Through working with Legal Aid Society I have been able to directly serve those from the community that I was born and raised in. I’ve been working on the Domestic Violence Team aiding individuals who are victims of DV in their divorce cases. Being able to see our clients begin to move on with their lives once their cases are over makes the work worth it.”
Srishtee is a 2L at the University of Minnesota and an Intern at Legal Aid Chicago.
“I connect with PILI’s mission to engage, inspire and empower those advancing equal access to justice because I believe everyone has a voice. Justice does not patronize or shout over others, but is determined to let people speak for themselves.”
Jihan is a 2L at the University of Illinois College of Law and the Baker McKenzie Named Intern at the Center for Disability and Elder Law (CDEL).
“I came to law school after serving Illinois as a congressional staffer, knowing I wanted to change policies that maintain disenfranchisement. Working at CDEL has been an amazing opportunity to help many of the people I served before, but in a different way. Financial circumstances should not bar anyone from access to competent and compassionate attorneys. CDEL leads that charge everyday, and I am grateful to receive legal training from lawyers who carry a public service ethos.”
Olivia is a 3L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and an Intern at Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS). Olivia is a “Double PILI” having also done a PILI Internship this past summer.
“This fall I am a PILI Intern for Chicago Volunteer Legal Services in their Minor Guardianship division, serving as a Guardian Ad Litem for children on several cases. The reason I came to law school was to learn how to effectively advocate for the rights of children and families. Both of my PILI Internships have taught me tremendous skills in this area and has helped me to determine my future career path. I am so grateful to PILI, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and everyone who has supported me along the way!”
Kaitlynn is 3L at Harvard Law School and an Intern at Equip for Equality.
“Working with Equip for Equality as a PILI Intern has reinforced my commitment to serving communities that face limited access to meaningful legal services. I’ve valued the opportunity to work with our clients in addressing the heightened barriers that people with disabilities experience in accessing legal services and enforcing their rights.”
Sarah is a 3L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and the Chicago Bar Foundation Named Intern at Greater Chicago Legal Clinic.
“The greatest take away from my PILI experience so far has been realizing the crucial role that lawyers play in the immigration process and the impact that our work can have on clients. In its current form, the immigration system is long and complicated, so it’s essential that clients have a patient and compassionate attorney to navigate this process with them and help them achieve their goals.”
Elvis is a 3L at Loyola University Chicago and the LAGBAC Foundation Named Intern sponsored by DLA Piper at the National Immigrant Justice Center.
“I spent my Fall working at NIJC’s LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative and was able to get a better understanding of the specific issues this community faces in immigration proceedings. I believe in pro bono and public interest work because many vulnerable individuals otherwise wouldn’t have legal representation, and in immigration matters, it’s of utmost importance.”
“I was encouraged to learn that law students don’t have to wait to contribute to public interest work in a meaningful way. Working with the Shriver Center has brought my coursework to life and fulfilled my hope of using my studies to respond to urgent needs of the most vulnerable in our community. I always hoped that law school could prepare me to use the law and policy to restore people’s sense of agency over their lives and this internship has given me that opportunity.”