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Akron Law Student Bar Association holds trivia night ‘Fun – Raiser’

Ashlee James

Legal News Reporter

Published: April 16, 2019

It’s called a “Fun – Raiser” and members of the Student Bar Association at The University of Akron School of Law are hoping the April 26 trivia night event will generate even more money this year for the school’s Public Interest Law Fellowship, which assists students who take unpaid public service internships during the summer.

“We have a number of Akron Law students who have expressed an interest in working at nonprofit organizations and governmental entities once they graduate, but in order to do so they need to get some experience on their resumes,” said Akron Law Dean Christopher J. (C.J.) Peters. “However many of the internships that are offered are unpaid, which can present a hardship.

“Our fellowship provides a small stipend to these students to help them cover basic expenses like rent, food and transportation.”

“A lot of 1Ls are really interested in taking these positions, but they can’t afford to forego paying jobs for the summer,” said Akron Law 3L Ashlee James, president of the Student Bar Association. “While students are encouraged to use the stipends to help fill the needs of organizations in this area, they can use the funds for public interest positions outside the Akron area as long as they can demonstrate their need for the money.”

The Public Interest Law Fellowship is funded through private donations and monies raised by the annual Student Bar Association fundraiser in the spring, with individual awards ranging from $250 to $3,000.

“A committee reviews the fellowship applications,” said Peters. “Award decisions are based on a variety of factors, including commitment to public service, expenses and the personal or financial circumstances of the applicant.”

Since 2012, Akron Law has awarded 119 fellowships, totaling $79,789.

James said for many years the Student Bar Association held an auction to raise money, but this year students decided to try something a little bit different.

“We want to get the entire community involved and we thought a trivia night might be more engaging because it could last all night versus an auction where people bid on items and leave,” said James. “Many law students did not have the money to buy the items at the auction.

“We think the trivia night will be more successful,” she said. “We have hired an outside company to put on the trivia game. We are asking participants to register as teams of eight or ten people. One person can register an entire team.”

James said organizers are hoping to get law firms and public sector employers to sponsor entire tables.

“We are also soliciting local prosecutor’s offices in the surrounding county,” said James, an intern in the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.

“There will be raffle prizes, free food and at the end of the night one team will be crowned the Trivia Champion,” said James.

Peters said his team will be made up of faculty, staff and family members. “I expect a tough trivia competition,” he said. “In my experience, most lawyers, law students, and law professors love trivia and I’m no exception to that rule.”

Last year’s event raised $9,000 and students are hoping to increase the amount to $15,000.

“I have never had a need for the fellowship fund myself, but it has helped many other students to decide if public interest is right for them,” said James.

Those who want to participate in the ‘Fun – Raiser’ must register by April 19.

The cost is $20 for students and $25 for faculty and community members. The payment covers the contest and food. There will also be a cash bar.

The April 26 event gets underway at 7 p.m. at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.

To sponsor a table, register a team, or make a donation go to uakron.edu/giving/law/PILF.