Profile in Brief: Verkeydia Crump BLSA President

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Verkeydia Crump earned a dual undergrad degree in criminal justice/law enforcement administration, and political theory/constitutional democracy from Michigan State University, before entering Detroit Mercy Law School.

“The need for a more fair system for disadvantaged minorities, especially black people that cannot stand up for themselves, drew me to criminal justice and political theory,” she says. “I wanted to understand how the system works, in order to attempt to improve it, even if in a small way, for disadvantaged minorities.

“As an attorney, I’d be in the perfect position to advocate for equality and fairness in laws and the criminal justice system,” she adds. “I’d be able to fight for those that are not usually given a fair chance. Whether I’m on the side of prosecution or defense, I’ll make it my top priority to put fairness and justness at the forefront.”

An undergrad internship in the forfeiture and homicide units at the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office provided invaluable experience.

“This helped me to understand that the law is not just an abstract set of rules,” Crump says. “The application of the law to real life and real people is what matters most, and being able to apply legal elements to real life situations is just as important as knowing the written law.”
The 3L student’s primary focus is criminal law.

“This is an important area that greatly impacts society, and has disproportionate results for minorities, specifically black people,” she says.

“Criminal law has a huge impact on black communities and the black economy, as well as better job opportunities and preparedness. Fairness and justness for black people in the criminal law aspect would have a positive impact on the black community.”   

Her career goal is to practice as a criminal prosecuting attorney, as well as a criminal defense attorney, and ultimately, become a criminal law judge.

“I feel practicing on both sides will not only provide me with invaluable experience, but will allow me to be able to work from both sides to ensure justice is served,” she says. “This will also help me to be unbiased and fair as a judge.”

Crump finds Detroit Mercy Law fosters a supportive community.

“One of the main goals is social justice, one of the factors that drew me to the school,” she says. “The administration, professors, faculty, staff, and students generally care about each other, as well as the community.

“I am always able to advocate for minorities and I always feel the minority’s voice is heard, taken into consideration, and at least an attempt is made to see what could be done to remedy any problem, or make changes to make a more inclusive environment.”   

A member of the Honor Council, Diversity Committee, a student ambassador, and also a mentor to young students in Detroit, Crump serves as president of the school’s Black Law Students Association.

“BLSA fosters a community of black students that have some similar struggles, but are very different in our mindsets and the routes we’ve taken to get to where we are now,” she says. 

“BLSA is an amazing organization that provides academic resources to assist us in succeeding in law school, and motivate us to prosper.

We’re a family, and we’re able to lean on each other for support in every aspect of life. We also do a lot of community service to help those in difficult situations.”

She has interned at Rutledge, Manion, Rabaut, Terry, & Thomas, PC, a civil defense litigation firm in downtown Detroit, and also in the Office of General Counsel at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

“Both internships provided me with writing experience, exposure to different types of law that I didn’t know could be interesting, a network of distinguished attorneys, and practical experience,” she says.   

The Detroit native makes her home in Troy with her husband and newborn son. She enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures, as well as learning about different legal systems, and how they compare to the legal systems to which she has been exposed—knowledge that will be of use in her future career.
 

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