February 13, 2018

Lewis & Clark Law School Annual Public Interest Auction Set for Feb. 17

Lewis & Clark Law School’s Public Interest Law Project will host its 27th annual fundraiser on Feb. 17, with a “Secret Garden” theme.

Lewis & Clark Law School’s Public Interest Law Project will host its 27th annual fundraiser on Feb. 17. PILP promises “an evening of magic and intrigue” at the “Secret Garden Auction,” an event that benefits law students working for public interest organizations.

The auction is the student organization’s largest fundraiser, which brings together legal professionals from the Portland community. Last year, the auction shattered goals, raising more than $75,000 in gross profits. The “Secret Garden Auction” will feature items such as courtside seats to a Portland Blazers game and a weeklong stay at Pronghorn Resort, a golf and spa retreat in Bend, Oregon. Both these items have been generously donated by Dean Jennifer Johnson.                

Alumni will also have the chance to bid on special auction items unavailable to the general public at 5:30 p.m.

Auction proceeds support the PILP Summer Award and Loan Repayment Assistance Programs. Lewis & Clark Law students who work in unpaid summer public interest jobs can apply for an award to cover their living expenses, with awards averaging approximately $4,750 per student.

“If we want L&C Law students to go into public interest law, or to realize their responsibility to perform pro bono work, these values must be instilled while they are still in school,” says PILP President Marija Boise, ’18. “While PILP works hard to provide these opportunities, we still need your help.”

Boise encourages those in the Oregon legal community to sponsor or donate to the auction and help emphasize the need for public interest and pro bono work.

“L&C Law students are graduating with an average debt of $139,745. This, in combination with recent threats to public service loan forgiveness programs, has students deeply concerned about whether a career in public interest is realistic,” says Boise.

Boise received a PILP stipend in 2016, which funded her summer working for the Oregon Innocence Project (OIP). The organization works to exonerate the wrongfully convicted, train law students, and promote legal reforms aimed at preventing wrongful convictions.

Without the PILP stipend, Boise said she might not have finished her law degree. “I want to be the best advocate I can be, so equipping myself with the best tools is really important to me. If I hadn’t gotten stipend which allowed me to work at OIP and had that practical experience that reminded me why I was going to law school, I probably would have left after my first year.”

Since its inception, PILP summer stipends have helped more than 275 students finance over 100,000 hours of public interest law work at no cost to their employers. Last year’s award recipients worked for organizations such as WildEarth Guardians, the Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project and the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic.


Register at https://tinyurl.com/pilpauction18. For more information about the auction, sponsorship or donations, please email pilp@lclark.edu. Tickets are $25 for students, $55 for public interest lawyers and $75 for general admission. Registration closes Friday, February 16.


PILP’s “Secret Garden Auction” will be held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 17 at the Lewis & Clark Law School LRC.