Save the date! Thursday, January 24, the DePaul law community will gather at the Chicago Cultural Center to raise funds for public interest law summer internship stipends.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the College of Law, the Public Interest Law Association has a formidable challenge—raising $100,000 for summer internship stipends. The challenge came from Dean Gregory Mark, and the student auction team took one collective gulp at the height of the bar, and then launched into action.
When professors Howard Rubin and Wayne Lewis start the bidding on January 24, they will be presiding over the 17th annual DePaul Law Auction. The auction proceeds will provide funding for students who devote at least 400 hours in the summer to public interest law agencies and organizations. Grants range from $1,000 to $5,000 and play an essential role in allowing students to gain practical experience in volunteer capacities without having to rack up further debt or dilute their experience by finding paid work.
This year the auction planning team hopes to have strong participation from College of Law alumni and community friends. The students have been coordinating with alumni affairs and Dean for Strategic and Community Alliances Francine Soliunas to ensure the event attracts a broad and diverse cross-section of the DePaul Law community. Special attention has been paid to acquiring auction items that will appeal to this larger audience.
Of course, there will be the standard faculty donation items that attract exciting bidding wars among students and alumni alike—wine tasting at Dean Mark’s home, movie night with Professor Lewis, a Sox game with Professor David Franklin—but there are also great gift and experience options like a behind-the-scenes tour of the Art Institute and two nights at Chicago’s famous Fairmont Hotel.
With the fundraising goal set so high this year, the student planning team has been working hard to innovate and pull out all the stops on the event. In addition to competitions for turnout among the 1L sections, the team has been developing an online auction to attract participation from those DePaul law supporters who can’t attend in person. The auction website features video introductions from 2012 stipend recipients, updates on new auction items added, and other details about the event.
Past auctions have raised as much as $40,000—mostly with only student, faculty and staff participation. This year’s ambitious undertaking would not be possible without the extraordinary dedication of the 2013 DePaul Law Auction Team. The team especially appreciates the support of Dean Mark and faculty advisors, Professors Allison Tirres and Bruce Ottley.