Mark Richardson earned his J.D. degree from New York University School of Law in May 1999, and passed the Georgia Bar Examination administered in July 1999.

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in the top 2% of the class of 1994 at Emory University in Atlanta, with a major in Economics, a minor in Political Science, and a significant concentration in African-American studies. At Emory, Mark won the Whitman Prize for the Outstanding Graduate in Economics and an Emory University Humanitarian Award for his public service pursuits, among other accolades. He was a Robert W. Woodruff Scholar (Emory's highest merit award) during his undergraduate years.

Upon graduation, Richardson won a prestigious post-graduate Robert T. Jones, Jr. Memorial Scholarship to study at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The year-long academic and cultural program is named for the Grand-Slam-winning golfer, Bobby Jones, who was another Atlanta attorney in the midst of his various other pursuits. While in Scotland, Mark studied theology and logic and traveled extensively in North Africa and Europe, including trips to Egypt, Morocco, Holland and France.

Mark then returned to the U.S. and, during the year in which he applied to law school, worked for Justice Fellowship (a former subsidiary of Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship organization) in Washington, D.C.

Richardson was named Valedictorian and "Outstanding Academic Athlete" of his high school in Denver, Colorado.