Leeds Adds On to BARBRI
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Leeds Adds On to BARBRI

BARBRI, a portfolio company of Leeds Equity Partners, has acquired The Center for Legal Studies (CLS).

CLS is a provider of online and live legal programs for paralegals and other legal support professionals. CLS’s portfolio of programs are comprised of both continuing education courses and certificate courses such as Paralegal Certificate, Advance Paralegal Certificate, Employment Law Certificate, Legal Investigation Certificate, Legal Secretary Certificate, Victim Advocacy Certificate and Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate. CLS provides its services in partnership with 182 colleges and universities and since its founding in 1980 has trained over 75,000 paralegal and legal support professionals. The company, led by President Gary Knippa, is headquartered near Denver in Evergreen, CO (www.legalstudies.com).

“We are excited to welcome The Center for Legal Studies to BARBRI,” said Stephen Fredette, CEO of BARBRI.  “The Center for Legal Studies suite of curriculum and training solutions will enable us to develop deeper relationships with our university partners and ensure that legal support professionals can be productive day one on the job.”

BARBRI is a provider of legal education and training services to law students, law schools, legal practitioners and law firms. The company’s best known product is a seven-week bar review course which features lectures by law professors on the seven major areas covered on the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) – torts, contracts, real property, evidence, criminal law, civil procedure and constitutional law – along with additional lectures on the specific law of the state in which the participant plans to take the bar. BARBRI offers preparation courses in every state and the District of Columbia for both the summer and winter administration of the bar exam. The company is headquartered in Dallas (www.barbri.com).

“The acquisition of The Center for Legal Studies represents a further step in BARBRI’s strategy to broaden its legal education product offering and extend its online program management partnering capabilities with colleges and universities,” said Jacques Galante, a partner at Leeds Equity. “BARBRI’s deep and broad product suite uniquely enables it to address the needs of law students, law schools, practicing legal and legal support professionals and law firms.”

BARBRI’s predecessors were founded in the 1950s by William Rutter in California and in 1967 by two Chicago attorneys – Lewis Collens and Beardsley Ruml. In 1974, San Francisco-based Bay Area Review (BAR) and Chicago-based Bar Review Inc. (BRI) were bought and merged by Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich for $5 million. The new subsidiary was known as “Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Legal and Professional Publications,” but was marketed under the brand name BAR/BRI. The company was later acquired by Thomson Reuters, the owner of the Westlaw legal research system.

The buy of CLS is the seventh add-on acquisition for BARBRI since Leeds acquired the company in June 2011 from Thomson Reuters.

“The Center for Legal Studies enhances BARBRI’s position as the best in class provider of learning for legal professionals,” added Eric Geveda, Managing Director at Leeds Equity Partners.  “We look forward to the continued success of The Center for Legal Studies as part of BARBRI.”

Leeds Equity Partners is focused exclusively on investing in the education, training and information services industries.  The firm was founded by Jeffrey Leeds and Robert Bernstein in 1993 and has raised and managed more than $1.7 billion of capital across six funds.  The firm is headquartered in New York (www.leedsequity.com).

Capstone was the financial advisor to CLS.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | June 14, 2019

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