April 1, 2014
Issue 31

Get your calendars ready - there are a lot of important dates coming up with PILI! Our Annual Pro Bono Reception is on June 18, with tickets on sale soon sponsorship opportunities available now. Our Corporate Pro Bono Roundtable is on April 23, our Alumni Network Leadership Council is hosting a CLE program on mentoring on May 22, and our summer 2014 Internship & Fellowship Programs will officially kick-off with a luncheon on June 5. On top of this, we've got a great new project happening in our Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees, as well as spotlights on new pro bono opportunities and on two amazing PILI Alumni: the Chair of PILI's Alumni Network Leadership Council and the Chair of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division


This and more below. We hope you find this newsletter informative, and we appreciate your involvement in and support of PILI!


Thank you,

Michael G. Bergmann, Executive Director
Shana Heller-Ogden, Development & Communications Manager
Julia Kepler, Operations & Development Associate
Katie Pieper, Education & Outreach Manager

PILI's Annual Pro Bono Reception: June 18

On Wednesday, June 18, PILI will host our Annual Pro Bono Reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at The Ivy Room at Tree Studios, 12 East Ohio Street in Chicago. A fixture in the Illinois pro bono community's summer calendar, PILI's Annual Pro Bono Reception is attended by over 250 guests from law firms, corporations, law schools, and legal service agencies across the state. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring your colleagues together to celebrate your own pro bono efforts and to network with the larger pro bono community while supporting the work of PILI's Pro Bono Initiative Program. This year's special guest speaker will be Illinois Appellate Court Justice Michael Hyman. At this event we will also unveil our 2014 Pro Bono Recognition Roster. Visit our website to learn more, or contact us for information about sponsorship opportunities. We hope to see you there!


PILI Receives Renewed Support from the Helen Brach Foundation

PILI is delighted to announce that the Helen Brach Foundation has renewed its $10,000 support of our Law Student Internship Program! For years, the Helen Brach Foundation has funded two summer PILI Internship placements, with a particular focus on addressing issues related to children and people with disabilities. We are incredibly grateful for their commitment to PILI in continuously funding these Internship placements for so long.


PILI Welcomes New Board Member Reena Bajowala

PILI is happy to welcome Reena Bajowala, a partner at Jenner & Block LLP, to our Board of Directors! Reena bears the special distinction of being not only a PILI Alumna, but a "double PILI," having served as both a PILI Intern (at CVLS) and a PILI Fellow (at the ACLU of Illinois). She is active on PILI's Alumni Network Leadership Council, and is involved with several other nonprofits, maintaining a significant pro bono practice that focuses on political asylum and human trafficking matters in particular among a wide range of issues. Reena joins PILI's Board following the departure of Andrew Vail, also a partner at Jenner & Block and also a PILI Alumnus, who had served as a Director for PILI since 2010. PILI welcomes Reena and thanks Andrew for his years of dedicated service.


PILI's Summer Seminar Series Kicks Off on June 5

Each summer, PILI organizes a Seminar Series for Interns & Fellows on a range of substantive law topics in legal aid, as well as career development issues in public interest and pro bono. We also host a variety of networking and social events as well, to help Interns & Fellows connect with each other and with the larger legal aid community. Our 2014 summer calendar will kick off with a special luncheon on June 5, and we look forward to meeting all of our Interns and Fellows there! The rest of our Seminar Series is taking shape - visit our website for updates.



Set a Date for PILI to Meet Your Summer Associates

Does your firm currently sponsor PILI Fellows? If you would like PILI to come speak to your summer associates about our Graduate Fellowship Program this summer, contact Executive Director Michael G. Bergmann by e-mail or by phone at 312-832-5129. We also have a new Fellowship Program brochure, which we would be happy to deliver to your firm for you to distribute to your summer class. Visit our website for more information about PILI's Graduate Fellowship Program and to see a list of firms that have sponsored PILI Fellows in the past.


Register Now for PILI Alumni CLE Program on Mentoring

The PILI Alumni Network Leadership Council has organized a CLE Program for PILI Alumni on the intersection of mentoring and inter-generational issues in the legal workplace. The program will be held on Thursday, May 22 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Schiff Hardin, and will include an informal networking reception with refreshments and light appetizers. PILI has applied for 1.0 hour of Professional Responsibility CLE credit for this program. Visit our website for more information and to register now.


Seeking PILI Alumni for PILI's 2014 Advising Program

PILI is looking for Alumni to participate in the Intern & Fellow Advising Program. This program matches our summer Interns and Fellows with a member of PILI's Board of Directors or Alumni Network to give them valuable insights into the Illinois legal community, practice areas, career strategies, or initial networking inroads. If you are interested in participating, please click here for more information and to complete a brief survey (less than 5 minutes) to assist us in making a meaningful match between you and an Intern or Fellow. Contact PILI Education & Outreach Manager Katie Pieper at 312-832-5128 or by e-mail with any questions.


PILI's Order ON the Court a Big Success!

A big thanks to everyone who attended, bought raffle tickets, and cheered on their favorite team at the PILI Alumni Network's "Order ON the Court" on March 20! This event raised money to benefit the PILI Alumni Named Internship Campaign, which supports PILI Interns each summer. PILI especially thanks our generous raffle donors: Deere & Company, and PILI Alumni Leadership Council Members Reena Bajowala and Marc Katz.


