NAACP Legal Defense Fund : Defend, Educate, Empower

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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

Who We Are

Our Mission

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America's premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 70 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.

LDF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. View our Annual Report (PDF 3 MB), NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. IRS Form 990 (PDF 13 MB), and Earl Warren Legal Training Program IRS Form 990 (PDF 10 MB) and our  2014 Audited Financial Statement (PDF)

What We Do

Working in the four key areas of  Criminal Justice, Economic Justice, Education, and Political Participation,  LDF seeks to:

  • Diminish the role of race in the criminal justice system and the role of the criminal justice system in community life;
  • Increase fairness and African-American participation in all aspects of economic life;
  • Increase equity in education and eliminate tolerance for schools that fail students; and
  • Achieve full African-American civic engagement and participation in the democratic process.

Among its current priorities, LDF seeks to ensure that the job selection process does not negatively impact African-Americans, reduce employment barriers to those with criminal records, decrease disproportionate incarceration and sentencing as well as racially biased exercise of discretion by police and prosecutors, increase equity in education by increasing graduation rates (K-12 and college) among African-Americans, foster adoption of racially equitable and research-based approaches to school discipline, achieve more African-American engagement and fairness in the next round of redistricting, and ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act, NVRA, and other voting rights laws.

LDF works both through the courts and through advocacy to the executive and legislative branches, educational outreach, monitoring of federal and state government activity, coalition building and policy research. Additionally, through its scholarship, fellowship, and internship programs, LDF helps students to attend and graduate from many of the nation’s best colleges, universities, and law schools and to develop a lasting commitment to racial justice and public service.