The election might be over, but on April 19, Harvard Law School students are offering an opportunity to bid on history. Among the items available at the annual Harvard Law School Public Interest Auction is an official Broward County election ballot signed by all four members of the canvassing commission, and Bush v. Gore legal briefs signed by authors Ted Olson and Laurence Tribe. The silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m. with the live auction following at 7 p.m. in Austin Hall.

Other items up for bid include lunch with Reverend Al Sharpton, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, and Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree, and a painting signed by the artist, Senator Ted Kennedy.

“The Student Public Interest Auction is a critical fundraising event that helps students afford to take non-paying public interest and government jobs,” said Alexa Shabecoff, Director of the Office of Public Interest Advising. “The Auction is also wonderful because it brings hundreds of students, faculty and staff together in a extremely lively and entertaining event.”

The Public Interest Auction—the largest student-run event of the year at the Law School—helps the hundreds of students who annually take low-paying or volunteer public interest summer jobs. Throughout the auction’s eight-year history, more than $400,000 has been raised, including $100,000 last year. The money raised in the auction helps supplement the $225,000 given directly by the Law School and $130,000 given by alumni.

Students who have received these public interest stipends have worked for district attorneys, public defenders, legal aid bureaus, state and federal administrative agencies, public policy research institutes, and non-profit organizations promoting such diverse topics as civil rights, education, and the environment.

Harvard Law School is also the first law school in the country to offer loan forgiveness for students who take low-paying public interest jobs upon graduation.

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