About Us

About

JD Bridges Foundation

Portrait of a happy young black woman carrying books in a library at college

Mission & Vision

We are a Canadian non-profit organization that envisions a legal profession in Canada that is accessible, diverse, and inclusive. 

The law school application process in Canada is a significant financial undertaking. The JD Bridges Foundation aims to bridge the gap for prospective Black applicants who have an interest in law but may be deterred from applying to law school due to financial need. 

Portrait of a happy young black woman carrying books in a library at college

Eliminating the biggest barrier to entry for black students who are pursuing an education and a career in the legal profession.

Values

Integrity

Integrity is the foundation for everything we do. We believe in transparency, accountability and respect. We strive to build trust with the community we aim to serve.

Inclusivity

We achieve inclusivity when the views, ideas and lived-experiences of Black people are seen, heard, understood and valued. We embrace inclusive change for the future of the legal community in Canada.

Accessibility

We recognize that all opportunities are not equal. We aim to build bridges where there are gaps in access to the legal profession by addressing systemic barriers faced by Black people in Canada who were previously excluded and underrepresented.

Walking forward with backpack. African american man in the library searching for some books.

Why Us Why Now?

Walking forward with backpack. African american man in the library searching for some books.

We have experienced the systemic barriers against access legal education for Black people in Canada — a community that has been historically denied such access and is currently underrepresented in the legal profession. Our courts have recognized the existence of anti-black racism in Canada, and its influence continues to express itself throughout Canadian institutions.

We know that law schools are the gatekeepers of the legal profession. We believe that if we can inspire and encourage more Black students to apply to law school, we can create a justice system that better serves our communities.

In 2022, we launched the JD Bridges Bursary as our flagship program, which awards bursaries to alleviate the cost of applying to law school in Canada.

We are the change we want to see

Bursary Program

We’ll cover the fees if you can’t so that you can focus on applying to law school.

Bursary Program

We’ll cover the fees if you can’t so that you can focus on applying to law school.

Smiling group of four black students and one white student in the library

The JD Bridges Bursary is our flagship program which funds critical aspects of the law school application process including the law school admission test (LSAT), preparation courses, study materials, university application fees, and transcript fees.

In addition to financial support, the JD Bridges Bursary will also provide mentorship. Recipients will be paired with a mentor who will guide them in the preparation of their personal statements, essays, and answers to any law school application questions and/or interviews.

JD Bridges Bursary Details

See yourself here and apply!

The 2022 JD Bridges Bursary includes the following components and is valued at approximately $2,500.00!

Smiling young African American female college student uses a digital tablet to take notes during an unrecognizable female professor's lecture.

For recipients of the 2022 JD Bridges Bursary, the JD Bridges Foundation will…

Purchase for the bursary recipient:
1. (1) law school admission test (LSAT) (not applicable to those only applying to French common law programs)
2. (1) LSAT prep course (The Princeton Review LSAT fundamentals)
          30 hours of virtual class prep with an expert instructor
          Online lessons to help reinforce your in-class prep
          4 practice tests (to be self-proctored at home)
          Online score reports with detailed explanations
         150+ hours of additional videos and online content
          One-year subscription to the official LSAT Prep Plus package – 60+ full Official LSAT PrepTests™
3. (1) LSAT study materials (The PowerScore 2022 LSAT Trilogy Practice Pack)

Provide a cheque to the bursary recipient of up to $600 to cover the cost of:
4. (1) OLSAS fee (for those applying to Ontario law schools)
5. A minimum of 3 university application fees
6. A minimum of 3 official transcript fees

Connect the bursary recipient with:
7. One (1) personal statement mentor

Smiling Portrait of Kayla Smith Campbell

Message From The Founder

Smiling Portrait of Kayla Smith Campbell

When I applied to law school in 2016, my bank account was in overdraft. Everyone advised me to apply widely because the admission process was so competitive. But, did they realize how much “widely” cost?

 I was fortunate enough to have parents who agreed to split the cost of my applications. I purchased self-study LSAT books, practice exams and a $400 two-day accelerated LSAT prep course – because that’s what I was able to afford.

 From May-August, I worked full-time during the days, and studied for the LSAT in the evenings and on weekends. When my LSAT score wasn’t competitive, I paid to write the exam again. 

 I didn’t grow up with lawyers in my family. I am so grateful for the upper-year Black law students who reviewed my personal statements and encouraged me along the way.

 At the time, I could barely afford to apply to law school, much less fund my legal education. Today, I am a practicing lawyer with ambitious career goals. I am not an anomaly. Many of my fellow Black colleagues in law faced similar barriers during the application process. However, what may separate us from others is not ability, but opportunity. 

I started this organization to give more Black students the opportunity I had. Build a bridge with me, build an opportunity.

Kayla Smith Campbell Signature

Message From The Founder

Smiling Portrait of Kayla Smith Campbell

When I applied to law school in 2016, my bank account was in overdraft. Everyone advised me to apply widely because the admission process was so competitive. But, did they realize how much “widely” cost?

 I was fortunate enough to have parents who agreed to split the cost of my applications. I purchased self-study LSAT books, practice exams and a $400 two-day accelerated LSAT prep course – because that’s what I was able to afford.

 From May-August, I worked full-time during the days, and studied for the LSAT in the evenings and on weekends. When my LSAT score wasn’t competitive, I paid to write the exam again.

I didn’t grow up with lawyers in my family. I am so grateful for the upper-year Black law students who reviewed my personal statements and encouraged me along the way.

At the time, I could barely afford to apply to law school, much less fund my legal education. Today, I am a practicing lawyer with ambitious career goals. I am not an anomaly. Many of my fellow Black colleagues in law faced similar barriers during the application process. However, what may separate us from others is not ability, but opportunity. 

I started this organization to give more Black students the opportunity I had. Build a bridge with me, build an opportunity.

Kayla Smith Campbell Signature
JD Bridges Bursary Details

Meet our Board of Directors

We’ve applied to law school. We know how much it costs and we’re here to help.

Smiling Portrait of Kayla Smith Campbell
Kayla Smith Campbell

Founder & Chairwoman
(Toronto, ON)

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Smiling Portrait of Nashara Peart
Nashara Peart

Executive Director
(Windsor, ON)

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Natasha Daley Smiling Portrait
Natasha Daley

Vice Chair
(Toronto, ON)

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Smiling Portrait of Charles Campbell
Charles Campbell

Treasurer
(Toronto, ON)

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Smiling Portrait of Kendra Wilson
Kendra Wilson

Secretary
(Toronto, ON)

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Smiling Portrait of Abigail Ywaya
Abigail Ywaya

(Vancouver, BC)

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Smiling Portrait of Karl Racine
Karl Racine

(Ottawa, ON)

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Smiling Portrait of Deborah Yeboah
Deborah Yeboah

(Winnipeg, Manitoba)

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The Process

Selection Committee

The Board of the JD Bridges Foundation appointed a selection committee of 6 members across Canada to review the applications of each student who applied to the 2022 JD Bridges Bursary. After reading written applications, viewing a video presentation, and holding interviews, the Selection Committee was extremely impressed by the ambition of each applicant, and moved by their stories. We thank this esteemed panel for helping us build bridges for the upcoming 2023 law school admission cycle.

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