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YLS Public Interest Auction


T.B., 2L

Last month, members of the YLS community put their talents on full display at the Initiative for Public Interest Law's annual Public Interest Auction.

The Initiative sponsors two of the most popular events of the year, the Public Interest Auction and Law School Prom, to raise money to support yearlong post-graduate public interest fellowships. As one of the coordinators of this year’s Public Interest Auction, I saw first hand how the YLS community comes together to make the event successful; thanks to the generosity and ingenuity of our law school community, we raised more than $45,000 to support public interest fellowships. Check out the list of donations!

The auction collects donations from community businesses, and many of our favorite local businesses contributed. YLS students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to win grocery store gift baskets filled with local products, restaurant gift certificates, salon services, hotel stays, concert tickets and more! The support and generosity of our community members was an integral part of the Auction’s success.

But the most popular items at the auction came from within the YLS community. Professors offered home-cooked gourmet meals, seaside lamb roasts, pool parties, and fishing trips. An anonymous faculty member donated a day’s use of his Aston Martin; another faculty member offered the chance to be a guest blogger on his blog. In the coming months, winning YLS students will: join faculty and staff for kayak trips, fencing lessons, poker night, and karaoke; challenge the law librarians to a trivia competition; and explore New Haven while accompanying professors to their favorite restaurants and theaters.

My favorite aspect of the auction was the donations from my fellow students. I knew my classmates were talented, but the myriad creative donations exceeded my expectations. My classmates offered lessons in foreign languages, dance, computer programming and physics. Bidders could choose from countless offers of baked goods and homemade treats, including homemade ice cream, olives, and fresh bread. Former speechwriters donated ghostwriting services; animal lovers offered pet sitting. Artistic talents shone through with offers of paintings and poetry, music lessons and mixed tapes. Opportunities for adventure abounded, including skydiving, camping, and kayaking trips.

The Auction does more than raise money for great cause; it also allows the YLS community to connect over shared talents, meals, passions and adventures outside of the classroom.