Marshall-Motley Scholarship Program

Multiple Locations,
United States
Term: Academic Year

Provides support, including a full law school scholarship and a two-year postgraduate fellowship, to students interested in becoming civil rights attorneys.

The Marshall-Motley Scholarship Program (MMSP) seeks to remove the racial and economic barriers that often deter students becoming civil rights attorneys, and a targeted effort to support the civil rights ecosystem in the South.

Newly established by the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund (LDF), the MMSP is named in honor of civil rights legends Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley, seeks to create pathways to leadership, self-sufficiency, and socio-economic progress, while developing individuals to become ambassadors and advocates for transformational change in Black communities in the South.

Over the next five years, the MMSP will afford 50 aspiring civil rights lawyers:

  • A full law school scholarship for tuition, room, board, and incidentals to alleviate the debt burden that can prevent future lawyers from pursuing a career in racial justice;
  • Summer internships at LDF and other national civil rights organizations with offices in the South to begin their training as civil rights lawyers early in their law school careers;
  • A two-year postgraduate fellowship at a national, regional, or local civil rights organization with a racial justice law practice in the South; and
  • Access to special trainings sponsored by the LDF and the National Academy of Sciences.

Scholars will have to commit to serving as civil rights lawyers based in the South, engaged in a law practice focused on achieving racial justice for 8 years following the conclusion of their fellowship.


To be eligible to participate in the Marshall-Motley Scholars Program (MMSP), applicants must:

1. Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university no later than September 2021.

2. Be admitted, or expect to be admitted, to an ABA-accredited law school as a first-year, full-time law student to begin in the fall of 2021.

  • Eligibility is limited to students beginning law school in fall of 2021. Law students who have completed one or more semesters of law school or who intend to defer enrollment are not eligible.
  • Part-time law students are not eligible.
  • Applicants do not need to designate the law school they will be attending at the time of application. Many applicants may not be admitted to law school at the time they submit their MMSP application. However, all applicants that are selected to participate in the MMSP are required to demonstrate admission and plans to enroll at an ABA-accredited law school prior to receiving any program funds.

3. Be eligible to work in the United States.

4. Intend to pursue a career in Civil Rights law, and, if awarded, will work full-time in pursuit of racial justice in a southern state for a period of 8 years immediately following the fellowship portion of the MMSP.

5. Be able to describe in their application their sustained personal engagement in Civil Rights and racial justice in one or more of the following areas:

  • Work/Internship
  • Academic/Coursework
  • Campus Organizations
  • Community-based Organizations
  • Volunteer
  • Research

Fact Sheet

Social Sciences
Columbia Alumna/us, Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies, Not U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, Senior, U.S. Citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident
Fellowship Type:
Postgraduate Degree-Seeking
Multiple Locations,
United States
Academic Year

Dates & Deadlines

Academic Year
Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM EST/NYC