Civil Rights

Program aims to create new generation of civil rights lawyers with scholarships and training

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The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund aims to create a new generation of civil rights lawyers in the South through a program offering law school scholarships and civil rights internships and fellowships.

The fund announced the new Marshall-Motley Scholars Program on Martin Luther King Jr. Day earlier this week. The program is named for the late Justice Thurgood Marshall and the late U.S. District Judge Constance Baker Motley, the first Black woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court and the first to serve as a federal judge.

The program will serve students who commit to serve as civil rights lawyers based in the South for eight years after they conclude fellowships, according to online information. Up to 10 people per year are expected to be selected for the program each year over the course of five years for a total of 50 participants.

The program, with an estimated cost of $40 million, is being funded by an anonymous donor, reports.

The program will provide:

• Full law school scholarships for tuition, room, board and incidentals.

• Summer internships at the Legal Defense and Educational Fund and other national civil rights organizations with offices in the South.

• Two-year postgraduate fellowships at civil rights organizations in the South with a racial justice law practice.

• Access to special training sponsored by the Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Academy of Sciences.

Applicants must apply for the Marshall-Motley Scholars Program by Feb. 16 and must be admitted to an ABA-approved law school before participating in the program. The scholars will be announced in May.

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