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Pili

The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) will grant $306,000 to fund 59 law student interns at 28 public interest law agencies across Illinois in the coming year. This amount includes the implementation of the second phase of our planned funding increase, as well as three new Internship placements.

On Wednesday, December 9th, the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) will host its Annual Awards Luncheon, an event that celebrates the very best aspects of the legal profession: the generosity, expertise and commitment of lawyers, law students, legal professionals, law firms and corporations dedicating themselves to serving low-income clients in need.


This year, PILI is proud to honor the following four award recipients:

  • Distinguished Public Service Award: Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman
  • Distinguished PILI Fellow Alumni Award: Jordan Heinz, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Distinguished PILI Intern Alumni Award: Cynthia Cornelius, Cabrini Green Legal Aid
  • Pro Bono Initiative Award: United Airlines

PILI’s Annual Awards Luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the Palmer House Hilton, 17 East Monroe Street, in Chicago. Sponsored by over 50 law firms, corporations, foundations and law schools, this event will be attended by nearly 500 members of the Illinois legal community, including firm and corporate attorneys, members of the judiciary and government sector, law school deans, professors and students, and staff members from PILI’s many partner legal service organizations across the state. To see a list of event sponsors, please visit our website at www.pili.org/annual-awards-luncheon.

Awards Reflect First Stipend Increase for PILI Interns in 10 Years

The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) has announced that it will make $257,500 in grants to 26 public interest law organizations across Illinois in fiscal year 2016. These grants will provide stipends for 55 PILI Law Student Interns during the 2015-16 academic year and the summer of 2016 through PILI’s Law Student Internship Program. Students apply from law schools across the country to compete for these funded public interest law internship opportunities. Recipients work 400 hours during the summer or 200 hours during the school year serving low-income and underrepresented individuals and families with legal needs.

44 law firms and corporations named to PILI’s Pro Bono Recognition Roster

The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) will host its Annual Pro Bono Reception next week on Wednesday, June 17th at The Ivy Room at Tree Studios. This event, sponsored by 38 Illinois law firms and corporations, is held each year to celebrate the pro bono triumphs of the Illinois legal community and to spotlight the critically-needed pro bono work being done in our state, including the work of PILI’s Pro Bono Initiative Program.

Pro Bono Attorneys Serve Legal Prep Families and Neighbors in Garfield Park

The Alumni Network Leadership Council of the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) has partnered with Legal Prep Charter Academy and Chicago Volunteer Legal Service (CVLS) to launch the Legal Prep Community Law Clinic, a community-based clinic for the student families and neighbors of Legal Prep in Chicago’s Garfield Park neighborhood.

Through the Community Law Clinic, Alumni of PILI’s Law Student Internship and Graduate Fellowship Programs volunteer to help families and neighbors of Legal Prep students address critical legal needs. With the support of CVLS staff, these volunteers provide pro bono services on all civil, non-fee generating, non-class action cases. Types of cases might include family law, eviction, consumer debt, foreclosure, adult/child guardianship, and more.

The Community Law Clinic is held on the second Tuesday of every month from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Legal Prep. The first clinic took place in January 2015. In addition to organizing the Clinic and recruiting Alumni to volunteer, PILI has invited law firms that offer PILI’s Graduate Fellowship Program to “adopt” a Clinic session. The firm would be responsible for recruiting four to six PILI Alumni from among its attorneys (PILI currently has over 3,600 Alumni, many of whom work in Chicago) to volunteer with the Clinic for that month. Kirkland & Ellis LLP, which has sponsored the largest number of PILI Fellows of any firm, has been the first to sign on and adopt the month of November 2015.

Four Awards Acknowledge Substantial Public Interest & Pro Bono Contributions in Illinois

On Wednesday, December 3, the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) will host its Annual Awards Luncheon, an event that celebrates the very best aspects of the legal profession: the generosity, expertise and commitment of lawyers, law students, legal professionals, law firms and corporations dedicating themselves to serving low-income clients in need.
This year, PILI is proud to honor the following four award recipients:

  • Distinguished Public Service Award: Diana C. White, LAF
  • Distinguished PILI Fellow Alumni Award: Andrew W. Vail, Jenner & Block LLP
  • Distinguished PILI Intern Alumni Award: Matthew T. Jenkins, Corboy & Demetrio P.C.
  • Pro Bono Initiative Award: Dentons US LLP

PILI will also present a special President’s Award to Foley & Lardner LLP in recognition of the firm’s generosity in hosting PILI’s offices for the past 10 years.

