U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Visits LSU Law Center

Justice Thomas with LSU Law student leaders on September 7, 2012.

Michelle Stratton, 1st LSU Law U.S. Supreme Court Clerk, Returns Home

The LSU Law Center welcomed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Michelle Shamblin Stratton, the Law Center’s first-ever U.S. Supreme Court Clerk, to the campus on September 6 and 7 for two busy days of educational events.

The agenda for the Justice and Ms. Shamblin included student forums, classroom teaching, and meetings with students, leaders of student organizations, and the faculty.

“I thoroughly enjoy meeting these kids,” said Justice Thomas. This is the second trip to LSU Law for the Justice. He served as the Commencement speaker in 1995 shortly after his appointment to the Court.

Accompanying Justice Thomas on the trip was Michelle Shamblin Stratton, LSU Law Class of 2009, who served as the Justice’s law clerk for the recently completed 2011-12 term.

“We’re honored to have had Justice Thomas and Michelle Stratton on campus,” said LSU Law Chancellor Jack M. Weiss. “Justice Thomas engaged our students in a variety of educational settings, and Michelle’s presence brought home to our student body that great things are possible with hard work and dedication. Michelle exemplifies the high quality education that LSU Law students receive. I hope that Justice Thomas and his colleagues will consider LSU Law graduates for clerkships in the future.”

The Justice participated in two student forums where he answered questions from law students, ranging from why he doesn’t speak during oral arguments to the qualities he looks for when choosing law clerks. Justice Thomas co-taught two courses during his visit: Federal Courts and Criminal Law.

Stratton received the highest grades in 20 individual law school classes. She was a member of the Louisiana Law Review, LSU’s National Moot Court Team, and the American Association for Justice Trial Advocacy Team. As a third-year law student, Stratton was awarded the 2009 Scribes Law Review Award for the best student-authored law review article of the year. She graduated first in her law class, earning Summa Cum Laude and The Order of the Coif honors.

In 2009-10, following her graduation from LSU Law, Stratton clerked for Chief Judge Edith Hollan Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In fall 2010, Stratton became the first LSU Law graduate to be named to one of only four prestigious Bristow Fellowships in the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States. She completed her United States Supreme Court clerkship with Justice Thomas this summer.

She will enter private practice in Houston, Texas this fall.