Thursday, March 8, 2007

Fun at the University of Michigan Student Funded Fellowship Auction

Tonight was a fun night. Always one of the best events of the year at the University of Michigan Law School, tonight's Student Funded Fellowship Auction was a great time. For those outside of the law school, each year SFF puts on both a live and silent auction to raise money for fellowships given to students who take non-profit jobs during the summer. Since these non-profit organizations don't have the funds to pay their summer interns and law clerks, the auction is a great opportunity for students working at big law firms (making much more than no salary) to give back to their fellow students.

Aside from the breadth of silent auction items (ranging from sporting event and theater tickets to dinners to haircuts to autographed books, including a personalized autographed copy of Barack Obama's Audacity of Hope, which at $180, was a bit higher than I was willing to pay for it, but was still a great deal) the real fun comes in the live auction. 30 items, 5 professors acting as auctioneers, and lots of peer pressure to increase one's bid. The professors are great and are really good at encouraging people to keep bidding, and with live auction items like skydiving with a professor, Whirlyball against a team of professors, and tours of the Googleplex or NBC studios in New York or the CSI New York set in Los Angeles, it was easy to get up for the bidding.

Four friends and I even got in on the action, outbidding other students and winning (for $900) the right to challenge the Dean of the Law School and our Criminal Procedure professor in a game of poker. It was fun to get involved in the bidding (it's easy to get caught up in a live auction) and the game should be a great time. I had the winning bid on a silent auction item too, taking home gift certificates to both the local driving range and Buffalo Wild Wings. I almost also won a Detroit Lions autographed football, but not knowing who the ball was autographed by, and already having one autographed Dre Bly photo which became worthless this week (which, I guess assumes it was worth something to begin with) so I decided to pass.

All in all a great night, fun, and now I've got poker, golf, and chicken tenders to look forward to. And by my count, the live auction itself raised almost $25,000 for SFF with thousands more raised during the silent auction, so everyone has good reason to feel good about themselves after this night.

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