PILI’s Annual Awards Luncheon will be held on December 3 from 11:30-1:30 at the Palmer House Hilton, 17 East Monroe Street, in Chicago. Sponsored by over 50 law firms, corporations, foundations and law schools, this event will be attended by over 450 members of the Illinois legal community, including firm and corporate attorneys, members of the judiciary and government sector, law school deans, professors and students, and staff members from PILI’s many partner nonprofit legal service agencies across the state. To see a list of event sponsors, please visit our website at www.pili.org/annual-awards-luncheon.

Awards Reflect Overall Growth of 31 Percent in Three Years

The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) has announced that it will make $220,000 in grants to 26 public interest law organizations across Illinois. These grants will provide stipends for 51 PILI Law Student Interns over the 2014-15 academic year and the summer of 2015 through PILI’s Law Student Internship Program. Law students apply from law schools across the country to compete for these funded public interest internship opportunities, and recipients work 400 hours during the summer or 200 hours during the school year serving low-income and underrepresented individuals and families with legal needs.

This number of Internship allocations reflects an overall growth in PILI’s Internship Program by 31 percent in the last three years. PILI had pledged to grow its Internship Program by 25 percent as a result of a comprehensive survey of public interest law organizations in Illinois that PILI conducted in 2011, which revealed a need for significantly more Interns than PILI was then able to fund. Says PILI Executive Director Michael Bergmann, “PILI’s Law Student Internship Program plays a critical role in helping public interest law organizations meet the legal needs of their clients, and in developing and supporting future leaders in public interest law.”


108 PILI Interns & Fellows Serve at Legal Aid Organizations Across Illinois This Summer

The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) has announced its Law Student Internship & Graduate Fellowship Class of 2014. PILI is funding 43 Law Student Interns representing 34 law schools from across the country to work at 23 legal aid organizations across Illinois. These PILI Interns have been selected out of over 350 law student applicants from over 70 law schools. Each PILI Intern will serve 400 hours over the summer, together contributing 17,200 hours of legal services on behalf of thousands of low-income individuals and families. PILI provides supplemental educational, networking and mentoring opportunities. See a full list of our 2014 Law Student Interns on our website at www.pili.org/internships/current-pili-interns.

Of these Interns, 13 hold Named or Honorary Internship positions, created by special funding commitments from individuals and groups dedicated to promoting public interest law. Many Named Internships support a specific cause. For example, the ISBA Young Lawyers Division has for years sponsored one PILI Intern through its Children’s Assistance Fund to address the legal welfare of children. Other PILI Interns are named in honor or memory of champions for service and philanthropy to our legal aid community, including Kimball & Karen Anderson of Winston & Strawn LLP and Jerome Gilson of Brinks Gilson & Lione.

Mark C. Palmer
Mark C. Palmer
Champaign attorney Mark C. Palmer has been selected to chair the Public Interest Law Initiative's 6th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee. Palmer is an ISBA Assembly member and also sits on the council for the Committee on Legal Technology.

The committee is exploring pro bono projects that may be organized in the Champaign area to engage attorneys and law students in providing pro bono legal services to legal aid clients.

The circuit includes Champaign, DeWitt, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt counties.

Palmer is an associate at Evans, Froehlich, Beth & Chamley and an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois College of Law.

Chief Justice Kilbride to Present PILI’s 2013 Pro Bono Recognition Roster

The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) will host its Annual Pro Bono Reception next week on Wednesday, June 19 at The Ivy Room at Tree Studios. A fixture in the Illinois pro bono community’s summer calendar, this event celebrates the remarkable and critically-needed pro bono work being done in Illinois, as well as the work of PILI's Pro Bono Initiative Program. Among the 250 guests who regularly attend are pro bono leaders from law firms and corporate legal departments, representatives from Illinois law schools and legal service agencies, and the current class of PILI Interns and Fellows.

Present at the event will be Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas L. Kilbride, who will introduce PILI’s 2013 Pro Bono Recognition Roster. Understanding the mounting legal needs of Illinois’ poor and under-represented, and realizing the critical role that law firms and corporations play in meeting that need through pro bono legal assistance, PILI created this roster in 2010 to celebrate these contributions and express gratitude. This year, 34 law firms and 10 corporate legal departments been named to the Roster. View the full 2013 Pro Bono Recognition Roster on PILI’s website at www.pili-law.org/probonorecognitionroster.htm.

The 2013 Pro Bono Reception will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Ivy Room at Tree Studios, located at 12 East Ohio Street (Ohio & State). Tickets are available through June 18 online at www.pili-law.org/probonoreception.htm for $65, or at the door for $75.