April 29, 2024
dozens of runners sitting on athletic field
14th annual Roger S. Clark APIL 5k Run for Justice on April 14 in Camden

Rutgers Law School’s Association for Public Interest Law (APIL) in Camden raised more than $17,000 to fund law students working in unpaid summer public interest positions. Every qualifying student who applied for a stipend will be funded thanks in part to APIL’s two fundraisers in April – an auction and a 5K run.

Law students receive stipends to intern at nonprofit and government organizations that include the Office of Attorney General, various public defender and prosecutor offices, legal services providers in New Jersey and well beyond. Most Rutgers summer stipends are funded by generous donors, led by James and Dr. Sharon Maida, who support the Maida Public Interest Fellowships Program.

two men in suits holding plaques
Inaugural APIL Award recipients Michael G. Perez ’13 and Wali Rushdan ’12

This year’s auction, held on April 4 on the Clark Commons “Bridge,” included the Inaugural APIL Award honoring Wali Rushdan 12 and Michael G. Perez 13, both former auction chairs. Rushdan is a real estate litigation and real estate transactional Partner in Barnes & Thornburg’s Wilmington, Delaware office. Perez is now a Senior Attorney with the Community Health Law Project servicing Burlington and Mercer counties in New Jersey. The honorees, along with former Associate Dean of Student Affairs Louis Thompson, served as an auctioneers at the event.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to the success of APIL's Annual Auction!” said APIL President Paige Kaercher and Auction Chair Laurie Bartolomeo. “Your generous support ensures that Rutgers students can pursue summer internships in social justice without financial burden. Together, we're making a real difference in the lives of students, organizations and communities in need.”

Unique auction items ranged from a Hermione wand and various gift baskets to shopping with MSP Dean Rhasheda Douglas or lunch with Subaru General Counsel and Rutgers Law Adjunct Professor Tara Pellicori 08.

Pam Mertsock-Wolfe, Director of Rutgers Law School’s Pro Bono and Public Interest Program in Camden, said, “Students contribute enormous amounts of time and energy, during the semester, to raise funding for their law school peers. Their commitment and motivation resulted in a joyous and successful auction!”

three men standing on windy athletic field
Rutgers Law Adjunct Professor William McNichol (middle) and Professor Emeritus Roger Clark (right)

APIL also hosted its 14th annual Roger S. Clark APIL 5k Run for Justice on April 14 along Camden’s waterfront. Nearly 700 runners participated, including 600 runners from Students Run Philly Style. Students Run Philly Style pairs volunteer mentors with teams of students in grades 6-12 to complete a full or half marathon. The program fosters a positive, safe environment that improves mental health, develops leadership skills, and promotes self-confidence. The young runners from Students Run Philly Style were sponsored by Rutgers Law Adjunct Professor William McNichol, a former board member of the organization.

Thanks to Bill McNichol's generosity we had a spectacular field -- the best ever,” said Roger S. Clark, Rutgers Law Professor Emeritus.

The race is named after Professor Clark in recognition of his commitment to international human rights and competitive running and his annual generosity to APIL. An internationally renowned human rights and criminal law scholar, Professor Clark began running in 1954 as a high school student in New Zealand. He has since run in more than 50 countries and hasn’t stopped. This year, he cheered on his wife, Amy Boss, and some of his running rivals since the 1980s.

Fourteen-year-old Jack Joseph of the McCall School in Philadelphia won the race with a chip time of 16:38.0.

Click here to view more photos

Rutgers Law Media Contact:
Shanida Carter

Subscribe to our RSS feed.