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Chicago Organization That Helps Students Of Color Explore Careers In Law Gets Boost Thanks To NBA Grant

"There's incredible underrepresentation throughout law firms and courts of people that reflect what our country actually looks like,” said one nonprofit leader. The group's trainings aim to change that.

JTB-APO students at the Supreme Court in July.
Courtesy of Just The Beginning - A Pipeline Organization's Facebook page.
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CHICAGO — A Chicago nonprofit that helps Black and Brown youth pursue careers in law received a grant from the NBA Foundation last week. 

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

“There’s incredible underrepresentation throughout law firms and courts of people that reflect what our country actually looks like,” said Lori Malinski, the senior manager of development at JTB-APO. 

This grant is among 22 awards totaling $6 million the NBA Foundation recently gave out, including $100,000 to the Boys and Girls Club in Uptown. 

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

Part of the money will also finance programs like the group’s Summer Legal Institute and Summer Judicial Internship Diversity Project. 

Malinski said her organization is hopeful they can have a lasting partnership with the NBA Foundation. 

“One of the things that really fell in alignment with the team at the [NBA] Foundation was that they are interested in programs that provide future job opportunities and mentoring programs like, [JTB-APO],” Malinski said. “We’re looking forward to a really solid relationship with them.” 

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