After graduating from high school in 1926, Marshall attended Lincoln University, a historically black college in Pennsylvania. After graduating from Lincoln with honors in 1930, Marshall applied to the University of Maryland Law School. Despite being overqualified, Marshall was rejected because of his race. This firsthand experience with discrimination in education made a lasting impression on Marshall and helped determine the future course of his career Marshall attended law school in Washington, D.C. at Howard University.
Later in 1936, Marshall moved to New York City to work full time as legal counsel for the NAACP. Over the following decades, Marshall argued and won a variety of cases to strike down many forms of legalized racism, helping to inspire the American Civil Rights Movement. On October 2, 1967, Marshall was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice, becoming the first African American to serve on the nation's highest court. Marshall's strategy of attacking racial inequality through the courts represented a different way of pursuing racial equality for African Americans.