Published on August 14, 2017 by William Nunnelley  

Janie L. Shores, the first woman law professor in Alabama and later the first female member of the Alabama Supreme Court, died Aug. 9. She was 85.

Shores was a graduate of Samford University and the University of Alabama Law School. She earned her law degree with honors after serving as a legal secretary in Mobile, Alabama. She practiced first in Selma, Alabama, and then worked on the legal staff of Liberty National Life Insurance. In 1965, she was hired as a full-time law professor by Samford’s Cumberland School of Law.

Shores ran for the Alabama Supreme Court and was elected in 1974. She served four terms on the court, retiring in 1999. She maintained an office in the Samford law school for a time after her election to the court. She was named one of Samford’s Alumni of the Year in 1983.

“Justice Shores was an important pioneer and leader in the Alabama legal community,” said Cumberland School of Law Dean Corky Strickland. “Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law will be forever grateful and proud of her role in the law school and her contributions to the state.”

Shores resided in Montrose, Alabama, in retirement. She was born in Georgiana, Alabama, but was reared in Baldwin County, where she graduated from Robertsdale High School.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.