The Annual Public Interest Auction was a smashing success this year. Featured in the sleek downtown art gallery space Peerless Lofts and catered by Cuban Revolution, the auction hosted a record-breaking number of 300 guests, and was completely sold out in advance. Among the crowd were members of the legal community, the judiciary, students, and over 40 alumni, who gathered with faculty, staff, and students to gnosh, imbibe, mingle, and bid on over 100 silent and live auction items. The items up for auction included a box for 15 at the Paw Sox Game and the opportunity to throw out the first pitch, wine-tastings, dinners, and poetry slams with faculty members, vacation homes on Cape Cod and in Vermont, and even a tennis match against the Honorable William Smith and Frances Flaherty. As usual, the bidding for the Dean’s parking space was robust.
Among the A-list guests were Congressman David Cicilline (who served as our celebrity auctioneer), Providence Mayor Angel Tavares, RI Attorney General Peter Kilmartin (‘98), Judge Daniel Procaccini (a popular adjunct professor who teaches trial advocacy at the law school), Judge Brian Stern, and leading lawyer (and member of our Adjunct Faculty and Board of Directors) Mark Mandell and his wife and law partner Yvette Boisclair. University brass attended as well (President and Mrs. Champagne and VP for Development Bob West joined in the fun). The event was covered by the ProJo and will be featured in Rhode Island Monthly magazine in an upcoming issue. And most importantly, the auction netted over $19,000 to fund students working in volunteer public interest internships over the summer. The Law School and University support the summer stipend program each year by providing $50,000 and auction proceeds provide additional funding.
Last year, with the help of the Auction proceeds, the summer stipend program supported 23 students who gained valuable legal experience while doing good works at Rhode Island Legal Services; South Coastal Counties (Mass.) Legal Services; Public Defender offices in Harlem, Mississippi, New Orleans, and Rhode Island; the NAACP in Washington, D.C.; and a host of other non-profit organizations.
Here are some pics from that fun evening. See the complete album on the Feinstein Institute for Legal Service Facebook page.