WUPILP Auction and Wine-Tasting a Record-Setting Success

The 13th Annual Willamette University Public Interest Law Project (WUPILP) Auction, "A Bid for Justice," held April 2, was a resounding success. More than three hundred and fifty Willamette law students, faculty, staff and other members of the community gathered at Willamette Valley Vineyards in Salem, Ore. to sip wine, nosh on gourmet hors d'oeuvres and bid on fun and interesting items, such as trips to Mexico, the Oregon Coast, and whitewater rafting; art work; six-course meals prepared by a professor; a day of golf and lunch with a professor; and one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted jewelry.

Missed this year was Professor Carlton Snow, who passed away in November. Willamette law students fondly remember Professor Snow's annual donation of dinner prepared at his home for a group of students.

Over 140 items were donated to the auction this year. In addition, four wineries – Airlie Winery, Van Duzer Vineyards, Willamette Valley Vineyard, and Zelko Winery – donated wine for the event.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Public Interest Attorney of the Year Award, which went to Brent Foster. The Portland attorney focuses on the protection and restoration of water quality and aquatic species, as well as the protection of public lands. He has represented numerous conservation groups throughout Oregon, and works extensively as counsel for Columbia Riverkeeper and Willamette Riverkeeper. He also serves as Conservation Chair for the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club.

The 2005 WUPILP auction raised a record amount of $27,375, which will fund eight student fellowships. The fellowships enable law students to work for public interest organizations that would otherwise be unable to hire law clerks. These students are able to take their legal skills outside of the classroom to serve the community and make a difference.

Congratulations to this year's WUPILP fellows and organizations:

  • Cannon-Marie Green - Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky Inc.
  • Erin Levine - Washington County DA
  • Peter Johnson - Marion/Polk County Legal Aid
  • Ember Kauth - Marion/Polk County Legal Aid
  • Robert Dengel - Columbia-Pacific Research Conservation & Economic Development District
  • Andrews - Willamette Civil Practice Clinic
  • Vincent Mulier - Marion/Polk County Legal Aid
  • Toshya Kauffman-Smith - Marion/Polk County Legal Aid