“Winner takes all” at the 2015 Public Interest Auction

Lunch with CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin ’86. A Vermont vacation. Karaoke night with five HLS professors. A fashion shopping spree with Professor I. Glenn Cohen ’03. A customized Lego diorama of Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan ’86. A personalized voice message from actress Olivia Wilde. A night of classic movies at the Brattle Theater with Dean Martha Minow.  These were just a few of the unique items auctioned off at the 21st annual Public Interest Auction held in Austin Hall on April 9th.

Professors Jonathan Zittrain ‘95 and Susan Farbstein ’04 served as emcees and auctioneers for this year’s casino themed auction, cracking jokes and sending lucky bidders home with fantastic prizes.

“The event was a huge success,” said Laura Dismore ’17, one of the event’s coordinators. “It was an absolute thrill to see so many members of the law school community come together to support public interest work.” For Dismore, the highlight was seeing her classmates dressed up and excited to participate. Over 380 first year students contributed over 1100 volunteer hours to make the event possible.

Since 1994, the auction has helped support Summer Public Interest Funding (SPIF) at Harvard Law School, providing opportunities for students to begin their careers working in public interest. The SPIF program awards Federal Work Study (FWS) funding and/or stipends to students. These stipends are funded by HLS resources including annual support approved by the Dean, gifts from donors, and money raised by the Public Interest Auction.