Marshall-Motley Scholars Program

The Marshall-Motley Scholars Program (MMSP) seeks to endow the South with the next generation of civil rights lawyers trained to provide excellent legal advocacy.

Established by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), the MMSP is committed to identifying and investing in the next generation of aspiring lawyers dedicated to pursuing racial justice in the South, and for whom this work is a personal and professional calling.

Over the next five years, MMSP will invest in the establishment of a corps of 50 civil rights attorneys equipped and prepared to advocate on behalf of Black communities in the South seeking racial justice and equity.


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.
  1. Be eligible to work in the United States.
  2. 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.
  3. 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


The Marshall-Motley Scholars Program includes:

  • 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.


The application for the Marshall-Motley Scholars Program is available online.  The application includes:

  1. Contact and Demographic Information 
  2. Personal Statement
  3. Essays (2)
  4. Undergraduate Transcript(s)
  5. Résumé
  6. LSAT or GRE Report
  7. Letters of Recommendation


February 16, 2021 at 5pm EST


Class Year

  • Senior
  • Recent Graduate


  • Arts
  • Business
  • Communication
  • Education
  • Health
  • Humanities
  • International Affairs
  • Public Affairs/Government
  • Social Sciences
  • STEM
  • Multiple


  • English


  • Other

Program Type

  • Graduate Study
  • Professional
  • Public Service
  • Tuition Aid


  • North America

GWU Sponsored?


GWU Endorsement Required?