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All applications must be completed online. Applications submitted in any other form will not be accepted. Please read all instructions carefully before completing your application. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The aim of the MMSP is to seed the South with a cohort of well-trained and highly dedicated civil rights attorneys to provide superior legal representation to African American communities. To this end, we strongly encourage applicants who are members of the communities we seek to represent to apply. We especially encourage graduates of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and students with strong ties to the southern United States to apply.

We commit to a holistic review of each candidate that reduces the reliance on standardized test scores and similar metrics by expanding the definition of merit to include leadership, community service, work experience, research experience, recommendations, and a demonstrated commitment to racial justice work that empowers Black people and Black communities .

Applicants must complete each section of the online application as outlined below. Applicants must register online and ensure all application materials are submitted by the deadline of February 23, 2021 at 5 PM EST. Applicants with questions about the online application should contact or 202-334-3478. For those currently experiencing technical difficulties due to the winter storm conditions and power outages in Texas, please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you, or your letter writers, are having issues submitting your application materials.

Account Registration and Eligibility 

To register an account for the MMSP and to determine program eligibility, applicants must provide an email address and then complete an Eligibility page (see Eligibility Requirements). Individuals who do not meet these requirements will not be able to proceed.

After successfully completing the Eligibility page, applicants will be prompted to enter their name and set up security credentials (secret question and answer) and an account password to complete the registration.

Application Sign in and Accessing the MMSP Applicant Module

Upon successful registration, applicants will be instructed to return to the sign in page where they can enter their account login information to access the MMSP Applicant Module. To proceed to the application, applicants should click MMSP Applicant Module then "click here to complete."

Applicants should enter the contact information for at least three recommenders and notify these recommenders via the application system as soon as possible to ensure that recommenders have adequate time to upload their letters on the applicant’s behalf.

Before proceeding with the remainder of the application, applicants should be sure they have the following documents ready to upload: personal statement, two required essays, résumé, LSAT or GRE score, and transcripts.

Applicants should use the Validate tool in the left navigation menu of the application to determine the completeness of their application. Applicants will be able to submit their application once all components have been successfully entered and uploaded. 

Profile Information

After registering online, applicants must enter contact information on the Contact page. 


Personal Statement and Essays

Formatting instructions:
  • File type: .pdf only (no Word, .rtf, or other formats will be accepted)
  • File size: as small as possible and no larger than 4 MB
  • Font: standard 12-point (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri)
  • Spacing: 1.5 or double-spaced
  • Margins: 1" on top, bottom, and sides
  • Page limits: Refer to individual upload requirements
  • Do not include your name, headers, footers, or page numbers as they will be automatically generated.

Personal Statement (maximum 3 pages)

The personal statement is an opportunity to describe the uniqueness of your character, abilities, and life experience in your own voice: Who are you? What motivates you? What impact are you looking to make in the world? Your personal statement assists the Selection Committee in getting to know and understand you as a person. Your personal statement is also used to assess your writing proficiency. You should discuss those aspects of your background, experience, talents, achievements, and interests that you believe are important for us to know.

Essays (maximum 3 pages each)

Essay 1

Central to the mission of the Marshall-Motley Scholars program is the creation of a cadre of highly trained, dedicated civil rights lawyers who will live and work in the South. American history is inextricably linked to the centuries-long history of explicit and structural racism in the South that has kept many African Americans from achieving social, economic, and political mobility. Understanding this history, why are you committed to work that seeks to improve the life outcomes of African Americans in the southern United States?

Essay 2

Since 1940, the mission of the NAACP LDF has been transformative—to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society. Describe how you have engaged in efforts to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society by sharing a significant experience or set of experiences that moved you to take action for a racial justice cause. What cause has moved you to act? What action(s) were you motivated to take? What was the impact of your action(s)? How do you believe a law degree will help you amplify your efforts?

