Vegas Night gives scholarship programs a big boost for BLSA


Photos by John Meiu

By Tom Kirvan
Legal News

The success of the annual Vegas Night proved to be a sure bet for the Black Law Students Association at Detroit Mercy Law on March 25.

The fund-raiser featured a casino-style atmosphere where those in attendance enjoyed the opportunity to play games such as blackjack, craps, and poker, with all proceeds going to minority law scholarships. This year’s theme was “Old Hollywood,” where the BLSA honored the legacy of its cast of “Stars,” according to BLSA President Coriann McMillen.

“This was the Executive Board’s first time experiencing Vegas Night in person,” noted McMillen. “We did not know what to expect, however, the turnout was amazing, and I could not be prouder to be a part of such an amazing team. We had about 150 attendees and we raised $20,933.30.”

The BLSA awarded five scholarships at the event. The recipients included: Jazmine Goode – the 1L Book Scholarship; Stephanie Thomas – the 1L Judge Denise Langford-Morris Scholarship; Jimar Cunningham – the 2L Judge Marilyn Atkins Scholarship; DeLon Slaughter – the 3L Bar Prep Scholarship; and Coriann McMillen, the “Hustler” Scholarship for raising the most funds in sponsorships for Vegas Night.

“We also announced the 2023-24 Executive Board,” said McMillen of the Vegas Night highlights. “Sydney Jackson is the new President; Jimar Cunningham is Vice President; Stephanie Thomas is Secretary; Mecca Muhammad is Treasurer; and Zahara Madahah in Parliamentarian.”

Also honored at the event were such “Stars” as Pamela McLain, the first African American female commander in the history of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department; Tanisha Davis, attorney and solo practitioner; Judge Terrance Keith of the Wayne County Probate Court; and Judge Marlena Taylor of the 36th District Court in Detroit.

“We also presented spa packages from Woodhouse Spa to Judge Denise Langford-Morris and Judge Marilyn Atkins as a gift for contributing to our scholarship fund every year,” said McMillen.

BLSA is a professional organization of law students dedicated to service, mentoring, raising political and social awareness, and networking.

“BLSA plays a key role in mentoring incoming students from underrepresented groups,” said Detroit Mercy Law Dean Jelani Jefferson Exum. “By connecting with BLSA, students who may not have lawyers in their families are able to learn about law school study skills, professional networking, and other valuable skills that will support them in their legal education and thereafter.”


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