The Bar News

Public Interest Law Initiative Launches Illinois Pro Bono Research Alliance

The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) recently launched the Illinois Pro Bono Research Alliance, which matches Illinois law school student volunteers with attorneys in need of research assistance on pro bono legal matters.

Law students will work directly with the pro bono attorney to assist on the research project. The program, which is free, is designed to be a useful resource to make pro bono work easier for attorneys while simultaneously providing law students with valuable experience and an opportunity to build their professional network.

The Illinois Pro Bono Research Alliance is modeled from a similar program developed by the University of Nebraska College of Law.

Law students can sign up on PILI’s website and will be added to a listserv, where they can volunteer for research projects as they become available. At this time, PILI is limiting participation to five students per Illinois law school, with all nine of the state’s law schools invited to participate. PILI plans to open up the project to more law students if the project garners enough interest in research assistance.

Attorneys can also request research assistance on PILI’s website. The project will then be reviewed and matched with a law student, if available. Research assignments can range from those taking only a few hours to larger projects that may last the course of a semester. The Illinois Pro Bono Research Alliance can be used on any non-fee generating civil legal matter where legal services are being provided on a pro bono basis as defined in Illinois Supreme Court Rule 756(f)(1). The service is open to private pro bono attorneys, legal aid organizations, or other nonprofits so long as a supervising attorney oversees the project.

If you have any questions about the Illinois Pro Bono Research Alliance and would like to know more, please contact Senior Managing Attorney Brent Page.

Posted on February 24, 2021 by Rhys Saunders
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