About BLSPIBrooklyn Law Students for the Public Interest is a student-run, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization at Brooklyn Law School that encourages and enables student participation in public interest legal work. Our mission is to help meet the legal needs of underrepresented communities and individuals.
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April 8, 2013
BROOKLYN, NY – On Thursday, March 21, Brooklyn Law Students for the Public Interest (“BLSPI”) held its twenty-third annual Auction fundraiser. The student organization played host to Brooklyn Law School (“BLS”) students, faculty, and alumni who turned out in force to support students pursuing careers in public interest law. In conjunction with funding from BLS, the money raised from the Auction will go toward BLSPI’s prestigious Fellowship program. The Fellowship provides funding to 20 students pursuing unpaid internships for the summer.
BLSPI held the Auction in the Forchelli Center of Feil Hall – BLS’s landmark student residence building. Students worked for over nine months to prepare for this enormous event. The event was spearheaded by the incredibly capable team of Brendan Rigby, ’13, Emily Shoor, ’14, and Homer Turgeon, ’14. They were joined by First-Year Delegates Sara Friedman, ’15, Brendan Gibbons, ’15, and Rebecca Naeder, ’15, and a group of over 70 dedicated law students who, despite their busy schedules, found time to assist in making this event a reality.
“We are so grateful for the incredible amount of energy and passion put forth by the Auction Co-Chairs and their committee,” said Jessica Rickards, ’13, Co-Chair of BLSPI. Erin Ogburn, ’14, also a BLSPI Co-Chair, added “The Auction is an incredible event, and vital to the sustainability of our organization. As BLSPI’s initiatives continue to grow, the money raised at the Auction goes toward programming aimed at supporting students pursuing careers working for nonprofits and government agencies. We would like to thank everyone who contributed, both to the Auction and to the success of BLSPI overall.”
The exact amount raised is not finalized. However, with corporate sponsorships, individual donations, receipts from the door, and winning bids, it is estimated that the Auction brought in over $40,000.
BLS’s new Dean, Nick Allard, and his wife, Marla, gave an unprecedented number of donations to this year’s Auction. One popular lot included opening night dinner for two and a performance of a future production at the Shakespeare Theatre Company of Washington, D.C., and an overnight stay in the guest suite of Dean Allard’s Georgetown home. In addition, the bidding for lunch for four with Marla Allard at Second Avenue Deli was so heated that the Allards generously responded by adding a second lunch.
“At first, I was terrified: students expected my co-chairs and me to buy their summers’ groceries and pay their rent. Nothing puts pressure on a public interest lawyer like the knowledge of a client’s expectations,” said Brendan Rigby, ’13, Auction Co-Chair. “But like any public interest law project, the community came together to tackle our monumental mission. I thank the local businesses, alumni, professors, and students who continue to ensure this event is not just fun, but fundraising.”
Homer Turgeon, ’14, also an Auction Co-Chair, added, “Personally, I want to thank the fine people working in our auction, the volunteers who put in their time and efforts. The night went as smoothly as I could’ve possibly hoped, and it was all thanks to our volunteers. To name them all would take paragraphs, because so many were willing to step up, and to name any fewer would be to suggest there was anyone who didn’t give their utmost, and I couldn’t do that.”
The BLSPI Board of Directors would like to acknowledge the BLS administration for its unwavering support of BLSPI’s efforts, most especially the Fellowship program. BLSPI would also like to thank BarBri for continuously supporting the Auction as its primary sponsor.
Brooklyn Law Students for the Public Interest( BLSPI) is a student-run, non-profit organization at Brooklyn Law School whose mission is to encourage and support legal work which positively impacts the lives of individuals and communities in need. BLSPI’s growing initiatives include clothing and food drives for the indigent, blood drives for the sick, a Halloween candy drive for children living in domestic violence shelters, neighborhood outreach activities, and many other events designed to benefit the local community. BLSPI is proud to provide institutional support and leadership for the growing number of student pro bono projects at Brooklyn Law School. In addition, BLSPI runs a mentorship program to assist first-year law students in adjusting to the rigors of a legal education. BLSPI recently created a competitive Michael Madow Bar Grant to recognize graduating students who have demonstrated superior dedication to the public interest during their time in law school. Finally, BLSPI’s signature initiative is a summer Fellowship program, which awards stipends to students working in volunteer summer legal positions. These programs are all made possible through the success of the annual BLSPI Auction and the support of the Brooklyn Law School community. To learn more about BLSPI, please visit www.blspi.org.
