“Working with the people at HDA showed me that diligent caring lawyers can have an enormous positive impact on the lives of many people and that many lawyers really do love their jobs. I also have enjoyed the opportunity to meet the many dedicated and talented lawyers affiliated with PILI.”
“I decided to move to Chicago and practice law in Illinois for the very reason that there are so many gifted attorneys committed to the goal of making sure that everyone has access to the law and not just those who could afford a retainer agreement.”
“Working as a PILI Intern was an overall very positive experience that encouraged me to continue in public interest. It also exposed me to a different type of public interest work than I had previously experienced, so it showed me the diversity of choices available in the public interest legal world.”
“I believe an important part of being a lawyer is protecting the rights and interests of those who often do not have the resources to be heard. As a law student I participated in pro bono activities and worked with asylum seekers and refugees through my school’s immigration clinic. In private practice I have represented an asylum applicant and also worked on financing supportive housing projects.”
“My fondest memory from participation in the PILI programs is generally the relationships that I built. It was inspiring to work with dedicated attorneys and I have also kept in touch with the other law students with whom I interned.”
“The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee opened my eyes that I could be an advocate in so many ways, that I could change the landscape of the law. You do not have to be passive when you see something is unjust, you can be an advocate for change in a meaningful way. It just clicked with me.”
In December 2010, the Senate unanimously confirmed Edmond Chang as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. Judge Chang began service on the court in early January 2011, and was at that time the youngest federal judge in the nation.
The PILI Internship experience gave me an opportunity to see and hear about passionate advocates for social justice about their experiences.
Paul says that “because of my positive PILI Fellowship experiences, when I entered private practice I did quite a bit of pro bono work at Kirkland, including the extended representation of a client in a multi-year prisoner civil rights case and have continued doing pro bono as an in-house lawyer.”
“From the first day of my Fellowship, I was given a great amount of responsibility and had access to clients so I could immediately apply my skills to the organization’s cases.”