New York, March 9, 2010—The Law School’s Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) raised $55,000 to support its community and student-based programs on March 4, as an enthusiastic audience of 500 bid on a range of items, from theater and baseball tickets to weekend stays at vacation homes and dinners with Law School professors.
Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Columbia packed Roone Arledge Auditorium for the 18th annual “Bid for Justice” auction. PILF President Rena Stern ’11 reviewed the Foundation’s recent accomplishments, noting that more than 300 students have signed up to pursue public interest work this summer through the Guaranteed Summer Funding Program.
Auction co-chairs Tiffany Ikeda ’11 and Marti Morgan ’11 expressed satisfaction at seeing the Law School community come together to celebrate public interest work, and noted the particular support from PILF faculty board members Professors Philip Genty, Clinical Professor of Law, and Peter Strauss, Betts Professor of Law, as well as Dean Ellen Chapnick and Akua Akyea of the Law School’s Social Justice Initiatives.
The evening’s lighthearted tone was set with a short performance by members of the “Law Revue,” a student comedy troupe. As the auction began, celebrity auctioneers Dean Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin, Edward Morrison, Harvey R. Miller Professor of Law and Economics, Trevor Morrison, Professor of Law and Vice Dean, and Professor Tim Wu, took the stage and put their impressive persuasive skills to use.
For the 12th year, Elizabeth and Robert Scott, Harold R. Medina Professor in Procedural Jurisprudence and Alfred McCormack Professor of Law, respectively,donated a weekend at their Nantucket home, a prize that was won with a $2,200 bid. A cocktail party for 20 overlooking Central Park donated by first-year student Chris Lacovara, sold for $1,900 after intense bidding. Strauss donated a weekend at his Berkshires vacation home, and then surprised the crowd by spontaneously offering up a second weekend.
Numerous neighborhood merchants also donated goods and services, and students and faculty members contributed items that included jewelry, baked goods, and artwork, as well as lessons and services that ranged from jam-making and juggling to dog walking and tutoring.
Proceeds will help subsidize first-year law students perform public interest work for non-profit and government organizations nationwide, and support community grants that enable students to aid underserved communities in New York and across the nation. Additional support was offered by dozens of leading law firms, including principal sponsors Paul Weiss Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.
See photos of the evening:
PILF president Rena Stern welcoming guests.
Celebrity auctioneers: Dean Michelle Greenberg-Kobrin
Professor Trevor Morrison
Professor Tim Wu
Professor Ed Morrison
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins its traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, national security, and environmental law.