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PILF Auction Supports Student Internships

December 14, 2010

The USF School of Law Seventh Annual Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) Gala and Award Ceremony raised approximately $48,000 to support students working in the public interest field next summer.

With matching funds from the dean’s office, money raised by the PILF Donate-a-Day Program, and additional law school donations, PILF estimates that it will be able to provide 25 summer grants in 2011 valued at $4,000 each. The grants allow students to work at nonprofit organizations and public interest agencies without financial hardship.

“The law school’s mission, as I say over and over again, is about educating minds and hearts to change the world. We take those words seriously,” Dean Jeffrey Brand said at the Nov. 12 event. “I urge you to look in your program, read about what the students do and when you come across words like Bay Area Legal Aid, La Raza Centro, public defender, eviction defense, disability rights…corporate accountability, and fighting the death penalty…that’s what we mean.”

Eva Paterson

Carmen Franklin 3L, PILF co-chair for 2010–2011, welcomed attendees to the award ceremony and presented the Public Interest Excellence Award to Eva Paterson with PILF Co-Chair Lisa D’Annunzio 3L. Paterson, a civil rights leader and director of the Equal Justice Society, has advanced the conversation of how the government can support equal justice measures, Franklin said.

In her address to law school students, Paterson provided guidance on how to approach legal education and practice. She urged students to take law school seriously and learn how to practice law to help their future clients. Paterson also told students not to get full of themselves and forget who they are after law school. “As you shift from law school to the real world don’t get a big head,” she said.

“Do what you love. You don’t want to get into a job that is going to make you miserable,” Patterson said, noting that she has been blessed to have a career filled with passion. “Take chances in your career.”

Richard Pio Roda BA ’97, JD ’01 (at podium) and auction attendees

D’Annunzio introduced the live auction program and auctioneer Richard Pio Roda BA ’97, JD ’01, who has served in this role since 2004. Pio Roda also serves on the USF School of Law Board of Governors.

“This was an absolutely amazing event and after all registrants were counted we had more than 400 attendees,” Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Erin Dolly said. “With this year’s video new website, increased sponsorship outreach and promotions, not to mention a terrific program, this event truly captured what the law school is all about.”