Auction to Benefit Law Student Fellowships

Hockey suite bidding highlights fundraiser

By Ilene Fleischmann

Release Date: February 15, 2007 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Public Interest Law Program (BPILP) will host its 12th annual auction at 6 p.m. Feb. 23 in the Lafayette Tap Room, 391 Washington St. Tickets are available for $35 at the door and include drinks and hors d'oeuvres.

Organized by University at Buffalo Law School students, the event is the primary fundraiser for fellowships allowing UB law students to accept unpaid public interest summer positions. BPILP provided 16 summer fellowships last year through auction proceeds and related donations.

Up for auction this year is a private luxury suite, seating 14 people and valued at $10,000, for a New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins hockey game on March 17 in Madison Square Garden in New York City. Bids for the private suite should be emailed to BPILP at by noon on Feb. 23.

Items for silent and live auction, as well as raffle items, will include fine art; theater, concert and sporting-event tickets; restaurant and salon gift certificates; themed gift baskets; jewelry and many other objects. The event typically draws UB law alumni and friends from throughout Buffalo's legal community.

Music at the auction will be provided by the band Jelly Jar, featuring Buffalo attorneys Ken Africano, of Harter Secrest & Emery, on the piano, and Bill Savino, of Damon & Morey, on bass.

"Public interest" encompasses many areas of the law, including domestic violence, child advocacy, human rights, poverty law, elder law and environmental law. While many organizations are in need of legal assistance that law students can offer, they often cannot afford to provide a paycheck. BPILP attempts to bridge that gap by providing funding for students to work in these otherwise unfunded jobs.

Second-year UB law student Emily Conley received one of last year's fellowships, which helped fund her work at the Volunteer Lawyers Project serving low-income individuals in need of legal counsel in Buffalo. "I worked primarily in housing court, assisting individuals facing eviction," she said.

"Organizations such as the Volunteer Lawyers Project do not have the funding to pay interns. BPILP is incredibly important because it allows the student to gain invaluable experience while also providing the organization with the staff support they need."

Other recipients of BPILP students have included the Kenya Human Rights Commission, the Erie County District Attorney's Office, New York State Office of the Attorney General, The NY Innocence Project, Capital Post Conviction Unit and many others.

For more information about the auction contact Emily Conley or Abby Oliver, Buffalo Public Interest Law Program co-vice presidents, at (716) 807-4728 or