LSU Law Graduate Michelle Shamblin Earns Prestigious Bristow Fellowship


Michelle R. Shamblin, a 2009 LSU Law graduate, has been chosen for one of only four Bristow Fellowships in the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States. She is the first LSU Law graduate to receive the prestigious fellowship offered by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“This is a tremendous honor for Ms. Shamblin and one of which all of us at the Law Center should be extremely proud,” said Chancellor Jack M. Weiss. “Ms. Shamblin was an outstanding student who excelled in her academic pursuits at the LSU Law Center. We expected great things from her, and her selection as a Bristow Fellow is evidence that LSU Law students can compete with the best from throughout the nation.”

Shamblin is currently clerking for the Honorable Edith H. Jones, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She will assume her new position in Fall 2010.

“I am simultaneously excited and humbled by the tremendous opportunity that I have to serve as a Bristow Fellow, an opportunity that combines both public service and invaluable exposure to advocacy before the Supreme Court of the United States,” said Shamblin. “I owe a debt of gratitude to family and friends who have provided unwavering support and guidance, as well as to the LSU Law Center community that provided me with ‘far more than common’ legal education and preparation. It is my hope that through the Bristow Fellowship, I will be able to make positive, worthwhile contributions to the law and the lives affected by it.”

As a Bristow Fellow, Shamblin will help draft briefs in opposition to petitions for certiorari filed against the government in the Supreme Court of the United States and prepare recommendations to the Solicitor General regarding authorization of government appeals in the lower courts.

The fellows also assist staff lawyers in preparing petitions for certiorari and briefs on the merits in Supreme Court cases, work on special projects, and assist the Solicitor General and other lawyers in the office in the preparation of oral arguments in the Supreme Court.

The Bristow Fellowship is extremely competitive. Applicants are top law students who generally have obtained federal appellate clerkships. Many Bristows have gone on to become Supreme Court law clerks.

Shamblin graduated first in her 2009 LSU Law class and was recognized as a Summa Cum Laude and The Order of the Coif honor graduate.

As a third-year law student, she was awarded the 2009 Scribes Law-Review Award for her article, Silencing Chicken Little: Options for School Districts after “Parents Involved.” She was the first student in the history of the Law Center to receive the national award. Since 1987, Scribes has presented an annual national award for the best student-written article in a law review or journal, a competition involving law schools from throughout the country.

She was a member of the Louisiana Law Review, LSU’s National Moot Court Team, and the American Association for Justice Trial Advocacy Team. She was also named to the Chancellor’s List during all of her semesters at the Law Center and was the recipient of the Vinson & Elkins Outstanding Case Note or Comment Award for Excellence in Legal Writing in 2007-08.

Shamblin earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Louisiana College in Pineville.

The Bristow Fellowships are named after the first U.S. Solicitor General, Benjamin H. Bristow of Kentucky. He was appointed shortly after the Civil War by President Ulysses S. Grant after serving as U.S. Attorney in his home state, where he had helped quell a tide of Ku Klux Klan violence that arose after the Civil War. He also helped break up a burgeoning trade in illegal Kentucky whiskey.

After a successful career as Solicitor General he became Treasury Secretary before retiring to private practice, where he founded one of the East Coast’s prominent law firms. He also served as president of the American Bar Association.