02-07-2023  1:40 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Associated Press
Published: 03 October 2022

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Texas-based law firm Vela Wood has partnered with global educational services company Kaplan to offer free LSAT prep courses to Black aspiring lawyers as part of both organizations’ ongoing efforts to diversify the legal profession. The scholarship was established by the law firm’s philanthropic arm, Vela Wood Forward (VW FWD), as a means of providing much needed financial assistance to Black, African American, and Black-Latinx students interested in pursuing a career in law. Scholarship recipients can enroll in a Kaplan LSAT course, which includes live, online instruction from an expert teacher; 32 hours of core classroom instruction; 180+ hours of exclusive live and on-demand lessons on Kaplan’s LSAT Channel for a customizable curriculum; and access to 60+ official practice tests with the Law School Admission Council’s LSAT Prep Plus too, among other benefits.

Equitable education

According to the American Bar Association, 4.5 percent of all lawyers in the United States are Black—approximately the same percentage as 10 years earlier—but the total Black population in the United States overall is 13.4 percent. To combat this lack of progress, national organizations and law schools have in recent years redoubled their efforts to encourage more Black students to consider law as a career and to create more inclusive environments.

“As a Black, first-generation attorney, from a family with limited means, I have a unique understanding of the financial roadblocks that many Black aspiring attorneys face on their path to becoming a lawyer,” said Jenny Young, partner at Vela Wood and Director of VW FWD.

“Black people are severely underrepresented in the legal field which is not for a lack of interest in law or personal merit."

"Vela Wood is looking to change that. Through this partnership with Kaplan, Vela Wood seeks to provide a pathway for Black students to achieve their very best LSAT score, enhancing their chances of entrance into top tier law schools. We believe that financial obstructions should not stand in the way of admission to law school for Black students.”

“Kaplan and Vela Wood share the goal of bringing true diversity to the legal profession, which includes significantly increasing the number of Black lawyers. At Kaplan, we are fully committed to supporting and advancing educational opportunities for historically underrepresented and marginalized populations, and providing LSAT scholarships is one of the ways we aim to level the playing field,” said Jessica Peterson, director of institutional partnerships, Kaplan. “Not only is a strong LSAT score the strongest tool applicants have in their arsenal to get into law school, but it can also help them secure much coveted merit-based aid. We encourage all eligible pre-law students to apply for this scholarship.”

Eligible scholarship recipients can apply here.

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