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Highlights from PILI’s Summer 2020 PILI Intern Evaluation

Who they were:

In summer 2020 there were 48 Law Student Interns

  • 79% of the class identified as female
  • 40% identified as racially or ethnically diverse
  • 73% were from Illinois law schools
  • 29% identified as LGBTQ
  • 10% identified as a person with a disability

What they did:

The most common practice areas include:

  • Housing Law
  • Civil Rights
  • Public Benefits
  • Family Law
  • Disability
  • Domestic Violence
  • Health Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Employment Law
  • Immigration
  • Children Law
  • Guardianship & Estates
  • Consumer Law
  • Homelessness

Direct Legal Services

This summer, 65% of PILI Interns provided direct legal services to 421 clients. Of those clients,

  • 69% were people of color
  • 64% were women
  • 40% were people over 50
  • 18% were people with disabilities
  • 15% were people whose primary language was not English
  • 10% were children
  • 8% identified as LGBTQ
  • 2% were veterans

Brief Legal Services

This summer, 58% of PILI Interns provided brief Legal services to 329 clients. Of those clients,

  • 65% were women
  • 60% were people of color
  • 28% were people over 50
  • 25% were people with disabilities
  • 14% were people whose primary language was not English
  • 9% were children
  • 6% identified as LGBTQ
  • 3% were veterans

Other Legal Services

This summer, all of the Interns provided other legal services, including

  • Legal & policy research or writing (81%)
  • Administrative work/legal support (calling clients, client intake interviews, drafting memos/paperwork, data entry) (64%)
  • Community outreach/education (24%)
  • Drafting/reviewing legislation (24%)
  • Class actions or impact litigations (17%)
  • Field investigations (7%)
  • Community organizing (6%)

Work Experience


Impact of Internship Experience



Overall feedback from Interns:

Overall rating of PILI experience: On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “very poor” and 5 being “very good,” Interns rated the program a 4.9 overall.

100% of Interns who responded said they would recommend the Law Student Internship program to others.

Impact of the Internship Experience:

Quotes from Interns

“I learned so much this summer, probably more than in my whole first year of law school. I cannot express how much this summer enhanced my legal skills.”

“My PILI Internship allowed me to gain hands-on experience working directly with clients, which is invaluable for my 1L summer.  I now have the tools to interview clients, which will help me better help serve them moving forward in my legal career.”

“The PILI Internship has given me experience, and a unique understanding of the law regarding housing that I wouldn’t have been able to experience otherwise. I think this Internship will allow me to grow connections, and develop professional relationships, and have real experience on my resume.”

“PILI has allowed me to connect to the public interest community in Chicago more fully and has educated me on all the areas of law I can pursue as a public interest lawyer.”

“My PILI Internship has taught me how to navigate the world of public aid and help people in poverty. It also enhanced my client sensitivity skills with clients who are in poverty or struggling financially.”

“PILI has shown me just how much I love working directly with clients! I also discovered an interest in education law.”

“I made meaningful connections with experienced attorneys, which I hope to maintain after this simmer. This was my second PILI, and I was amazed by how many new experiences I had.”

“I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to advocate for others and gain more insight into what that looks like from a legal perspective.”

Posted in Internships.