MORGANTOWN – The West Virginia University College of Law
will again host the Public Interest Advocates auction and dinner on March 23 to
raise money for summer and full-time fellowships for its students at public
interest organizations throughout the state.
“The PIA annually sponsors summer public interest
fellowships that permit first- and second-year law students to work in the
offices of public interest law firms throughout the state,” Jennifer Powell,
adviser for PIA at the WVU College of Law told The West Virginia Record.
Specifically, Powell said fellows work in the offices of
legal aid, public defender, environmental and other organizations.
The PIA, through the West Virginia Fund for Law in the
Public Interest, also offers post-graduate fellowship in public interest law.
Powell said this public interest work benefits everyone
“The community benefits by having additional legal help for
those who need legal services but cannot afford them,” she said. “Our summer
fellows and our post-graduate fellows provide thousands of hours of legal
services to those in need in West Virginia.”
Powell said the Spring Auction, which is in its 29th
year, is the biggest fundraiser for PIA, generally yielding about $25,000 for
“Each summer fellow is paid $5,500 for a full-time, 10-week
fellowship,” Powell said.
In addition to the auction, Powell said the PIA holds an
annual concert, host a book sale and does “miscellaneous other fundraisers”
throughout the year.
According to a WVU Law news release, the auction and dinner
are open to the public and include a buffet dinner in the College of Law lobby.
Tickets for the dinner can be purchased for $10 at the door.
The auction component, which is held in the college’s event
hall and includes live and silent auction items, as well as raffle items and a door
prize, begins at 7 p.m.
“Some of the auction items include Pittsburgh Steelers and
Pirates tickets, golf packages, signed WVU basketball memorabilia, tickets to
concerts and theater performances, a week’s stay at a Myrtle Beach condo and
weekend getaways,” the release said.
“Organizations that provide free legal services for low
income citizens can’t always fund fellowships for students interested in public
interest work.” Powell said in the college’s release. “In this way, PIA helps
to support and create the next generation of public interest lawyers who will
serve West Virginians in need.”
Powell said PIA is grateful from the support it has received
from the law school community, the legal community and the Morgantown community
over the years.