Résumé (maximum 3 pages)

Your résumé should provide details about your employment history, extra-curricular activities, community service, and hobbies. Please include comprehensive details about your experiences and include any awards and honors. Do not include high school information or activities unless they provide evidence of your commitment to racial justice and/or evidence of your commitment to working in the South. You should explain any periods of time (after high school) that are not accounted for by your educational and employment history.

LSAT Score/GRE Score Report
In order to submit a complete application package, you must upload an official LSAT score to your online application by the application deadline. You may upload a screenshot of your official LSAC account page saved as a PDF or the downloadable score report, if available. The LSAT score is primarily collected for data purposes and will not be used as a deciding factor by the Selection Committee. Please note: You MUST submit a valid LSAT score before the MMSP application deadline. LSAT scores cannot be submitted after the application deadline.

Note: Some law schools accept the GRE in lieu of the LSAT. If an applicant has taken the GRE and has been or expects to be admitted to law school based on their GRE score, an official GRE score must be submitted.

Undergraduate Transcript(s)
  • File type: .pdf only (.jpeg, .png, or other formats will not be accepted) 
  • File size: as small as possible and no larger than 4 MB
  • Transcripts must be in English and must include all courses and grades received as well as the date of the undergraduate degree, if completed.
  • An unofficial transcript is acceptable and encouraged for the purposes of application; an official transcript will be required if selected for an award.
  • Applicants who hold a degree from a non-U.S. institution that does not require coursework or issue transcripts must upload proof of their degree accompanied by an official letter from their institution including the following information:
    • Statement that the institution does not require coursework for the degree
    • Applicant's dates of enrollment at the institution
    • Degree applicant received and date it was awarded
  • Transcripts should not include Personal Identifying Information (PII) such as a Social Security number and date of birth. Staff may delete the transcript from your application if these data are present. Applicants should redact, cover, or remove this information prior to uploading the document.
  • The transcript should be legible, complete (clearly reflect your academic history and achievements), and cannot be secured, password protected, or encrypted.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to upload all transcripts and to ensure transcript legibility and degree attainment dates after each document has been uploaded. Transcripts sent via postal mail or e-mail will not be accepted.

Letters of Recommendation

PLEASE NOTE: For those who may have experienced issues with the References page of the online application between January 29 and February 3, the page has been re-enabled and the Notify function is working as of 4 PM EST on February 3. If your letter writers did not receive a notification prior to this time, we recommend that applicants re-notify their letter writers and confirm with them that they have received the most recent notification. Applicants and letter writers will receive a confirmation e-mail once the letter has been successfully uploaded.

Your application must include three (3) letters of recommendation, at least one of which should be from a professor. Letters may also be from employers, pre-law advisors, and/or other professionals who have worked closely with you or know you well. If you do not have a letter from an academic professor, you may instead include an additional professional reference. Letters of recommendation from personal friends, clergy, medical doctors, and family members are not appropriate. Letters should contain substantive, comparative information about your abilities, activities, and personal qualities, including specific examples that illustrate these attributes. Letter writers should indicate their relationship to you within their letter. Letters are limited to no more than 2 pages and may be .pdf or .docx files. Please note that .doc files cannot be accepted.

Applicants should communicate with their letter writers before entering the letter writers' contact information (name and email) into the online application system. Applicants must also ensure their letter writers upload their letters to the online application system by the application deadline.

Letter writers will not be contacted on behalf of applicants. It is the responsibility of the applicant to notify their letter writers through the online application system via the Notify tool. Once applicants take this action, letter writers will receive an e-mail notification from with a link to instructions on the content of their letters. Letter writers must upload their letters via the online application module. Hard copy letters or e-mail attachments will not be accepted.

Applicants may add up to five (5) individuals who will submit a letter of recommendation on their behalf; however, only the first three letters submitted will be included in the final application package. Applicants who have questions about which letters will be included in their final application package should contact as soon as possible.

It is the practice of the Program that letters of recommendation are not made available to applicants.

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