On March 4, 2010, the Maryland Public interests Law Project, Inc. (MPILP), at the University of Maryland School of Law will host its Annual Goods and Services Auction. The goal of the Auction is to celebrate public interest law and to raise funds to provide grants to law students who will spend their summer at public interest agencies providing direct legal services to low-income individuals and addressing legal issues affecting the public interest. Past grant recipients have engaged in public service endeavors such as assisting low-income persons in rent court, helping battered spouses file protection orders and secure social services, and assisting low-income HIV patients to apply for disability and health benefits. The students work for a variety of agencies and organizations such as the Legal Aid Bureau, the Office of the Public Defender, the Children’s Defense Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).
The Auction typically draws 250-500 guests from the legal and greater Baltimore community for an exciting night which includes catered appetizers, beverages, and desserts, music, and silent and live auctions. Past items up for bid have included dinner at Baltimore’s best restaurants, spa treatment packages, lunch (and karaoke) with Maryland law professors, beach house timeshares, wine-tastings, tickets to sporting events and a range of items donated by local businesses. Last year, the success of the event helped MPILP provide $128,000 in grants to support 32 University of Maryland Law students working in the public interest field.
For over 20 years, MPILP, a student-run 501(c)(3) organization, has worked to educate students about public interest law, to provide to students opportunities to practice public interest law, to reinforce students’ commitment to public interest law, and to encourage the pro-bono efforts of law firms.
Advance tickets can be purchase for $40 each at www.acteva.com/go/mpilp. A ticket includes food and drink, silent and live bidding, and great company – all for a great cause. Children under 12 will be admitted free. Festivities kick off at 6:00pm in Westminster Hall at the School of Law, 500 West Baltimore Street.
To donate to the Auction or MIPLP or if you would like more information, please contact Jess Marks and Chris Montague-Breakwell, MPILP Co-Presidents, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or e-mail Emily Jaskot, Auction Publicity Director, at email@example.com. For current news or what items will be available at this year’s auction, visit www.law.umaryland.edu/studentorg/mpilp.