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Annual auction to aid Syracuse Public Interest Network to be held Nov. 5

October 25, 2010

Jaclyn D. Grosso
(315) 443-9534

For nearly 20 years, the Syracuse Public Interest Network (SPIN) at Syracuse University College of Law has sponsored fellowships for students who pursue unpaid summer public interest law internships in the community. The majority of SPIN’s fellowship funding is raised at the annual SPIN Public Interest Auction, which will be held Friday, Nov. 5, at the Hotel Syracuse from 6-10 p.m. For more information, to donate items or to attend the event, call (315) 729-0891, e-mail,  or visit the SPIN website.

The event is open to the public, with pre-sale tickets $15, and $20 at the door, which includes hors d’oeuvres. Silent auction items range from dinners at local restaurants to jewelry and vacation getaways. A complete list of auction items is available on the SPIN website.

Each fellow dedicates his or her summer to benefit children, immigrants, the homeless, refugees, victims of domestic violence or the Cold Case Justice Initiative. Many public interest organizations are in desperate need of help but are unable to attract quality candidates due to their inability to pay competitive wages. This problem is compounded because many students are financially unable to accept unpaid internships. SPIN fellowships help to mitigate this problem. Now in its 18th year, the program continues to raise money to encourage law students to pursue careers in public interest law. Last year, the organization sponsored 16 fellows who worked in legal service organizations, private nonprofit legal organizations and government agencies, both in the Syracuse area and nationwide.

“Working at Hiscock Legal Aid Society has shown me that public interest law is a rewarding experience and because of this job I plan on pursuing a career in the public interest field,” explains SPIN fellow and third-year law student Derek English. “I worked in the Domestic Violence Unit at the Hiscock Legal Aid Society. I worked on divorces and child custody cases for women who have been battered. I also helped many of these same women obtain orders of protection so that their ex-husbands would no longer be a threat. It was a rewarding feeling to know that I helped keep children in a safe home. I would not have been able to work at Hiscock this summer had it not been for the grant I received from the SPIN fellowship program.”

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