Photo of Shelby Smith

Shelby Smith

  • Hosted by Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI)
  • Sponsored by Deere & Co., Lane & Waterman LLP, Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP
  • Service location Chicago, Illinois
  • Law school Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Issue area Veterans' Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Shelby recruited, trained, and transported pro bono attorneys and law students from urban areas to provide legal services to individuals without access to those services in rural Illinois.

Out of 63,000 attorneys in Illinois, there are only about 400 legal aid attorneys. Outside of Cook County, in Illinois, eighty-four attorneys are responsible for providing legal aid services to nearly 400,000 low-income residents in 101 counties. For many who need legal services, this can mean traveling 50 to 75 miles for legal services, which is impossible for many. This project recruited legal volunteers from law firms, corporations, and law schools and transports them to rural areas to offer legal services for clients through one to two-day clinics.

Fellowship Highlights

During the Fellowship, Shelby executed four legal clinics across Illinois. These clinics focused on a range of issues including Wills and Powers of Attorney, Veterans’ Records Requests, and Special Education. Additionally, Shelby developed materials for a Family Law Clinic and a Sealing and Expungement Clinic.

Next Steps

Following the Fellowship, Shelby joined Chicago Public Schools as Assistant General Counsel. She works in the School Law Department on education issues.

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Sponsor: Covington & Burling LLP, Northrop Grumman Corporation

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Samantha Kubek

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Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Greystone & Co., Inc.

Sara Huffman

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Sponsor: Latham & Watkins LLP, PG&E Corporation