Public Interest Law Foundation “Bid for Justice Auction” Raises Over $80,000


Public Affairs, 212-854-2650

New York, April 11, 2011—Cartwheels, cheers, bids, and generous donations were highlights of the Public Interest Law Foundation’s (PILF) 19th Annual “Bid for Justice Auction” held on March 3 at Columbia University’s Roone Arledge Auditorium.

The cartwheels and cheers were courtesy of Patsy Wilson ’13 (below, left, in turquoise scarf), a PILF board member, after she won a day trip to the Bedford, N.Y. country home of Barbara Schatz, Clinical Professor of Law.

“It’s a really great opportunity to spend time with friends,” Wilson said. She was among more than 400 attendees at the auction, which raised $82,034 for public interest law projects, among the highest amounts raised at the event since its inception in the early nineties.   

Non-profit organizations that provide legal services to underserved communities will receive $50,000 of the proceeds through PILF’s Community Grants Program. The remainder allows PILF’s Guaranteed Summer Funding Program to subsidize students who spend their summers working in public interest law.


"We are extremely pleased at the success of this year's auction,” said auction co-chair Brittany Dillman ’12 (right, left).  Co-chair Laura Corbin '12 (right, right) added: “The money raised will allow us to generously distribute funds to PILF's Community Grants Program and the law school’s Guaranteed Summer Funding Program.”

The most popular items were chances to spend time with professors, either dining in their homes or at restaurants.  Other sought-after lots included weekends with groups of friends at professors’ summer homes.  One of the highest bids at the live auction was $3,000 for a long weekend at the Nantucket summer house of Robert E.   Scott, Alfred McCormack Professor of Law and Elizabeth S. Scott, Harold R. Medina Professor in Procedural Jurisprudence, an item donated for the 13th straight year.                                                                                                                                

The evening's star auctioneers were Michelle A. Greenberg-Kobrin, Dean of Students, Professor Trevor Morrison, Associate Professor Robert Jackson Jr., and visiting Professor Jody S. Kraus (below, left to right). Their spirited and persuasive auctioneering created a number of competitive bidding wars that resulted in high winning bids.



Peter Strauss, Betts Professor of Law and PILF faculty board member, was one of many professors who attended--and actively participated in--the auction. “It’s an organization that’s important to me,” he said. Strauss (below) donated a weekend at his lakefront home in the Berkshires as well as four tickets to accompany him to see Wagner’s opera, Ring. Both items were among the top 10 highest items bid for.


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