The Park District fosters a positive workplace in which law students gain the experience needed for success in the legal field. We offer opportunities for:
•    Legal internships 
•    Legal externships for class credit
•    Attorney Volunteers 

All interns will gain hands-on knowledge and skills working in a law office while being exposed to the dynamics of working in a government legal department. The Park District intends to help each intern reach his or her full potential by providing the opportunity to work on a variety of tasks and areas of law. There are various practice areas within the Law Department where externs may hone their legal skills, including litigation, administrative law, labor & employment, workers’ compensation, policy, transactional (including review and drafting contracts), 
 
Below is a sampling of tasks that Park District Interns may be asked to work on: 
•    Conduct  legal research and draft legal memoranda
•    Attend, assist, and abstract depositions
•    File documents with the courts  
•    Draft motions (Motion to Dismiss, Motion for Summary Judgment, etc.)
•    Attend settlement conferences, court hearings, and status conferences 
•    Review and assist in drafting contracts or agreements
•    Observe and assist with trials, mediations, and arbitrations

Below is an idea of the areas of law and the types of skills that Park District interns can expect to work on:
•    Trial techniques
•    Discovery process 
•    Property/Real Estate matters
•    Contract drafting
•    Insurance and Risk management
•    Personal Injury
•    Labor and Employment 
•    Workers’ Compensation

Additionally, the Park District attempts to provide resources or activities to better prepare young lawyers for their entry into the Chicago legal community.  
 
In the past, Park District Interns participated in the following activities: 
•    Toured the Illinois First District Appellate Court 
•    Participated in a question and answer session at the Federal District Court
•    Observed motion calls and met judges at the Daley Center
•    Park District boat ride along the Chicago River
•    Toured Soldier Field
 


ATTORNEY VOLUNTEERS
 
In addition to our program for law students, the Law Department typically has one or two volunteer attorney positions available throughout the year. These very limited opportunities provide young lawyers with a unique opportunity to gain hands-on legal experience that could provide a competitive advantage in the job market. These attorney volunteer positions are also available for recent law school graduates who have secured fellowship funding through their law school or elsewhere in order to gain public sector experience on a volunteer basis.

Under the close supervision of our staff attorneys, our attorney volunteers may be asked to conduct depositions, draft discovery requests, participate in jury selection, and conduct examination of witnesses at trials and more. Of course this level of participation requires a level of commitment that may exceed what we ask of our Legal Externs. Therefore, we expect our Attorney Volunteers to be available as the particular matter dictates. If you are a newly licensed attorney or a recent law graduate, complete and submit the application materials below to see if there is an opportunity for you with the Law Department. 



APPLICATION PROCEDURE

The Park District encourages all law students who will have completed at least one full year of law school to submit an application for consideration. Externships are available throughout the year based upon the following schedule and commitment: 

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis before the application cut-off date, so we encourage students to apply as soon as possible to ensure that we still have openings.

Fall: August – December 
•    Application deadline for Fall consideration is August 1st.  
•    Requires a minimum 16 hour/week commitment.
•    Space Limited To Approximately 2-5 positions

Spring: January – May
•    Application deadline for Winter consideration is December 1st.
•    Requires a minimum 16 hour/week commitment.
•    Space Limited To Approximately 2-5 positions

Summer: May – August
•    Application deadline for Summer consideration is April 1st.
•    Requires minimum 24 hour/week commitment for 8 weeks
•    Space Limited To Approximately 4-8 positions

Once a student submits a complete application, a member of the Park District’s Law Department will be in touch to set up an interview. The Park District will make all efforts to let applicants know if they have been selected for the Park District’s internship/externship program within one week of the interview. In the event that an applicant is out of town/state, the student may request a phone interview. 

All applicants must indicate the session they wish to attend and weekly time commitment. The Park District fully appreciates the demands that law school places on each of our externs; therefore, we are willing to work with successful applicants to develop a schedule that is productive to your development and meets the needs of our Department.  


If you are interested in participating in the Law Student Externship Program or as an Attorney Volunteer please submit the following:
1)  Volunteer Application
2)  Availability Form
3)  Cover Letter
4)  Resume

Email or mail these documents to:
Heather L. Keil
Senior Counsel
Chicago Park District
541 N. Fairbanks Ct., Suite 300
Chicago, IL  60611
(312) 742-4609
(312) 742-5328 (fax)
Heather.Keil@chicagoparkdistrict.com (cc: Nilsa.Rodriguez@ChicagoParkDistrict.com)

All internship, externship, and volunteer attorney positions with the Chicago Park District are unpaid. Participation as a Legal Extern or Attorney Volunteer will neither result in special consideration for posted employment opportunities nor in permanent employment. Employment opportunities with the Chicago Park District are limited and are posted at www.chicagoparkdistrict.com.