The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) is a Chicago-based organization which works with the legal community to cultivate a lifelong commitment to public interest law. The CBF’s grant to PILI supports PILI’s Law Student Internship Program, which was founded in 1977. Each summer, PILI funds 400-hour internships for first and second-year law students from across the country to work at legal aid and public interest law organizations in the Chicago area. PILI also offers a limited number of 200-hour school-year internships for Chicago-area law students. Working under the supervision of a licensed attorney, PILI Interns provide low-income and disenfranchised clients with legal assistance and also may engage in advocacy, policy-based work or impact litigation on behalf of low-income people. PILI pays each intern a stipend ($5,000 for a summer intern, $2,500 for a school-year intern). In addition, PILI also ensures quality supervision by experienced legal aid lawyers, provides an educational luncheon seminar series, hosts social events and offers networking opportunities for its interns through the Internship Program.
In FY 12, the CBF’s grant will cover a $5,000 stipend for three summer interns and a $2,500 stipend for two-school year interns to work at CBF-funded pro bono and legal aid organizations in the Chicago area. The CBF’s grant also includes support for PILI’s administration of the Internship Program.