Rutgers Law students who want to spend their summers doing public interest work got a boost from two different auction fundraisers that raised money for summer stipends.
In Newark, the Public Interest Law Student Association had an auction in the lower atrium on March 1, where attendees bid on everything from drag shows to bicycle tours. In Camden, the Association for Public Interest Law auctioned off dinners, tickets to television shows, and a Nintendo Switch.
At both locations, several faculty members and administrators donated gifts and activities to support the auctions.
Co-Dean Ronald Chen ’83 was honored in Newark with the Distinguished Public Service Award. He surprised the organizers by auctioning off a vintage velvet ceremonial hat, in the style that he wears at law school commencement ceremonies.
Jaynor Diaz ’19, who received a 2017 grant to work at the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, credited the stipend for making it possible for him to complete his summer job, “This summer position was extremely meaningful to me as it helped me realize that I want to housing law,” he said. “The PILF money was vital to making sure this summer was possible for me. It helped cover my travel expenses. . . The money allowed me to work at a very rewarding organization and to focus my efforts into doing my best at the internship.”
PILF stipends have enabled students to work at a variety of organizations across the country, including the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Fair Share Housing Center, LAMBDA Legal, and the White House Counsel on Environmental Quality.
Camden students dined on a tropical-themed dinner and snacked on caramel corn. Co-Dean Michael Cahill and Professor Steven Friedell served as auctioneers at the festive event for items that included drum lessons and wine tastings.
Sara Gray, the APIL president, thanked those who supported the auction and offered these words in the program, “By participating in the auction, you are not only helping law students learn valuable skills and begin careers of public service, you are supporting legal services in communities that would otherwise have none.”
She noted that through the support of the auction, APIL has funded stipends for students working in an array of public interest positions, including public defender offices, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, Fair Share Housing Center, South Jersey Legal Services, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.