Shamblin First LSU Law Student to Receive National Scribes Award


Michelle Shamblin, a third-year law student at LSU, was awarded the 2009 Scribes Law-Review Award for her article, Silencing Chicken Little: Options for School Districts after “Parents Involved.

She is the first student in the history of the Law Center to receive the national award.

Since 1987, Scribes has presented an annual award for the best student-written article in a law review or journal. The award will be presented to Shamblin at the annual meeting of the National Conference of Law Reviews on March 19 to be held here in Baton Rouge.

“This is an extraordinary accomplishment for Michelle, the ‘Law Review,’ and the Law Center,” said Chancellor Jack Weiss. “We are very proud that Michelle’s article was selected as the best in the entire nation for this highly competitive award.”

Shamblin’s article discussed the case of Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1. The U.S. Supreme Court’s majority opinion invalidated the district’s policies of using race classifications to maintain pre-determined percentages of racial groups within each school. The dissenting opinion warned that the Court was setting back school integration efforts. Shamblin goes on to argue that schools need not abandon their goals of integration and may still employ “race-neutral” and “race-conscious” strategies to maintain or achieve integration.

“I’m honored that my article was chosen for the Scribes award, and I’m grateful to my family, friends, and the LSU Law Center community whose support and guidance made my law review note possible,” Shamblin said. “Most importantly, I hope the article’s recognition will help spread its message: ‘Parents Involved may hold the key to a level of fulfillment of Brown v. Board of Education that has never before occurred, where schools strive to meet the needs of all children regardless of their race.'”

Before attending LSU Law, Shamblin earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Louisiana College in Pineville. She is a member of the Louisiana Law Review, LSU’s National Moot Court Team, and the American Association for Justice Trial Advocacy Team. She has also been named to the Chancellor’s List during all of her semesters at the Law Center and has been a recipient of the CALI, or The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, Award on several occasions.

After she graduates in May, Shamblin will clerk for Chief Judge Edith Jones of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for one year.

“I’m open to private practice-doing trial and appellate work-but I’m also interested in working for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the American Center for Law and Justice, and maybe one day becoming a federal judge,” Shamblin said. “I’m also interested in teaching on the law school level. I sound like the kid who wants to be a doctor, teacher, policeman, and astronaut when she grows up; but hey, the sky is the limit.”

Read Shamblin’s full article here.