By Katie VloetMarch 25, 2013
Law School Economics 101: Getting the dean of admissions to make dinner for you and six friends is worth $1,300. A game of whirlyball with professors is worth $700, while a game of curling goes for $1,100. The lesson: Food is worth more than a ridiculous sport that involves brooms. Both are worth more than a ridiculous game that combines bumpercars, lacrosse, and basketball.
Another lesson: Michigan Law professors are, for the most part, great sports, but terrible dancers (it would be wrong to single out Professor John Pottow here).
Those lessons were on display at the annual Student Funded Fellowships (SFF) Auction at Michigan Law on March 21 (view an image gallery). The student organization raises money to provide grants to 1L students who take unpaid or low-paying public interest summer internships.
During this year's auction, they raised a total of $21,680 during the live auction, and another $18,071 from the silent auction (both were significant increases over last year, which was impacted by a tornado that touched down just west of Ann Arbor an hour before the live auction was scheduled to begin). SFF also awarded the annual A.W. Brian Simpson Award to Law School Facilities Manager Lois Harden, who, said SFF Board Co-Chair Anne Shaughnessy, "has tirelessly dedicated her time and energy to SFF over the years."
The biggest-ticket item was a week in Lake Tahoe, plus $500 in cash thrown in by Professor Robert Hirshon, which sold for $2,500. A week in Kauai went for $2,300, and a week in Manhattan Beach, California, topped out at $1,900.
A one-day Warrior Boot Camp with Professor Len Niehoff was auctioned by Professor Gil Seinfeld, who said, "You get to shoot things! You get to drink! You get to go to biker bars! You get to learn how to kick people's asses!" The item went for $1,050, not including an extra $253 that was spontaneously collected from audience members while Prof. Niehoff broke three boards—with his bare hand—at the front of the room. This is the professor you want to teach you how to be a warrior, people.
A few more highlights:
The event occurs during one of the Preview Weekends, and with good reason. Said Brian Holbrook, class of 2013, of his experience before he decided to attend Michigan Law: "During Preview Weekend, the SFF Auction showed me and other prospective students what those glossy admissions brochures had been boasting about. I doubt that the pictures of the deans dancing on the tables will make it into the admissions brochures, but Michigan Law should really consider it: that's what Michigan Law is about."
Holbrook's sentiments were nicely summed up in this assessment of SFF (lifted from an anonymous feedback survey) by one of this year's Preview participants: "Michigan Law is my kind of crazy." Exactly.
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