February 16, 2016

For the 25th year, the Students for Public Interest Law (SPIL) held its annual auction, a signature event within the Law School community. The auction raises money to fund stipends for CUA Law students to take summer public interest jobs that they otherwise could not afford to accept. For the selected applicants each year, the SPIL stipend makes the critical difference in their ability to pursue their passion for helping others.

The February 12 event offered its usual combination of a live auction, a silent auction offering donated items on display tables for one week leading up to the main event, and for the second year in a row, an online auction for bidders who could not attend in person.

The live auction kicked off with opening remarks from CUA Law Dean Daniel F. Attridge and Maggie O'Neill (2L), who later introduced honored guest, Terry McClendon Werner, '91. Werner was honored for starting the SPIL auction 25 years ago and for her commitment to CUA Law. Werner described the first-ever auction which consisted of just a few items, the highlight of which was a bar review course.

During the live auction on Friday evening, attendees shouted out their bids for such things as getaways to Hawaii and Mexico, cocktails, brunches, and dinners with professors and staff members, a Chesapeake Bay cruise with Dean Attridge, and a chance to spend some quality time with Kelby Carlson's (1L) service dog, Elvis. Silent auction items ranged from Dinner with President John Garvey, a baseball signed by Hillary Clinton, and a variety of paintings donated by retired distinguished lecturer, Judge Sylvia Bacon.

Despite being on sabbatical this semester, Professor Mary Leary served as the volunteer auctioneer. This was Leary's eighth year running the live auction. Many alumni were also in attendance, including Jim Anagnos '96, president of the Alumni Council, who promoted the Council's "Wine Tasting" live auction item.

"Maggie O'Neill (2L), Caroline Mrohs (2L), and Elizabeth Ottman (2L) worked tirelessly to prepare for and manage another successful SPIL Auction," said David Schrock, the Law School's director of financial aid and the staff advisor for the event. "Each year I am inspired by members of the SPIL and their dedication to the public interest law, and especially their commitment to make this fund-raising event both successful and fun."