Annual Auction to Aid Syracuse Public Interest Network

The Syracuse Public Interest Network (SPIN) will host its 21st annual Public Interest Auction on Friday, Nov. 15, at the Palace Theatre in Syracuse.  The event begins at 6 p.m. and includes both silent and live auctions for such items as professional sports memorabilia, leisure activities, fine dining and much more.

Proceeds from the auction help support law students who are pursuing careers in public interest work that benefits children, victims of domestic violence, immigrants, refugees and the homeless. Public interest work also benefits a number of causes, including environmental protection, social justice, civil liberties and the Cold Case Justice Initiative.

SPIN Auction Director andsecond-year law student Casey Hildonen organizes auction items for the Nov. 15 event.

SPIN auction director and second-year law student Casey Hildonen organizes auction items for the Nov. 15 event.

Many public interest organizations are faced with an overwhelming caseload and are in need of help, but are unable to offer a level of compensation that would make them competitive with larger firms to prospective employees. Adding to this problem is the fact that many students are unable to accept unpaid summer internships. Without the financial support of fellowships provided by SPIN, the majority of students wanting to work in public interest would not be able to take these vitally important positions during summer breaks.

“I had the privilege to work at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Regional Office in Washington, D.C.  I would not have been able to take advantage of this amazing opportunity without the financial support from the SPIN Fellowship,” says Joshua T. Eberle, who is a juris doctor and master of public administration candidate for 2014. “The funding covered my cost of living while providing me with the freedom to work at the UNHCR and assist some of the most vulnerable individuals within the United States and around the world.”

Last year the SPIN auction raised nearly $35,000, which helped provide 14 students with fellowships.  The SPIN fellows worked in legal service organizations, government offices and nonprofit legal organizations in the Syracuse area and nationwide.

The majority of SPIN’s funding for fellowships is raised at the annual SPIN Public Interest Auction. For more information, to donate items or to attend the event, call 315-443-1146, email SPIN@law.syr.edu or visit the SPIN website at http://www.law.syr.edu/spin.