Cumberland Law School is unrelated to the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky, and is no longer a a part of Cumberland University In Lebanon, Tennessee. Cumberland School of Law is an ABA accredited law school at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.
Cumberland School of Law was founded on July 29, 1847 in Lebanon, Tennessee at Cumberland University.
Prior to the law school's official founding, Cumberland University facilitated the study of law and admitted a diverse student body, evidenced by graduates such as George W. Prior to the founding of the United States' first law schools, the primary means for a legal education was apprenticeship. Students were taught through reading treatises, approximately two hours worth of recitations each morning, and a mandatory moot court program. April 13, 1861 jolted Cumberland out of its "Golden Age" when President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers to quell the southern insurrection. In 1873 Robert Caruthers purchased Corona Hall from the Corona Institute for Women for $10,000, which he immediately donated to the University for use by the law school. The destruction of the campus and the devastation of war had impoverished the school and it was almost 15 years before it saw students enter from outside the South, when a student from Illinois and a member of the Choctaw Nation[disambiguation needed ] enrolled at Cumberland. Robert Caruthers persisted, despite the setbacks, and in 1878 Caruthers Hall was dedicated in his honor. Despite the seemingly heroic efforts to keep the school alive, Cumberland was falling into the minority at the turn of the 20th century. Cumberland, which had once marked the high point of professional education, had become a captive of its own success. Cumberland eventually did adapt to the changing times, moving from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, to Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama in 1961. Today the law school is known for its emphasis on trial advocacy and is building a biotechnology emphasis through its Biotechnology Center. The first year required classes are: Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property, Torts, Criminal Law, and Evidence. Second- and third-year courses allow students more choices and some degree of specialization.
Students must also take Professional Responsibility and the MPRE, an exam that is required to practice in addition to the Bar exam. The library building is 42,500 square feet (3,950 m2) with 13 conference rooms, 474 study spaces, carrels equipped with electrical and data connections, and three computer labs.


The Center for Biotechnology, Law and Ethics focus is on the research and study of the ethical and legal issues arising from the biotechnology industry, which is important to the City of Birmingham.[9] Each year the Center sponsors a major symposium which attracts nationally known experts.
The 2007 Symposium, entitled “The United States Health-Care System: Access, Equity and Efficiency”, focused on the issues of health care delivery in the United States, particularly to the poor, the problems that exist and potential solutions to those problems. The Fall 2007 entering class consisted of 159 students selected from an applicant pool of over 1200.
The Cumberland Law Review,[32] whose members are selected by write-in from the top 15% of the freshman class.
The American Journal of Trial Advocacy,[33] whose members are selected by write-in from the top 33% of the freshman class. In 2007, student teams from Cumberland won both the Criminal Justice Trial Competition held in Hamden, Connecticut and the Lone Star Classic Mock Trial Competition in San Antonio, Texas.
In 2008, Cumberland placed first out of 256 other teams in the American Association for Justice National Student Trial Advocacy Competition and in 2009 placed second, losing by one point.[40][41][42][43] The same year, Cumberland made the finals of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy competition.
In 2009, a Cumberland team won the regional round of the National Trial Competition in Tallahassee, Florida, advancing to the national championship round in San Antonio. Housing for law students is not available on campus, but students typically rent apartments or buy houses in the surrounding community.
Competition for grades and rank can be aggressive, but rarely personal, and there is a surprising degree of camaraderie among the students, which many students consider to be atypical of the environment on most law school campuses.
Joel Fredrick Dubina - Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, former federal Magistrate Judge and District Judge. Grafton Green - associate justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, presided over the appeal of John T. James Edwin Horton - Judge who presided over the retrial of the Scottsboro Boys who set aside the jury's conviction and sentence of death and was them removed by the Alabama Supreme Court. Horace Harmon Lurton (D) - United States Supreme Court Justice, Tennessee Supreme Court, justice U.S.
William Parker Caldwell - American politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives for the 9th congressional district of Tennessee. The 11th oldest law school in the United States, it is 160 years old and has more than 11,000 graduates. Harkins, a Choctaw chief, who received a law degree from Cumberland and became a judge in 1834.
In July 1866, Cumberland adopted the image of the phoenix, the mythological Egyptian bird that is reborn from its own ashes.


The 1865 class included a Confederate General and Union colonel, enemies only a few months earlier. It maintained a one-year curriculum when other schools moved toward longer terms, and it was entrenched with legal formalism, which had reached its peak in the 1870s and would soon be on the decline.
It is only one of two law schools in the United States to have been sold from one university to another (the other being the sale of the law school from the University of Puget Sound to Seattle University).
One call of the plan is to gradually downsize the number of students in order to provide smaller classes and closer individual attention to students.
Students are divided into one of three sections, where the students remain together in their respective classes for the entire first year. Cumberland offers a balance of traditional courses, such as Criminal Procedure, Family Law, and Basic Federal Income Tax, and practical courses, such as Basic and Advanced Trial Skills, Business Drafting, Real Estate Transactions, and Law Office Practice and Management. The symposium brought together experts from the University of Minnesota, the Saint Louis University School of Law and Texas A & M University and Cumberland.
It was one of four from 30 teams in its region that went to the national finals in Chicago. Cumberland was the only school in the competition to have both of its teams advance to the semi-final round. Carroll - former federal judge and dean of Cumberland School of Law, Legal Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Smolin - Director of The Center for Biotechnology, Law and Ethics and human rights activist.
For the prior 57 years the school did not have this position, which was becoming more and more popular among law schools. First-year students are also enrolled in smaller sections for Lawyering and Legal Reasoning, a class that focuses on honing the students' ability to think and write like a lawyer.
By 1859 Cumberland, Harvard, and the University of Virginia School of Law, were the three largest law schools in the United States. Robert Caruthers had previously served as the state attorney general and had been elected Governor of Tennessee during the war in 1863, but was never innaugurated.



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