Chicago organization helping students of color explore legal careers gets boost with NBA grant

CHICAGO – A Chicago nonprofit that helps black and brown youth pursue legal careers received a grant from the NBA Foundation last week.

Just The Beginning – A Pipeline Organization (JTB-APO) – offers free courses and other educational resources related to legal studies for students of color.

“There is an incredible under-representation in law firms and courts of people who reflect what our country looks like,” said Lori Malinski, senior director of development at JTB-APO.

This grant is one of 22 awards totaling $ 6 million that the NBA Foundation recently awarded, including $ 100,000 to the Boys and Girls Club in Uptown.

Malisnki said the funding will primarily support the organization’s general programming, all with the goal of increasing representation and access to legal careers for people of color and low-income students.

A portion of the money will also fund programs such as the Summer Legal Institute and the Group Diversity Summer Judicial Internship Project.

Malinski said his organization hopes it can establish a lasting partnership with the NBA Foundation.

“One of the things that really aligned with the team at the [NBA] Foundation was that they are interested in programs that provide future employment opportunities and mentoring programs like, [JTB-APO]”Malinski said.” We look forward to a really strong relationship with them. ”

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Virginia S. Braud