Malik Moore, a member of Cumberland School of Law’s class of 2025, was selected as a member of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s Inc (LDF) Marshall-Motley Scholars Program (MMSP). Moore is one of 10 scholars from across the nation to have been selected for the second MMSP cohort which will aid him in his dream of combating racial injustice.
Launched in January 2021, the program is named in honor of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and iconic civil rights litigator Constance Baker Motley. It provides scholars a full tuition scholarship to attend the law school of the scholar’s choice; support for room and board; summer internship opportunities with national and regional civil rights organizations; a two-year postgraduate fellowship at civil rights law organizations in the South; and access to special training sponsored by LDF.
“Systemic racism remains a deeply ingrained part of American life and there is a growing need for lawyers to help combat it,” said Jino Ray, director of the MMSP program. “This moment in our nation calls for a full complement of highly trained and dedicated civil rights lawyers prepared to meet the challenges we confront and serve our communities with excellence.”
“We are so happy that Malik has joined Cumberland School of Law. But more importantly, we are proud of the work he intends to undertake for underprivileged and underrepresented groups throughout the South. Most impressive is that he has already begun this work, and it is a driving force for why he wants to go to law school,” said Cumberland School of Law Dean Blake Hudson. “I commend him for his passion and look forward to helping him find opportunities at Cumberland to further his efforts.”
A native of Gallion, Alabama, Moore received his Bachelor of Arts in business administration with a concentration in legal studies from Troy University. While there, he was a student adviser of the University Activities Council, a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, and a member of 101 Elite Men. Additionally, he has worked as a legal assistant at Gibbs & Sellers Law Firm and for Ashley Mallory Attorney at Law.
“Beyond his excellent leadership and overall performance at Troy University, we were particularly impressed with Malik’s commitment to the people of the rural south,” Ray said. “Malik brings a unique set of lived experiences that have inspired him to stay close to home and serve the communities that have left an indelible imprint on his life.”
To Moore, it is important to enhance the work of Black lawyers and other underrepresented groups in the state of Alabama. “I strongly believe that this program will equip me with the tools and knowledge that will improve the quality of work for all Black lawyers and legal professionals. Receiving this scholarship reminds me that I am headed in the right direction in doing the work that I feel called to. I am honored to stand on the shoulders of giants who have been committed to the work of civil rights long before me through organizations like LDF. I answer this call with urgency and an excitement to be alongside people fighting for racial justice.”
After graduating from Cumberland School of Law, Moore plans on staying in the South to continue in the fight for racial justice, particularly in the areas of mass incarceration and prison reform.
He said, “I hope to use my platform to create opportunities for young people interested in law, as well advocating for many other social and racial justice platforms.”
According to Ray, Moore is the ideal Marshall-Motley Scholar because he has shown up for Black communities since his youth. “His efforts will improve the lives of all people regardless of race, religion, or gender. He is poised to take full benefit of the program’s generous investment of resources and the return on that investment will benefit himself, the communities he will serve and ultimately, the entire nation.”
Billy Coplin ’77 has known Moore’s family from the Demopolis, Alabama, area for more than 30 years. He said, “I have followed Malik’s college career and was thrilled he wanted to attend Cumberland. He is one of those rare individuals with the intellect, personality and heart for the least among us that will make an excellent student and outstanding lawyer. He will make Cumberland proud.”