Shamberg Scholars Program

The Shamberg Scholars Program at Washburn University School of Law was created with the generous contribution of noted Washburn Law alumnus John Shamberg.


Washburn Law will select one student from each entering spring and fall class as a Shamberg Scholar. Selection is based on academic achievements and leadership potential. Each Shamberg Scholar will be granted:

  • Full resident tuition for three years of law school;
  • Partial living stipend.

Selection Criteria

Applicants to Washburn University School of Law for each spring and fall semester whose credentials qualify for the top 10% of the applicant pool are eligible for consideration for the Shamberg Scholar Award.

Eligibility requirements to maintain the award after the first year are

  • maintain a 3.0 grade-point average,
  • no sanctions under the School of Law Honor Code, and
  • enrolled full-time at the School of Law.

The deadline to apply to Washburn Law for Shamberg Distinguished Scholarship consideration is October 15 for students starting in the spring and February 1 for students starting in the fall.

Photograph: Portrait of John Shamberg.

John Shamberg was law clerk to Honorable Walter A. Huxman, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit following graduation from Washburn Law. In 1949 he co-founded the law firm in Kansas City where he is senior member, Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman.

Through his long and distinguished legal career in civil litigation, Mr. Shamberg helped expand the rights of injured persons and shaped the development of tort law in Kansas. Among the notable cases he has handled is the one abolishing governmental immunity in Kansas in proprietary cases, thus allowing injured persons to sue a state agency for the first time in the state's history. Mr. Shamberg was also one of the lead counsel for victims in the 1981 Hyatt sky walk collapse disaster in which 218 persons were killed or injured.

For his service to the legal profession, Mr. Shamberg was awarded the Distinguished Service Award of the Kansas Bar Association in 1989, the highest honor conferred by that organization. He was the first recipient of the Arthur G. Hodgson Distinguished Service Award of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association, conferred in the same year. For his service to Washburn Law, Mr. Shamberg received the honorary degree of Doctor of Law, conferred by Washburn University, the law school Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

In commenting on his gift to the law school, a portion of which established the Scholars Program, Mr. Shamberg observed "I feel obligated to give back to the law school. You have to give back. I felt very indebted to Washburn, I do to this day."