PILA Auction Earns $41,000 for Public Service

November 3, 2004

Increased attendance and packaged auction items helped push funds raised by this year's PILA Benefit Auction to more than $41,000 after expenses, with an additional $3,000 in profits from ticket sales. Law professors Richard Schragger and John Setear hosted the live auction Oct. 29 at Alumni Hall, where students and faculty gathered to enjoy dancing and cocktails before the bidding began.

"We sold 670 tickets, which is a lot more than was sold last year and a lot more than we expected to sell," said Auction co-director Jen Gilhuly. "There was a huge turnout."

PILA, the Public Interest Law Association, donates all benefit proceeds to support students who work in public service positions during the summers after their first and second years of law school. All funds PILA raises are matched by the Law School Foundation.

Top items included vacation stays in the Florida Keys, Florida, Montana, New York City, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and the top seller, a pre-graduation trip to a North Carolina beach home for up to 14 people that was auctioned for $3,100. Law professor John Harrison's car, listed as the "Wheels of Justice," sold for $2,500, and graduation dinners hosted by law professor Anne Coughlin and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Beverly Harmon also were also top fund-raisers.

Last year students had so much to bid on that PILA organizers decided to combine items into packages for the silent auction this year, Gilhuly said. PILA hosted a kick-off event for ticket sales and the silent auction, keeping the latter open a week before the Benefit.

Silent auction items, which rang up a cool $17,856, included home and fashion makeover packages, such as Lambda Law Alliance's "Queer Eye for the Law School Guy" offering, which promised a haircut at Bristles, a gift certificate from Beecroft & Bull, a Ralph Lauren blazer, and a room makeover. Students also bid on date packages, wine tours, sporting events, music and language lessons, dinners and games with professors, half-price Barbri classes (scooped up for $400 by some), restaurant gift certificates, and two prized D-22 parking passes. Those looking for more adventure were rewarded with a Wyoming cattle drive; shooting lessons with third-year (and former U.Va. Pistol Team member) James Athas, Director of Public Service Jason Wu Trujillo, and law professor Stephen Smith; a basketball game against law professors; and an air tour of Charlottesville.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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