National Volunteer Week, celebrated this year from April 16 through April 22, is an opportunity for PILI to recognize and acknowledge our own outstanding and dedicated volunteers. Without our vast network of volunteers throughout Illinois, PILI would not be where it is today.
Thank you to all of those who serve on our Board of Directors, Young Professionals Board, Alumni Leadership, Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees. Additionally, we our grateful to our statewide network of pro bono volunteers who use their own time, energy and resources to provide free legal services through PILI’s pro bono opportunities to those who do not have access to legal services due to financial restrictions or otherwise.
To celebrate National Volunteer Week, PILI is spotlighting several of our volunteers who help us create a community of service by using their own time and talents to increase access to justice. Thank you to these PILI champions for everything they do!
Below they share their thoughts on volunteering and why they volunteer.
“The longer I do it the more I realize that volunteering isn’t just about “doing good” or fulfilling a sense of obligation, it’s about tapping into some fundamental aspects of my humanity and purpose that brought me to the practice of law – the capacity for empathy, kindness, and generosity – and expressing those in a way that utilizes my skills and resources as an attorney to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those struggling to access legal resources. I find it rewarding to create real connections and build a sense of community with those who are confronting legal challenges without the help of an attorney. These struggles are outside of my current day-to-day experiences in the practice of law, so I have expanded my ability to assist individuals both through and outside of PILI and have seen the many statistics around access to justice become non-abstract. PILI has made it easy to partner in providing these services and to enhance the access to justice in our communities, and I am grateful to support their work in this effort.”
Erin Schumacher Stern
“Volunteering allows me to meaningfully contribute to my community while also feeling personally satisfied that I have skills that can positively impact others’ lives. I particularly enjoy volunteering with PILI’s clinics because of the sense of camaraderie and shared purpose among the volunteers. PILI handles all of the training and logistics so well that I can feel confident in the process and focus on doing the best work I can for each client.”
“The unfortunate reality is in our legal system, those with more resources receive better outcomes. I’ve always felt it’s important for me to do my part to fight against this inequality in what little ways I can. Illinois Free Legal Answers is a great tool to connect people who have questions with lawyers who can give good advice through a quick and convenient forum.”