Auctioneer at PILC AuctionMembers of the NYU School of Law community filled Greenberg Lounge on February 24, milling among tables filled with items for the silent auction portion of the 17th annual Public Service Auction. Bidders vied for such eclectic items as vintage Art Deco cufflinks, U.S. Open golf tickets, a personalized rap song, VIP tickets to the New York Stock Exchange’s opening bell, an eight-hour test drive in a Tesla Roadster, and a day on the town with a Bichon Frise named Taco.

At the live auction in Tishman Auditorium, the audience competed for bigger-ticket lots. Auctioneers Hugh Murtagh ’11 and Samuel Jackson ’12 offered a night in NYU President John Sexton’s University penthouse overlooking Washington Square ($1,650), a weekend getaway at Dean Richard Revesz’s country house in the Berkshires ($1,300), four tickets to a game between the New York Knicks and the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden ($950), and other hotly contested items.

The student-run Public Service Auction benefits more than 400 1Ls and 2Ls by providing grants for worldwide public interest positions every summer—everywhere from The Hague to Cambodia to the New York City Fire Department. This year’s auction grossed roughly $105,000.

Bidders at PILC Auction“The auction is a crucial fundraiser for our students doing public service over the summer,” said Sara Rakita ’98, associate director of the Public Interest Law Center. “We are very fortunate that Dean Revesz guarantees funding for every 1L and 2L student that wants to do a public service internship, but the number of students taking advantage of the opportunity—and the cost of the program—has soared since the economic downturn.

“It is also a wonderful event for our public interest community,” she said. “The auction is completely student-run—some of them have been working tirelessly since last summer to make sure it was a success. And literally hundreds of NYU Law students volunteered to canvass local businesses, reach out to alumni, and help things run smoothly on the night of the auction. It’s great to see so many students, alumni, and faculty come together to celebrate public service at the Law School.”

"We had the chance to work with some amazing 1L and 2L students, all of whom worked so hard and passionately," said Alex Kohen '12, who co-chaired the auction with Nina Bell '12. "We love being able to support NYU Law's dedicated students pursuing summer positions in public interest work."

Posted on March 2, 2011