Each year, Santa Clara Law’s Center for Social Justice and Public Service provides summer stipends to law students working in non-profit organizations and government agencies that cannot afford to pay them. For many students, this type of work is their life’s dream, and they simply would not be able to afford to embark on this experience without the summer grants. The grants have an amazing reach into the community and provide a great public service to many individuals. Last year, the Center for Social Justice awarded 19 summer grants for work in such organizations as Catholic Charities, Disability Rights California, Bay Area Legal Aid, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, and the Public Defenders Offices in Santa Clara and Fresno Counties, to name just a few.

While we are extremely fortunate to have support from the law firms of Cooley LLP, Fenwick and West, and Hoge Fenton, together with generous individuals, the Benefit is a major source of funds for these summer grants.

This year’s event was organized by a team of dedicated students working with Professor Abriel, the Director of the Center for Social Justice. 3Ls Kelly Wynne and Diann Jayakoddy served as co-chairs; Leah Lambert and Baldip Hothi served as Finance Chairs, with their team of Rebecca Alvarado and Ariana Snyder. Hannah Villalpando was the Event Chair with the assistance of Noel Ben Salem, while Liz Magana and Emily Vallejo served as Donation Chairs.

At the Benefit, Dean Kaufman spoke movingly of continuing unmet legal needs and of our responsibility to work to meet them. Three recipients of last year’s grants, Nallely Montes, Baldip Hothi, and Romae-Ann Aquino, inspired us by recounting the work they had done under the grants, the difference it made to the community, and the positive impact of the work both to them, and to their future careers. Professor David Yosifon reprised his outstanding role as auctioneer, regaling participants with his jokes and encouraging bidders.

The Benefit also featured break-out rooms with faculty and alumni, giving participants a chance to chat during the festivities.

The University, the School of Law, and the community are wonderful supporters of the Benefit. Donations from area merchants and university departments fill the silent auction that accompanies the benefit, while the live auction at the Benefit centered around events donated by law school faculty and staff. Among the popular items were a Puppy Party with Professor Armstrong and her furry friends, a truffle-hunting hike with Professor Hsieh, game nights with the SBA co-presidents, and a brunch with our own Dean Kaufman. Bidding was enthusiastic, and the auction raised almost $4,000.00.

The silent auction is still open, and will close at 10 a.m. on February 3. There are still many items to bid on! See the event page for more info on the silent auction.

Participants at the 2022 Benefit for Justice

Participants at the 2022 Benefit for Justice