PILI is grateful to Judy He of Crowell & Moring LLP who has been serving as Chair of our Young Professionals Board for the last year and will conclude her term at the end of this month. Judy He is an associate specializing in Patent and ITC litigation, counseling and litigating intellectual property disputes involving various technologies, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, consumer products and licensing issues. In addition to handling IP and licensing disputes, Judy has an active pro bono practice and is an active volunteer with PILI through Illinois Free Legal Answers, having been recognized twice by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service as a Pro Bono Leader for her contributions in 2020 and 2021. Judy was also sponsored by her firm in 2017 as a PILI Graduate Fellow serving at The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights.
As Judy concludes her service as chair, we asked her a few questions about her involvement with PILI.
What drew you to PILI and its mission?
What immediately drew me to PILI is its dedication to providing law students and recent law graduates with opportunities to pursue pro bono and public interest early in their careers and be a part of PILI’s mission to increase access to justice. Giving back to the community has always been important to me, but as a first-generation law student, it was hard to know where to start. One of the reasons why PILI is special is that it helped introduce me to a number of different pro bono and public interest agencies in Chicago and let me learn more about how I can use my law degree to make a meaningful impact and help those in need.
How has your commitment to pro bono service played a role in your life and career?
Being involved with pro bono has helped me grow tremendously. Law intersects with and touches on so many aspects of our day-to-day lives, and working with my pro bono clients to help them navigate our complex legal system to find solutions to these problems is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling aspects of my career. Empathy and compassion are important skills for every lawyer to have, and through my pro bono practice, I’ve also come to meet and work with many amazing advocates and mentors who exemplify these skills and truly lead by example. These individuals and their commitment to pro bono inspire me to do more in my career and my life.
Why do you like serving on the Young Professionals Board?
It’s a lot of fun to serve on the Young Professionals Board. Our group came together five years ago with a common goal to support PILI, and over the years, we’ve grown and adapted. For example, our signature event, Arcade for Legal Aid, went from in-person to virtual to in-person, and thinking about this journey and the planning involved at various stages brings back lots of good memories. The people are also wonderful to work with, and being able to share ideas with and learn from each other as we continue to help support PILI is another one of my favorite parts of serving with this team.