Beth’s addition will expand PILI’s statewide reach and impact
The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) is excited to announce Elizabeth Jensen as its new Program Director. This is a new position and the first for PILI to be based outside of Chicago. Beth will be based in Peoria, and will be responsible for overseeing the planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating all of PILI’s Programs statewide. She will have specific responsibility for PILI’s efforts to expand and enhance pro bono across Illinois, with an emphasis on increasing the reach and impact of PILI’s Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committees.
“PILI has spent the last five years expanding our reach across the state, and our programs have grown to such an extent that we need additional staff support to further our work across Illinois,” said PILI Executive Director Michael Bergmann. “Beth comes to the position with significant legal experience as well as a deep passion for public interest law and pro bono service. We look forward to what we will be able to accomplish with her on the PILI team.”
A graduate of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Beth most recently was Of Counsel at Heyl, Royster, Volker, & Allen P.C. in Peoria, concentrating her practice in all aspects of school, labor and employment, and municipal law. Previously, Beth worked as a law clerk to Justice Daniel L. Schmidt of the Third District Appellate Court of Illinois, as assistant corporate counsel for the City of Peoria, and as staff attorney at Prairie State Legal Services. Beth also served during law school as a PILI Law Student Intern at Cabrini Green Legal Aid.
“I joined PILI because I am passionate about and dedicated to providing legal services to the those who do not have access to the legal system,” said Beth. “As a longtime advocate and supporter of legal aid programs, I am very excited about having the opportunity to expand PILI’s efforts to ensure that more low-income and underrepresented individuals, families and communities in Illinois have greater access to our justice system.”
Beth is actively involved in the community and currently serves as a member of the City Council of Peoria. Beth had been serving as a member of the PILI’s Tenth Judicial Circuit Committee, through which she regularly volunteered at that Committee’s Self-Represented Litigant Help Desks at both the Peoria County and Tazewell County courthouses. She is a former board member and past president of the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois, former board member of Illinois Bar Foundation, member and past board governor of the Illinois State Bar Association, and current member of the Peoria County Bar Association.
About PILI: PILI’s mission is to cultivate a lifelong commitment to public interest law and pro bono service within the Illinois legal community to expand the availability of legal services for people, families and communities in need. PILI envisions a legal community with a deeply rooted culture of service, where law students, lawyers and legal professionals at all stages of their careers engage in public interest law or pro bono work, and remain committed to addressing the unmet legal needs of the poor and underrepresented.