PILF Auction Moves Downtown
boston college club, april 18
Toni Ann Kruse, BCLS ’08, didn’t bid on an invigorating weekend stay at a ski resort condo at last year’s auction for the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF). She didn’t put her money on coveted Red Sox tickets or even a free dinner at an upscale Boston restaurant. Instead, Kruse put that money into a bid for dinner with Professors Herrmann, Goldfarb, and Beckman with several other classmates at St. Mary’s Chapel on Main Campus.
Kruse wasn’t the only one who placed high bids on breaking bread with BC Law faculty. In fact, dinners with distinguished professors usually get the highest bids at the annual event, which will be held at the Boston College Club on April 18.
“The fact that they receive some of the highest bids every year really speaks highly to the community we have here,” said Kruse, who is at the helm of this year’s auction with Adam Baker, BC Law ’08. “Everyone has such great relationships with the faculty as teachers and as people.”
Smashing a pie into the face of the current law review editor is also a coveted prize at the auction, whose proceeds fund the PILF Summer Stipends Program, which gives public interest-minded law students compensation for working at public interest jobs. Past students have worked at Greater Boston Legal Services, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, National Public Radio, the Lawyer’s Committee on Civil Rights, and other organizations across the nation.
Easily PILF’s biggest fundraiser and one of the most popular events of the year, the auction moved to its new location in the BC Club in an effort to make it more accessible to BC Law alumni.
“We have a large alumni base downtown, and we wanted to involve them in this event in the way that they were involved with it while at BC Law,” said Baker. “[The auction] has been a tradition, one of the few that we have, and we’re just stepping it up to make it bigger and better.”
Baker and Kruse worked on the details with Jack Joyce, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the BC Club, and the Board. The Board decided to sponsor the auction in honor of Jack and Mary Curtin, in gratitude for Jack’s service as Founding Chairman of the Board, and in recognition of Jack and Mary’s life-long commitment to public service. Curtin (BC Law ’57) is a partner at Bingham McCutchen, LLP and founder of the Curtin Center for Public Interest at the Law School. The Bingham Fellowship Program, which funds 50 percent of a student’s internship in the areas of legal services, civil rights, the justice system, environmental protection, and government lawyering, shows Curtin’s dedication to public interest law, as well as the product of a Jesuit education.
“A sense of responsibility for service to others is part of the BC tradition and teaching,” he said. “I think that motivates young people to go into something other than traditional law practice.” Curtin is the inaugural honoree of the PILF auction, an honor Kruse and Baker hope will turn into a tradition as well.
“I think this is a chance to broaden everybody’s knowledge of what PILF is doing and encourage them to keep doing it,” Curtin added regarding the relocation.
Aside from the new location and the honoree, however, everything else about the auction will keep with tradition, featuring both live and silent auctions, as well as professors as guest auctioneers. It remains a free event with an open bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Dress is business casual or semi-formal.
Interest in the event is at a high, according to Kruse and Baker, something they view as a step towards uniting the BC community even more with this rare BC tradition, as well as a move towards the ultimate goal of having funds to support every student who wants to work in public interest law instead of having a selection process for stipends.
"When you're participating in the auction, you're giving twice: the first is to PILF and the second is to public organizations, by encouraging and nurturing the great, talented people they need to survive," said Kruse. "It's really in the Jesuit spirit of BC Law, not to mention the auction is just a great time for all year after year."
For more on the auction or to donate an item to be auctioned, please contact Toni Ann Kruse & Adam Baker at BCLawAuction2007@gmail.com.