Academic Record
After graduating from Atlanta's Turner High School in 1959, the future Judge Marvin Arrington accepted a scholarship to Clark College, now Clark Atlanta University, from which he graduated in 1963. Marvin played football for legendary Coach L. S. Epps on both sides of the ball at linebacker and right guard. These years were also the height of the civil rights movement and Arrington's most influential professors included the late C. Eric Lincoln. Marvin was initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity in 1961 forming friendships that have continued throughout his professional life.

He supplemented his college expenses by working as a waiter at the Piedmont Driving Club, on dining cars of the Union Pacific Railroad, and in North Carolina tobacco fields. Upon graduation from Clark, Marvin applied to and was accepted at Howard University. During the summer after his first year at Howard, Arrington made a trip over to the Emory University Law School library to study. While looking at a bulletin board, a man approached him and asked "Can I help you?". He answered "no" and explained that he was preparing to go back to law school at Howard whereupon the gentlemen asked if he had time to chat with him for a while in his office. Arrington complied and after a few minutes, asked Arrington if he would be interested in coming to Emory Law School, at that time an all-white institution. Although Arrington loved Howard, he was quite homesick and after finding out that the man who had engaged him in the conversation was the dean of Emory's Law School.

Arrington immediately shared this information with another future judge, Clarence Cooper, who had also matriculated with him at Clark College. The scholars soon discovered that not only were they welcomed at Emory, but also the State of Georgia provided some scholarship assistance for Georgia law students who agreed not to apply to the University of Georgia School of Law. Both Marvin Arrington and Clarence Cooper transferred to Emory and graduated in 1967.
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