Auction nets $30,000 for law fellowships

Ten law students will receive a total of $30,000 in fellowships from the Willamette University Public Interest Law Project (WUPILP) this spring.

The money — the most ever raised by the group — came from the 20th annual Bid for Justice auction earlier this month. The auction is one of the law school’s biggest events, featuring a catered dinner, live and silent auctions and, for the first time this year, a band.

Among the auction items that faculty and alumni donated were a trip to Mexico, stays at weekend homes, a trip to a Seattle Mariners game and a barbecue at a faculty member’s house. The barbecue was the most popular auction item, going for more than $700.

First- and second-year students have until April 6 to apply for the fellowships, which typically are given to students working summer legal jobs at nonprofits and governments. Fellowships are $3,000 each and are awarded by a law school panel.

“We have more applications than funding,” said Tony Swartz, president of the public interest law project. “It’s exciting this year to be able to give out more fellowships than to have to turn people down.”