The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) has launched a training program and scholarship fund for aspiring civil rights lawyers seeking to fight racism in the U.S. South.
The Marshall-Motley Scholars Program (MMSP) is meant to support 50 civil rights attorneys-in-training – including full law school scholarships, summer internships, post-grad fellowships – over the next 20 years.
This comes with the understanding that these lawyers-in-training will practice civil rights law for racial justice in the South for at least eight years after their fellowship.
The program is funded by a $40 million donation from an anonymous donor.
“The majority of Black people in this country still live in the South and continuously face impediments to voting, education equity, and racial and economic justice,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, LDF’s President and Director-Counsel. “For this reason, LDF’s docket and litigation practice has always been rooted principally in the South.
“With the MMSP, and the opening of our new regional office in Atlanta, LDF is deepening its longstanding presence in the South to help leverage the talent, passion, and commitment of a new cohort of civil rights attorneys dedicated to serving the majority of Black people in the country.”
The program is named after the first Black Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley, the first Black woman to become a federal judge.
Students starting law school in the 2021 academic year are eligible. Applications are due February 16.