Wayne Law student wins honorable mention in national writing competition

Erica Shell, who graduated from Wayne State University Law School on Monday, May 18, has been awarded an honorable mention in a national environmental law writing competition.

Shell’s entry in the Environmental Law Institute’s 2014-15 Beveridge & Diamond Constitutional Environmental Law Writing Competition was “The Final Auer: Constitutional Challenges to a Fundamental Principle of Administrative Law.” Her article, one of the top three in the contest, will be published in an upcoming edition of Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis.

A Birmingham resident, Shell has been hired to work at Bodman PLC, where she worked as a legal clerk and as a summer associate in 2014-15. She also worked as a legal assistant for the River Rouge City Attorney Office.

In law school, she particularly enjoyed working in the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic.

“I had a great opportunity to work closely with Professor (Nick) Schroeck on real legal issues impacting the Detroit community,” she said. “I have also greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work one on one with Professors (Noah) Hall and Schroeck on drafting articles, such as this one.”

Hall is a founder of the clinic and of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, a nonprofit environmental organization that provides legal assistance to community organizations; environmental non-governmental organizations; and local, state and regional governments. Schroeck, a Wayne Law alumnus, is director of the clinic and executive director of the environmental law center.

Shell was part of the National Environmental Law Moot Court Team that in February took home the Best Brief award in the annual Jeffrey G. Miller Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition, where she was named best oralist twice, once for each time she argued. Judges remarked that they “wouldn’t want to face her in court” and that she was “unflappable.” She was a member of the Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition team in 2014 and was a regional finalist and oralist with the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition Moot Court team this year.

“I have loved working closely with my moot court partners to prepare a great brief and compete against law schools from around the country,” she said.

Shell graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in cultural studies and earned a master’s degree from the University of Detroit Mercy in community development before she began law school.

“I chose Wayne Law because I knew I wanted to work in Detroit and get more opportunities to network with judges and lawyers in the area,” she said.

Shell was managing editor of The Journal of Law in Society at Wayne Law and served as an intern for Wayne Law alumna Judge Nancy Edmunds with the U.S District Court for Eastern District of Michigan in 2013.

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