In order to raise money for the Summer Public Interest Funding (SPIF) program, the law school holds an annual public interest auction. Basically the structure behind the event is that members of the HLS community donate various items to be auctioned off, then people come and bid, and all the money goes to fund students pursuing summer public interest jobs.
Oh man was this year’s public interest auction great! The event was broken down into two parts: the silent auction and the live auction. The silent auction involved moseying around Austin Hall, enjoying the free food and drinks, and placing a few bids on the items up for auction. The theme for the evening was “Guys and Dolls,” a throwback to the 1920s. Relaxed lounge music was playing, poker chips were used as decorative table pieces, and the occasional fedora could be seen in the crowd.
The real fireworks began at the live auction. Our auctioneers for the evening were Professors David Wilkins and Elizabeth Warren. Professor Wilkins came out in full 1920s gangster attire, complete with a (nerf) gun in a violin case. Professor Warren was sporting a full flapper outfit; the dress, the feathers, the whole nine yards. If that does not sound awesome to you, I urge you to Google either of these individuals and find out how insane that really is.
The auction itself had some pretty interesting items up for bid. Various members of the HLS community usually try and one-up each other for who can donate/bid on the most absurdly awesome thing. Suit shopping with Professor Cohen? You got it. $1,000 David Souter bobblehead? Sure. One day of “indentured servitude” from the Harvard Law Review president? Yup.
The auction is fun because it encourages the HLS community to come out in force and have fun while supporting a good cause. Also, a group I was in managed to win a night of karaoke with two of our professors and one of the actors from the Wire. So…win-win.