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A True Alabama Pioneer Has Passed

Photo: Cumberland School of Law Facebook

Janie Shores, elected to the Alabama Supreme Court in 1974, died earlier this week at the age of 85.

An Alabama native, Shores was born in 1932 and grew up in Baldwin County, Al. She was the daughter of scarcely educated parents, who had her while they were still in their teens. She worked as a legal secretary in Mobile, graduated from Samford University with her B.A., and received her J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law.

Born during a time when women were not afforded the same opportunities as their male counterparts, she paved a path of possibility for women across the country. She was the first female professor at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, and in 1993, then President Bill Clinton considered her for an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Her hard work and commitment to excellence are demonstrated through her years of public service. The Alabama Alabama Law Foundation awards a scholarship in Shores’ honor to female law students, and Litigation Counsel of America awards the Janie L. Shores Trailblazer Award in her honor.

Ever willing to speak up for what she believed in, one of her friends was quoted as saying, “She always spoke her mind- but always with grace. That is just a gift that some Southerners have.”

She is survived by her daughter Laura Shores, an attorney in Washington, D.C.

For those wishing to pay their respects, a memorial service will be held at a later date in Birmingham.

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