Casino Night raises more than $2,500 for student public interest law stipends

KU Law students at Casino Night 2013

On Oct. 18, law students and friends dressed up, ready for an evening to remember. The reason to put down their casebooks and highlighters and forget about the stress of law school? Public Interest Law Society’s 10th annual Casino Night. The events included poker, blackjack and roulette, as well as food, libations and plenty of music. Upon entering the “casino,” guests were given casino chips to play at the various games. The more chips a person had, the higher their odds of winning prizes at the end of the night. Chips were cashed in at the end of the night for raffle tickets. Guests were then encouraged to place their tickets in the basket corresponding to the prize they wished to win.

KU Law students at Casino Night 2013

For an additional $15 charity donation, guests could enter the prestigious poker tournament overseen by Professor Dennis Prater. One poor player found himself losing all his chips within the first hand dealt. The lucky remaining three players battled for prizes: a 23rd Street Brewery gift card, a $100 Cabela’s gift card and the grand prize of two Big XII Men’s Basketball Tournament tickets to all sessions at the Sprint Center come spring.

This annual event not only encourages students to explore careers and opportunities in public interest law, but also raises money to extend stipends to students who volunteer at public interest law organizations such as Kansas Legal Services, Legal Aid of Western Missouri, Disability Rights Center, and American Federation of Government Employees. Public interest lawyers rely on grants to work hard for human rights, to represent the underprivileged, and fight for the “little guy.” This year, the PILS executive team is proud to announce that Casino Night raised more than $2,500 to be donated toward the stipend.

— Jacqueline Ratkey is a second-year law student and president of the KU Public Interest Law Society.