February 19, 2008
Preview: Sotheby’s. Christie’s. SFF.
Submitted by Mitch Holzrichter and Carolyn Grunst
This year’s SFF Auction—Thursday, March 13—will rival the best in the world, as bidders from throughout the Hutchins community compete for unique items and priceless experiences.
This year’s Auction will feature almost 200 items, more than in any other year. Bidders of all income-levels will find something for them: from Tigers tickets to a luxury golf package in Arizona.
The crème-de-la-crème item this year, as in past years, is a lunch for four students with Judge Richard Posner. Professor Brian Simpson has again generously arranged for Michigan students to meet with this living god of the Seventh Circuit. The Posner lunch will be the final item auctioned during the Live Auction in Hutchins room 100.
New this year, to give Judge Posner a run for his money, SFF bidders have the opportunity at a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a liberal lion of the Ninth Circuit: Chief Judge Alex Kozinski or Judge Stephen Reinhardt. Judge Kozinski and his guest will join a Michigan student and his or her guest for dinner and the world premiere production of the drama “Of Equal Measure,” in Los Angeles on Friday, July 25th. Judge Reinhardt and his wife, Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California, will join a Michigan student and his or her guest for dinner and the world premiere production of the play “Keep Your Pantheon,” in Los Angeles on Friday, June 6th. Who knows: maybe they’ll still be looking for clerks?
For those students who aspire to more than Circuit Courts, Alumna Heidi Bond (MLS ’06), a clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, will give the winning bidder and three guests an insider’s tour of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
For the golfers (or sun bathers) among you, the Biltmore Country Club in Phoenix, Arizona, one of America’s most luxurious resort destinations, offers a two-night stay, with two rounds of golf, a $400 air travel gift card, and a 90-minute ride in a new Cessna, for the winning bidder and his or her guest.
Not to be outdone, the MLS faculty has once again put forth a variety of generous and unique experiences and gifts. Prof. Reimann will again take a lucky student sky-diving, where he’ll explain transnational law while free-falling from 10,000 feet. Second-degree black-belt holder Prof. Len Neihoff will use his powers for good: he’ll teach the winning bidder and friend self-defense in a private two-hour class. Be warned: Prof. Niehoff tells us that ethics rules don’t apply!
Of course there will be iPods, gift certificates to local restaurants, and tickets to shows, plays, and games, at all price levels, thanks to the generosity of Michigan students, faculty, and staff, Ann Arbor community businesses, and law firms from across the country.
The silent auction begins at 5:30 in Hutchins Hall, with the (open-bar!) LSSS Faculty-Student Wine and Cheese. The Live Auction begins at 7:00 in Hutchins room 100, during which time eight highly-qualified faculty auctioneers will entertain you and take your money.
This year marks SFF’s 30th Anniversary. Last year, SFF provided approximately $200,000 to Michigan students working in public interest jobs during the summer. The Auction contributes about a third of the available funding.
In order to increase the number of grants available to Michigan students, and to ensure the continuing financial stability of the organization for years to come, SFF has begun the first-ever SFF Endowment. To help build this Endowment—and to raise additional funds for this year’s class of grant recipients—SFF has developed new fundraising programs and improved those already existing.
With the continued support of the Michigan community, SFF hopes to one day fund every Michigan law student working in the public interest. You can do your part: come drink, bid, and be a part of a great MLS tradition!
Mitch Holzrichter and Carolyn Grunst are 3Ls and members of the SFF Board.