Named in honor of the legendary civil rights attorney and LDF founder Thurgood Marshall, and iconic civil rights litigator Constance Baker Motley, the Marshall-Motley Scholars Program (MMSP) is a groundbreaking commitment to endow the South with the next generation of civil rights lawyers trained to provide legal advocacy of unparalleled excellence.


Mid February

Quick facts

Academic Discipline

Government, Law, and Policy
Social Justice and Responsibility


US Citizen, Permanent Resident


Senior, Entering Graduate



Endorsement Required


Award Amount

Full funding of law school for tuition, room, board and incidentals.


Established by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), the Marshall-Motley Scholars Program (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.

The MMSP will support and develop the next wave of civil rights lawyers in the South, where the majority of Black Americans live. Over the next five years, they 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 [following the application deadline].
  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 [following the application deadline].
  • Eligibility is limited to students beginning law school in the fall [following the application deadline]. 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