Sunday, November 19, 2023

Get The Scoop On How The Largest Black-Owned Law Firm in New Jersey Expands To 2 More States

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SSW Law Group (SSW), a Black and woman-owned law firm based in Newark, New Jersey has added two new offices in New York and Pennsylvania and has expanded to form a national firm, merging to now include a team of nearly 40 employees. The law firm now offers extensive expertise in Real Estate/Economic Development, Education, Litigation, and Government Affairs.

“SSW believes the legal representation of urban communities across the nation should directly reflect their identity and values,” said Calvin Souder, Co-founder and Managing Member of the law firm. With this expansion, we are building an institution that is uniquely positioned to serve the all-encompassing needs of our neighbors in cities nationwide.”

In 2015, Calvin Souder, Esq., Khalifah Shabazz, Esq, and Kyana Woolridge, Esq. formed SSW which increased their capacity to respond to competitive contracts. The formation of their law firm provided the required profound talent to address the challenging needs of urban New Jersey. With this expansion, SSW Law Group will now have offices in Newark, Manhattan, and Philadelphia to better address the needs of their clients across the nation.

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"The establishment of SSW has always been about more than just practicing law; it's been about creating a legacy of inclusion and excellence in the legal field. We are excited to embark on this new chapter and reinforce our commitment to making a difference through dedicated and culturally competent legal representation,” said Kyana Woolridge, Esq. SSW Co-founder.

"With our geographical growth, we are strengthening our ability to advocate for educational and economic empowerment on a broader scale," said Khalifa Shabazz, Esq. SSW Co-founder.

As a national firm, SSW will deepen its focus across areas they have successfully represented:

Real Estate: Founding Member Calvin Souder has successfully represented large-scale mixed-use, municipal, commercial, and industrial developments including advising HBCU Presidents on expanding the use of public-private partnerships.

Government Affairs: Member James Gee and Member Jay Redd represent the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association as well as numerous pharmaceutical and biotech companies throughout the country.

Education/Nonprofit:  Founding member Khalifah Shabazz provides counsel to the majority of urban school districts in New Jersey including the Patterson Board of Education and the development of Hinchliffe Stadium.

Litigation: Member Philip Hamilton and Member Lance Clarke have successfully negotiated a settlement on behalf of the Estate of Eric Garner.

Health/Cannabis: Member Jorge Vasquez secured preferential rights for formerly incarcerated individuals to open cannabis dispensaries.

“SSW attorneys exemplify that there is no limit to the heights that can be reached when talent meets opportunities,” said Garden State Bar Association President, James Lewis, Esq. “For so many of us, seeing is believing and SSW opens its doors to Garden State Bar Association members, including future attorneys from diverse backgrounds, to see that there's room for them at the highest levels of the profession.”

The American Bar Association has found that of the 40,800 attorneys in the state of New Jersey, only 4.5% or 1,836 are Black. Of that number, over 25% are solo practitioners with an average of less than one Black attorney at each of the 10,482 law firms in the state.

According to the SBA, over 8 out of 10 small businesses have no employees. Out of the 33.2 million small businesses, 27.1 million are run by a single owner and have no employees. Just 16% of all small businesses in the U.S. have 1-19 employees.

SSW Law Group was established in 2015 by Calvin Souder, Khalifah Shabazz, and Kyana Woolridge. As the fastest-growing urban law firm in New Jersey, it represents almost every urban district in the state. It is a Black/Women-owned law firm with extensive legal expertise in Real Estate/Economic Development, Education, Government Affairs, and Litigation, and is headquartered in Newark with offices in Philadelphia and Manhattan. Learn more at

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