Sponsored by BLSPI, the BLS Basketball Association, and Pieper Bar Review:
Whether you know about basketball or not, fill out a March Madness bracket!
ALL of the proceeds will go towards Children of Promise, a Brooklyn non-profit dedicated to nurturing and providing after-school and summer athletic programs to children with incarcerated parents. www.cpnyc.org/
To fill out a bracket, visit: http://games.espn.go.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/en/group?groupID=1656 (instructions below). Entry fee is minimum of $5, (paid through the link on the right side of this page).
1st Place – $250 for Pieper Bar Prep plus a $50 gift card to from Amazon
2nd Place – $200 for Pieper Bar Prep plus a $35 gift card to Amazon
3rd Place – $150 for Pieper Bar Prep plus a $25 gift card to Amazon
To be eligible for the prizes, you must make a donation of a minimum of $5.
1. Make your contributions online here: http://blspi.org/
2. Look for the donate button on the right hand side of the screen.
3. Enter the amount you wish to donate.
4. Make sure you designate you donation to the March Madness Pool.
5. Include your email address
Then pick your brackets on the ESPN website:
1. Go to to ESPN at http://games.espn.go.com/
2. If you are not already a member of ESPN, create a ESPN Sports username and password — follow the “register” links on the page. (Yes, it’s free.)
3. Sign in to the “BLSPI MARCH MADNESS” bracket. The password is “publicinterest”
4. Pick your bracket! Note: Brackets close Thursday, March 21 at noon.
The Championship Game is April 8. BLSPI, Pieper, and the Basketballers will be holding a viewing party from 5pm to 10pm in the Student Lounge. Drinks and Food will be provided so come and cheer on your teams!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sarah Arena at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 23rd Annual BLSPI Auction has something for everyone! Movie tickets? Reel good ones. Lunch with former senators and biglaw partners? A firm bet. Need more mustache in your life? Dinner with Geraldo Rivera is part of the Auction stash. Love sports? Net yourself lunch with the NHL Commissioner. Thirsty for justice? Dine with a public defense pioneer. Got a hungry intellect? Let a professor wine and dine you.
Check out the full list at www.blspi.org/auction/
Tickets go on sale next week in the cafeteria for $15. Buy them at the door for $20.
We’ll see you Thursday, March 21, in Feil (205 State St. Brooklyn, NY 11201). The Silent Auction may begin at 7, and the Live Auction at 8, but the anticipation begins now.
Want to give? Or know somebody who does? It’s not too late to give us an item or punch your credit card into our secure online donation system. www.blspi.org/auction/donate
Spread the word. Be there or be a square.
Come join ACLU, NLG, and BLSPI for a week of compelling panels and discussion on immigration issues! Here is the schedule:
MONDAY 3/11 @ 1pm – Student Lounge
Panel: Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Professors Stacy Caplow and Lauren Burke will be having a panel/ discussion about alternatives to comprehensive immigration reform
TUESDAY 3/12 @ 5pm – Student Lounge
Panel: Racist Law Enforcement (Co-Sponsored by BLSA)
Lindsay Nash from the Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic and Ted Colon of the NYPD/BLS part-time division will be having a panel/discussion on racist law & border enforcement issues
WEDNESDAY 3/13 @ 5pm – Student Lounge
Film: “Hunger” starring Michael Fassbender in a movie about Northern Ireland inmates hunger strike to regain political status when it was revoked by the British government in 1976. This movie won top honors in 2008 in Cannes.
