Public Interest Law Fund seeks donations

March 02, 2010

The Public Interest Law Fund (PILF) at Penn State is seeking donations for its annual auctions. All proceeds from the fundraiser benefit fellowships for law students to work at nonprofit organizations or government agencies.
“Fellowships are awarded to students who demonstrate that they will serve the community or individuals who might not otherwise be able to obtain legal representation,” said PILF president and third-year law student Katharine MacKenzie. “In addition, the fellowships provide a financial benefit to those students who are dedicated to public interest legal work, but who might not otherwise be able to work without pay for the summer.”
PILF’s annual auctions are its largest fundraising events of the year for the student-run nonprofit organization, raising thousands for the Cherie M. Millage Fellowship Fund. A live auction is held at both law school campuses (Carlisle on March 18 and University Park on March 25) in addition to an online auction spanning the week between the two live auctions.
“The annual PILF auction is a tradition that brings together students, faculty, and staff to raise money for fellowships,” said MacKenzie.
The fellowships are grants, funding ten weeks of full-time legal work in a public interest job of the student’s choice.
“Working with the Community Justice Project, which has been a wonderful experience, would not have been possible without the PILF fellowship,” said Caroline Watral, of the class of 2010, who received one of seven fellowships awarded last year. One of the projects Watral worked on over the past summer included a civil rights suit involving funding of special education programs in Pennsylvania. Other fellows worked across the country, from California to New York to Washington D.C., for nonprofit organizations and government agencies.
To fund these fellowships, PILF relies on the generosity of the law school community and local businesses. Professors, staff and administrators donate dinners or other outings; students auction off services such as babysitting and yard work; and businesses across the state donate various items, including gift cards and baskets, concert and theater tickets, sports memorabilia, among others. Monetary donations also are accepted.
To make a tax-deductible donation, send an E-mail to or visit for more information. While monetary donations will be accepted at any time, donations of auction items must be submitted by March 5.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 22, 2015