NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first and foremost civil and human rights law organization. Since its founding under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall in 1940, LDF has been committed to transforming the promise of racial equity and justice into reality for all Americans. 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.

Working in the areas of criminal justice, economic justice, education, and political participation, LDF seeks to diminish the role of race in the criminal justice system; increase fairness and participation in all aspects of economic life; increase equity in education; and achieve full civic engagement and participation in the democratic process for all Americans.

LDF uses litigation, advocacy, educational outreach, monitoring of federal and state government activity, coalition building, and policy research to achieve its goals. Additionally, through scholarship, fellowship, and internship programs, LDF helps students attend and graduate from many of the nation’s best institutions of higher education.

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