THURSDAY 3/14 @ 1pm – Student Lounge
Panel: Being Undocumented
Professor Dan Smulian, Cesar Vargas (an undocumented CUNY alum denied admission to the NY Bar), and Diana C. Sierra Becerra (political activist and graduate student at the University of Michigan) will be discussing being undocumented and its legal, cultural, social, etc. implications.
FRIDAY 3/15 @ 12pm – Room 600
Immigration Court Observation Project Training and Visit to New York Immigration Courts
The 23rd Annual BLSPI Auction is on March 21, 2013 at Feil Hall, 205 State St., Brooklyn, NY 11201. The Silent Auction commences at 7:00 PM in Geraldo’s in Feil Hall. The Live Auction begins at 8:00 PM upstairs in the Forchelli Center and ends when all items are sold.
Student tickets will be $20 at the door, or $15 if purchased on campus the week of the event.
Want to donate? It’s not too late! See how you can contribute.
Want to bid? Check out a list of this year’s items!
Please join BLSPI and the Children’s Law Center (CLCNY) on Thursday, February 28th for a Charitable Bar Review! Have a drink with us from 7:00pm-11:00PM at:
228 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201
$5 cover and 100% proceed will benefit the Securing Seamless Education Services Project (SSES).
Launched in September of 2011, SSES enhances CLCNY’s ability to advocate for the education needs of children at the center of emotionally contentious legal proceedings in the New York City Family Court by utilizing a 5 point strategy that includes: cross collaboration, consultation, direct legal representation, developing a trained staff, pro bono attorney, volunteer and intern network, and community outreach to ensure that children receive their legally entitled specially education benefits.
For more information, contact Heather Bristol or Kathryn Hensley email@example.com
The Public Service Office and BLSPI are proud to announce that they are teaming up to fund students who wish to attend this year’s RebLaw Conference at Yale Law School on February 22-23. The RebLaw Conference is an annual, student-run conference that brings together practitioners, law students, and community advocates from around the country to discuss innovative, progressive approaches to law and social change. The PSO and BLSPI will reimburse students’ registration fee and transportation costs.
For those interested in applying for the BLSPI Fellowship, the application is now live on the website www.blspi.org/apply.
Natalie (our Fellowship Co-Chair), Matt, and Jess (BLSPI Co-Chairs) will hold “office hours” in the Student Lounge on Monday, January 14th from 5:00-6:00pm to answer questions that folks may have about the application. Please note that internships at non-profits and government offices (including judicial internships) are eligible for funding.
Applications are due by Sunday, Jan. 20th at 5:00pm.
Selections for interviews will go out by January 27th, and interviews will be conducted on February 2nd and 3rd.
We’re proud to co-sponsor this great event that helps out the Peter Cicchino Youth Project. This project works with homeless LGBTQ youth with accessing housing, education, and legal advocacy. See you there! Join BLSPI, BLS ACLU, APALSA, Federalist Societty, FHRAP, HARP, ICOP, LAW, NLG, OUTLAWS and SRP for a great night! Click here for the flyer!
Thursday, Sept. 6th from 7:00-10:00 pm at Last Exit Bar (136 Atlantic Ave.)
Cost: A suggested $5 donation, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
We have an amazing array of silent auction items and raffle prizes for the event, which include:
*A dinner for two with Dean Nick and Marla Allard at Henry’s End;
*Six tickets available to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s gala celebrating the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on Sept. 18th on the Intrepid (valued at $250 each)
*Yankees tickets for the Sunday, Sept. 16th game versus Tampa Bay (2 tickets in Section 234 valued at $75);
* Four Barbri gift certificates (valued at $200 each); and
*Pottery made by Professor Liz Schneider
***AND amazing gift certificates from Brooklyn Industries, Amazon, Trader Joes, manicure/pedicure packages at Iris Nail, a makoever by Enter Pronoun, gift packages from Feminist Press and Penguin Group, as well as numerous local restaurants!!! 100% of the proceeds benefit PCYP!
Also, DJ Average Jo will be spinning during the night and we’re providing free food. We hope to see you at the event!