“Bid, Justin, bid!” the crowd chanted. In the end, Justin Lerer ’02 did just that, bidding $1,800 on dinner and a poker game for four, hosted by Visiting Professor Elena Kagan ’86. Both Lerer’s bid and a $2,000 bid from another set of students were accepted. The chance to match card-playing skills with a professor was one of the most popular items at the 2001 Public Interest Auction, as the Harvard Law community again showed its support for students working in public interest law for the summer by raising a record-breaking $120,000 in the seventh year of this annual event.
While there were the usual eclectic options available at the silent auction, ranging from an eye exam for bleary-eyed law students to a Bush v. Gore brief signed by Professor Laurence Tribe ’66, the real action took place at the live auction. For the second year in a row Professors Philip Heymann ’60 and Carol Steiker ’86 acted as auctioneers, accepting bids of over $37,000 in two hours. The hundreds of students and faculty in attendance were hungry for more than just bargains, as gourmet dinners cooked by Virginia Wise, lecturer on law, and her husband, Frederick Schauer ’72, sold for a total of $3,100. The largest bid for a single item was $2,600 for a week at Professor Joseph Weiler’s summer home on the Adriatic, while trips to Toronto and Boca Raton brought in $2,200 and $2,000 respectively. In addition to the auctions, over $52,000 was raised from corporate sponsors and advertising.
Cochairs for this year’s auction were Sujata Barai ’03, Ashley Martabano ’03, Allan Merrill ’03, and Gary Slossberg ’03. The Office of Public Interest Advising provided administrative support.
–Damon Smith ’02