By Matthew Zagaja
On the evening of November 18th members of the law school community packed themselves into the Starr Reading Room for a night of steals and deals. The night began with the silent auction. Tables adorned the perimeter of the room. Bidders had the opportunity to view items such as artwork by Prof. Pomp and bid on them. In a change from previous years many items had a larger minimum bid size than the customary five dollars. However this change did not appear to discourage bidders from entering the fray. An hour into the auction, bidders were fighting over items like BarBri gift certificates and Italian Lessons from Janie Crocco.
The mood in the room changed as the electric Patrick Soucy returned to the stage for a third-year as the official auctioneer. The owner of Golden Gavel auctions in East Windsor, Mr. Soucy has been selling antiques since age 13. As the auctions start you can feel his draw. Bid on an item and he locks you into his tractor beam. He has that uncanny ability to tell whether or not you want something and whether you are willing to pay just a few more dollars for it if you are given a little encouragement. Yet even with Mr. Soucy working to pry bidders from their wallets incredible deals were had. One lucky student paid a little over $1000 for a Mexico vacation package valued at around $4000
The auction also had a surprise twist this year. Donors donated two of some of the vacation packages to the auction. After the first vacation package was won in the live auction, the auctioneer would give the second highest bidder the option to purchase the second vacation package at the same price as the highest bidder. Every time the offer was made, the second bidder accepted. This not only softened the blow of losing the auction for the second bidder, but also increased the money going towards PILG’s fellowships.
The end of an auction always brings excitement and disappointment. As some checked out they found that silent auction items they bid on were swiped from under their noses in those last crucial moments. Others were giddy that they now had a place to spend winter or spring break. While a final figure of money made was not available at the time of printing, the real winner is still the law school community. As first and second year students begin their internship hunts for next summer, they may now consider non-paying options with public interest organizations and have the comfort of knowing they can apply to get funding from PILG.