The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Inc. (“LDF”) invites rising third-year law students, judicial clerks, and other recent law school graduates to apply for LDF sponsorship for public interest fellowship projects to begin in Fall 2023.  Sponsorship will enable the applicant to submit proposals for consideration to the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, Equal Justice Works Fellowship Program, and/or similar programs, including fellowships offered by the applicant’s law school.

LDF is the country’s first and foremost civil and human rights law organization. Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who subsequently became the first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice, LDF was launched at a time when the nation’s aspirations for equality and due process of law were stifled by widespread state-sponsored racial inequality. From that era to the present, LDF’s mission has been transformative–to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.

LDF’s litigation, policy advocacy, organizing, and public education programs in the substantive areas of criminal justice, economic justice, education, and political participation seek to ensure the fundamental and basic human rights of all people to quality education, economic opportunity, the right to vote and fully participate in democracy, and the right to a fair and just judicial system.

We seek to sponsor a Fellow to address systemic obstacles and policies that underlie continuing racial disparities and discrimination. The Fellow will work with LDF attorneys and other staff on litigation in state and federal courts, policymaking, and/or other forms of advocacy. 

While candidates may suggest any fellowship project, for 2023 we are especially interested in projects that focus on issues pertaining to the intersection of First Amendment rights and racial discrimination, including governmental censorship and viewpoint discrimination about historic and present-day racial discrimination and governmental infringement on the right to protest, especially protests against racial injustices.

Selected candidates will be required to seek their own funding by preparing and submitting proposals to relevant fellowship programs, with guidance from the LDF staff.  For more information about LDF’s work, please visit our website:

Candidates should have a demonstrated commitment to racial justice and addressing racial inequality; outstanding research and writing skills; the ability to work both collaboratively and independently; and the capacity for creative thinking.