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.
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.”
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About Vela Wood and VW FWD
Vela Wood (VW) is a boutique corporate law firm with a local feel and a global impact. With offices in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, and San Diego, we focus our practice in the areas of M&A, Sports & Gaming, Venture Capital, and Corporate Transactions. We pride ourselves in building real relationships with our clients and partnering with them for the long-haul. For more information, visit https://velawoodlaw.com.
VW FWD is an internal firm initiative dedicated to providing resources and opportunities for our employees to learn about and become more involved with social justice issues, and to support the communities in which our VW offices reside. As part of this initiative VW FWD has committed to donating $500,000 to social justice causes focused on supporting Black, African American, and Black-Latinx people as well as other marginalized communities within America. For more information, visit https://velawoodlaw.com/vw-fwd/.
Kaplan, Inc. is a global educational services company that helps individuals and institutions advance their goals in an ever-changing world. Our broad portfolio of solutions help students and professionals further their education and careers, universities and educational institutions attract and support students, and businesses maximize employee recruitment and development. Stanley Kaplan founded our company in 1938 with a mission to expand educational opportunities for students of all backgrounds. Today, all of our employees across 27 countries continue Stanley’s mission, working with hundreds of thousands of students and professionals and 12,000 corporate and 4,000 school and university clients worldwide. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). Learn more at kaplan.com.
Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)
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.