The Maryland Public Interest Law Project, Inc. (MPILP) hosts its Annual Goods and Services Auction, Thursday, March 21. The auction celebrates public interest law and raises funds to provide grants to law students who will spend their summer at public interest organizations providing direct legal services to low-income individuals and addressing legal issues affecting equal access to justice.
Last year, the success of the event helped MPILP provide grants to support 32 public interest law students.
“Seeing the criminal law system in action after learning about it in the classroom has given me a new perspective and reminded me that the core of law practice is not theory and arguments, but helping people,” said 3L Brittany Ditto. “It has given me new determination and excitement about pursuing a career in public interest law.”
The students work for a variety of organizations such as the Legal Aid Bureau, the Office of the Public Defender, the Children’s Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, Maryland Disability Law Center and Community Law Center.
The auction typically draws 250-300 guests from the greater D.C./Baltimore legal community. Past items up for bid have included dinners at Baltimore’s best restaurants, spa treatment packages, lunch (and games) with UM Carey Law professors, beach house timeshares, tickets to sporting events and a range of items donated by local businesses.
“The auction provides the essential backing for the idealism and best instincts of our law students,” said Professor Michael Millemann. “The summer public interest placements are why many of the students came to law school. This event reinforces our support.”
For over 20 years, MPILP, a student-run 501(c)(3) organization, has worked to educate students about public interest law, to provide to them with opportunities to practice public interest law, to reinforce their commitment to public interest law, and to encourage the pro-bono efforts of law firms.
Advance tickets can be purchased for $40. Children under 12 will be admitted free. Festivities start at 6:00pm in Westminster Hall at the School of Law, 500 West Baltimore Street. Tickets will be available at the door for $50.
To donate to the auction or MPILP or if you would like more information, please contact Cristina Sproul and Melissa Schefkind, MPILP Co-Presidents, at firstname.lastname@example.org.