Published: May 17, 2021

Essence DuncanUniversity of Colorado Law School student Essence Duncan ('23) has been selected by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as a 2021 Law Fellow.

"When researching this fellowship, I knew it was perfect for me. The fellowship is incredibly competitive, I am honored that the NAACP saw potential in me for this role," Duncan said. "I have so much to learn about civil rights law because there are many areas. My main goal has always been to make an impact and help those who are in need. This fellowship will allow me to work in my passion and learn from talented lawyers during the process. To say I am excited is an understatement!"

The summer fellowship prepares law students for civil rights work. Working from the NAACP headquarters in Baltimore, law fellows work with civil rights attorneys in the NAACP’s legal department in areas including criminal justice, education, housing, voting rights, and environmental justice.

At Colorado Law, Duncan has been a Leaders in Law and Community (LILAC) Fellow, 1L class president, president of the Black Law Students Association for 2021-2022, volunteer with the Korey Wise Innocence Project, orientation leader, and a leading member of the newly created Council for Racial Justice & Equity. She is also active in the national Lawyers of Color organization.

Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence Fernando Guzman said Duncan has demonstrated a commitment to making a difference for historically marginalized communities both as a law student and as a future attorney.

"I have seen Essence successfully facilitate numerous discussions around sensitive issues of inequities, identity, power, and privilege. She has always handled herself with grace and maturity while simultaneously encouraging those in attendance to think deeply about issues of social justice, equity, and inclusion," Guzman said.