Alumni Spotlight: Mario Sullivan, 2004 Intern

One PILI Alumnus who is really making a difference at a national level is Mario Sullivan, named partner at Johnson & Sullivan, Ltd., and current Chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association. Mario has committed a substantial amount of time to improving the legal profession, helping young lawyers across the country, improving access to justice, improving our communities, and developing programs that help and encourage young lawyers to perform community service. Mario was a PILI Intern in 2004 at the Chicago Legal Clinic, where he worked closely with staff attorneys to assist clients dealing with landlord/tenant issues, divorces, bankruptcy, and other legal services. "Seeing the peace and relief we brought to our clients was the best feeling ever," he recalls. Click here to read more.


Alumni Spotlight: Elizabeth Lewis, 2006 Fellow

PILI is pleased to spotlight Elizabeth Lewis, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery and the current Chair of PILI's Alumni Network Leadership Council. A 2006 graduate of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Elizabeth served as a PILI Fellow at Loyola's Childlaw Clinic, representing children in abuse and neglect proceedings in juvenile court, serving as a child representative in high conflict custody proceedings, and representing minors in delinquency proceedings. "I had been actively involved with the Clinic for several years, first as a work-study student and then as a 711 student," she explains. "It was a perfect fit." Under the supervision of Professors Bruce Boyer and Stacey Platt, Elizabeth felt lucky to work closely and directly with her clients. "Working with children and young adults and helping them navigate difficult life issues is extremely rewarding," she says. "Witnessing the impact of the stability and even the happiness that we were able to achieve for certain clients was well worth all of the efforts." Click here to read more.


Pro Bono Recognition Roster

PILI annually recognizes the noteworthy pro bono contributions of law firms and corporate legal departments throughout the state of Illinois through our Pro Bono Recognition Roster. We do this to highlight the critical role that firms and corporations continue to play in meeting the unmet legal needs of low-income and underrepresented Illinoisans through pro bono legal assistance. Starting this year, we have introduced a new category to recognize the important pro bono contributions of legal industry corporate partners as well. The deadline to apply to be on this year's Pro Bono Recognition Roster is Friday, April 18. Visit our website to complete the self-certification form, or contact Katie Pieper, PILI's Education & Outreach Manager, by e-mail or by phone at 312-832-5128 with any questions. PILI will acknowledge the law firms and corporations named to our 2014 Pro Bono Recognition Roster at our Annual Pro Bono Reception: Celebrating Pro Bono on Wednesday, June 18.


Register Now for PILI's Corporate Pro Bono Roundtable

Registration is now open for PILI's 2014 Corporate Pro Bono Roundtable on Wednesday, April 23 from 12:00 - 1:45 p.m. at JPMorgan Chase in Chicago. The Corporate Pro Bono Roundtable provides corporate pro bono leaders an opportunity to network, discuss the unique pro bono challenges facing corporate attorneys and share best practices and strategies for successful corporate pro bono programs. Corporate pro bono leaders are invited to participate in person or by phone, with lunch provided for those attending in person. This program is complimentary but registration is required by April 18. Visit our website to learn more and to register now. We have applied for 1.0 hour of MCLE credit and Illinois Professional Responsibility credit for this program.




Pro Bono Pledge Launching in PILI's Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees

PILI has created six Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees across Illinois in coordination with Prairie State Legal Services and Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation to promote and encourage pro bono to the private bar and to address the legal needs of persons of limited means. While each committee works to identify and address its own local issues and priorities, one issue the committees have each taken up is a Pro Bono Pledge. The Pro Bono Pledge recognizes the responsibility of all members of the legal profession - from corporate lawyers to law firm lawyers to solo practitioners to legal staff - to increase access to our legal system. It calls on law firms and corporate legal departments to: 

(1) encourage their attorneys and legal staff to provide pro bono legal services and in doing so, provide an environment which is hospitable to the rendition of such services; 

(2) designate a primary pro bono point of contact within the firm or corporate law department; 

(3) consider adopting a written pro bono policy; and 

(4) recognize attorneys and legal staff who participate in pro bono services, as appropriate. 

The Tenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee (Peoria area) will formally launch their Pro Bono Pledge at their "Joined in Justice" event on April 9, and they have already begun collecting lead providers. The Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee (Rock Island area) will also be launching their Pro Bono Pledge at an event on April 4. Learn more about each of PILI's Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees on our website.


Pro Bono Spotlight: New Pro Bono Opportunities with Prairie State Legal Services

Since opening in 1977, Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. has been responding to the civil legal needs of eligible Illinoisans across a 36-county area in northern and central Illinois. From the beginning, Prairie State has recognized the need to involve the local legal community in its efforts, operating a pro bono program in some form for over thirty years. In an effort to facilitate even more pro bono work, Prairie State recently created the position of Director of Volunteer Services, filled by Prairie State attorney, Marisa Wiesman. The goal of this position is to centralize the coordination of Prairie State's pro bono programs at an organization-wide level, and to have one person who can share model successes and lessons learned between counties while directly assisting volunteer attorneys on their pro bono cases. "There are a lot of people out there who really need the assistance of a pro bono attorney," Wiesman says. Click here to read more.
Public Interest Law Initiative
321 North Clark Street, 28th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654

New e-mail: info@pili.org 
New website: www.pili.org

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