Kerry Washington's mother ''begged'' her to study law.

The 'Scandal' star has revealed her mom ''really, really wanted'' her to become a solicitor or barrister as she was ''terrified to have a starving artist of a child''.

She said: ''She really, really wanted me to go to law school. Oh my God, it's what she begged me to do. She used to say to me, 'Closing arguments are just like monologues.' She was terrified to have a starving artist of a child.''

And the 43-year-old actress has always known the importance of social justice and started as an activist in her early teens, educating people on HIV and AIDS.

She told People magazine of her work: ''I started my life as a social justice activist. I was 12 or 13, doing HIV/AIDS education and advocacy work in New York through an arts and education theatre company. They're Avengers in real life, out there fighting for all of our rights.''

Kerry previously revealed she is eager to help amplify ''marginalised'' voices.

She explained: ''I think we are having a lot of cultural changes. For me, it's really exciting to be telling stories, championing narratives that allow marginalised people to be at the centre of stories ... Whether that's black folks, women, members of the LGBTQ community, immigrants, people of colour, I do think it's an exciting time because we have a lot of work to do. But there's a lot of movement around getting that work done and I think people are, for the first time in my lifetime, really understanding that nobody is free until we are all free.''

In June, Kerry revealed she planned to change how her kids - Isabelle, six, and Caleb, three, with husband Nnamdi Asomugha - learn about black history.

She said: ''I think it's really important that we start to introduce the idea of race with a black history that begins before teaching kids what black people were told they couldn't do, right? So, there's Maasai Warriors and the kingdoms of Ghana and Queen Nefertiti and the pyramids of Egypt. But this idea of teaching kids that black history and black people were a lot of things before segregation and Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement.''