It's about that time of year again: Barrister's Ball has come and passed, Spring break is but a distant memory resigned to perpetuity as a Facebook album, and second semester exams loom large and imposing. It's a depressing moment-realizing we suddenly have to learn those subjects whose reading we put off in favor of bar reviewing and ski tripping and all around social life-ing, and it seems there is nothing left to distract us from tedium of our studies.
Then, all of a sudden, the Equal Justice Foundation appears, offering us a chance to stuff our mouths with pizza and bud light, throw money we don't have at things we probably don't need but really want, and shout at the deans and professors-and it's all for a good cause! That's right the annual EJF Auction is tomorrow afternoon. Salvation is nigh.
For anyone new to the law school or who missed out last year, the EJF Auction is a yearly free for all sale celebrating public interest work. It's nothing like a stuffy afternoon Christies's, and there's always a theme. This year's theme is superheroes and I have it on good authority that attendants will be treated to deans in spandex.
All the money raised goes toward offering GW Law students summer grants to do public interest work. Last year's event raised over $35,000, which was used to subsidize six students' summers with each student receiving $4,500.
This year the auction includes all the traditional favorites-such as wine with Professor Peterson and a night at Brickskeller with Professors Colby, Kerr and Smith-as well as some new items including a Supreme Court quill courtesy of Professor Kerr and dinner with Professors Tuttle and Brauneis. Last year, the most popular item was a day of sniper lessons that sold for an incredible $2,850. This year the Second Amendment gets similar treatment with Professor Cottrol offering shooting lessons. Descriptions of these and the other items are available on lists posted throughout the school as well as on EJF's website, docs.law.gwu.edu/stdg/ejf/.
Also going on all day for anyone unfortunate to miss out on the live auction is a silent auction from 9:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m. in the leather lounge. Some of the items that will be auctioned off there include a GPS system, bike rentals, and the always-popular Barbri coupons. (Perfect for the graduating public interest-leaning law student who won't be able to charge their course to a firm!)
The enthusiasm within EJF this year is unmatched. 2L and EJF Secretary/Vice President of the umbrella organization Student Hurricane Network, Kathie Carroll says this year is a record-breaker with some one hundred volunteers getting involved soliciting donations, making decorations, and planning every detail of tomorrow's event.
One such volunteer is 2L Jessica Katz who has taken on the daunting job of making decorations, procuring costumes and then convincing the faculty to don said costumes. Katz says, "the EJF Auction is my favorite law school event because it incorporates everything great about all other events: it's free to attend, there's free food and beer, everyone goes to it, it's so fun and we are helping people in the process."
2L and EJF President, Greg Crespo attributes his excitement for this year's auction to the important role the organization plays in creating a more just legal community. He says, "the Auction is part of EJF's greater commitment to expanding opportunities for students to explore public interest law... EJF believes that the success of a classmate going into public interest law is a success for all of us as a law school community... Alone I can't financially support my classmates over the summer, but I can work with EJF to do just that."
Students who went last year are just as excited as EJF members themselves. 2L Kim Clark declares, "The EJF auction was an amazing event last year- making something that is actually a worthwhile thing to support, the place to be. Everyone was out supporting EJF and with the free beer, fun atmosphere and cool auction prizes- I will definitely be going back this year."
However 2L Hardeep Grover has a warning for people ready to flex their financial muscle at the auction: "Just be warned that with each successive drink, the price of your [desired item] matters less and less. You think your friends wouldn't let you bid on anything excessive? Well they'll be the ones helping you make a beer can pyramid 20 minutes into the auction."
2L Terry Schoone-Jongen says his financial ventures last year were well worth the effect on the pocketbook. Schoone-Jongen throws down the bidding gauntlet saying, "as is well known, I ended up winning the naming rights to the LRW spring problem, which has resulted in a rather entertaining semester. I'm very excited for this year's edition (the superhero theme speaks to my inner geek) and hope to form another winning coalition with regard to the spring problem naming rights."
The only concern people seem to have after last year's event is the amount of food. Many students last year went hungry (though not thirsty!) due to an underestimation on the amount of pizza needed. Crespo assures that the same mistake will not be repeated this year: ". We have ordered almost twice as much pizza this year and considerably more beer as well, so there shouldn't be concerns that we'll run low like last year. We've also switched our pizza vendor from Domino's to Manny & Olga's and our beer from Miller Light to Yeungling."
All in all, the auction is sure to be as well-attended, lucrative and enjoyable as last year-and perhaps more gastrically-satiating. Students would do best to heed yet another warning from Grover: "For anyone that misses this without good reason, I hereby laugh at you in advance."
The EJF Live Auction will take place on Thursday April 2nd from 4:00-8:00pm in LL101. Items to be auctioned off can be found on EJF's new public interest blog: http://gwpi.wordpress.com/.