In addition to PILI’s Law Student Internship and Graduate Fellowship Programs, there are several law firm fellowship and/or rotation models offering their attorneys extended placement options at public interest law organizations in Illinois and around the country. Historically, these programs typically have focused on newly admitted attorneys and were intended to maximize the firm’s pro bono commitment while serving as a recruiting and skills-building vehicle for new associates. During the most recent economic downturn, firms expanded –or in many instances introduced– these programs as a means to place underutilized attorneys and thereby reduce firm costs.
PILI helped two major law firms with Chicago offices develop their fellowship programs prior to the economic downturn. These programs were based off many long running and successful programs around the nation. A sampling of such programs from across the nation is available by clicking on the link below.
Traditional Fellowship and Extended Placement Models:
Things to Consider in Developing these Programs
PILI, working in conjunction with The Chicago Bar Foundation, played a major role in the local and national discussion about these extended placements as a response to the economic downturn. PILI also provided placement assistance to the law firms and extended placement candidates to help make successful connections with public interest law organizations. As part of these efforts, PILI and the CBF developed best practices guidelines for law firms considering such placements, which is available by clicking on the link below.
CBF & PILI’s Extended Pro Bono Placements in Chicago:
Background and Best Practices
On a national level, the Association of Pro Bono Counsel has developed an informative document on the considerations for the extended placement option.
As the economy continues to improve, we encourage law firms to consider establishing or converting extended placement programs into standing fellowship or rotation programs. Information about two of the first models to be introduced in Illinois is available below.
Three First-Year Associates Participate in Katten’s First Year Public Service Fellowship
Jones Day Launches Pro Bono Fellowship Program
To discuss developing a law firm extended placement program at your law firm, contact PILI’s Executive Director, Michael Bergmann, at 312-832-5129 or by e-mail.