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Sidley sponsors several fellowships that expand the capacity of legal nonprofits to advance their missions and serve the critical legal needs of clients. Through the Incoming Associates Pro Bono Fellowship Program (the Program) and the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) Fellowship Program, recent law school graduates are paid their full Sidley salary to work at legal nonprofit organizations for up to 10 weeks before joining the firm. In 2019, the Program expanded to the firm’s London office. Upon qualification, associates are able to apply for a fellowship at a legal team within a nonprofit for up to 12 weeks.  Sidley also sponsors a year-long Sidley Austin Appellate Advocacy Fellowship in the Barbara McDowell Appellate Advocacy Project at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. The work spans the range of subjects handled by Legal Aid, including evictions, custody and domestic violence issues, public benefits, and consumer protection. In addition, together with our corporate partners, KPMG and Microsoft, Sidley co-sponsored Equal Justice Works Fellows at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and The Bronx Defenders.
– Hana Lee, Chicago
“The PILI Fellowship is a lesson in perspective, especially for law students on a path to transition into a full-fledged attorney. Shifting from academia to practice, PILI Fellows go from merely observing the law to shaping how the law touches individuals. For me, my Fellowship at the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship allowed me to continue in my passion that led me to law school — to aid community entrepreneurs in their mission to strengthen marginalized neighborhoods that lack access to traditional financial opportunities.

The clients and the clinic team that provided guidance and support are lasting impressions that will continue to influence me in the years to come.”
“At the National Veterans Legal Services Program, I gained substantive legal experience by advocating for veterans suffering from service-connected disabilities due to exposure to burn pits and Agent Orange, among others. My work continued after joining Sidley.

I wrote an amicus brief for the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in which I advocated for totally disabled veterans abroad seeking reimbursement for emergency medical procedures.”
– Chris Childers, Washington, D.C.