William G. Ross
Lucille Stewart Beeson Professor of Law
Department: Cumberland School of Law
Degrees and CertificationsJ.D., Harvard Law SchoolA.B., With Distinction, Stanford University
Joined faculty in 1988
Teaching & Research Interests: Professional Responsibilities, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law & American Legal History
William G. Ross is Lucille Stewart Beeson Professor of Law at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama, where he has taught since 1988. His courses include professional responsibilities, civil procedure, constitutional law, and American legal history. A graduate of Stanford and the Harvard Law School, Professor Ross was a litigator in law firms in New York City from 1979 until 1988. He has served as a Visiting Professor of Law at Notre Dame (2001-02); Florida State (summer 2002); and Georgia State (spring 2000). Professor Ross has written extensively on legal ethics, American legal history, and the federal judicial appointments process.
A nationally-recognized expert on the ethics of legal fees and judicial ethics, Professor Ross is the author of two books on attorney billing issues, The Honest Hour: The Ethics of Time-Based Billing by Attorneys (Carolina Academic Press, 1996) and Legal Fees: Law and Practice (with John W. Toothman, Carolina Academic Press, 2003), as well as numerous articles about legal fees and judicial ethics. His Honest Hour book was cited by the U. S. Supreme Court in Gisbrecht v. Barnhart (2002). Professor Ross often serves as a consultant and expert witness regarding legal fees and judicial ethics.
Professor Ross is also a specialist on American constitutional history. He is the author of A Muted Fury: Populists, Progressives and Labor Unions Confront the Courts, 1890–1937 (Princeton University Press, 1994), and Forging New Freedoms: Nativism, Education, and the Constitution, 1917–1927 (University of Nebraska Press, 1994). A third book, The Chief Justiceship of Charles Evans Hughes 1930–1941, was published in 2007 by the University of South Carolina Press. Professor Ross also has published many articles and book reviews about American legal history.
Also an authority on federal separation of powers issues, Professor Ross has published many works on the appointment of U.S. Supreme Court justices and other federal judges. His Muted Fury and Hughes books and several of his articles explore the relationship between Congress and the Supreme Court, particularly the dynamics of movements to curtail the powers of the federal courts.
Professor Ross has been quoted as an expert on ethical and constitutional issues in various publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, and The ABA Journal. He also has been interviewed on CNN and C-SPAN. His publications have been cited in approximately one thousand scholarly articles and books.
Bill loves to teach. In 2005, he became the first recipient of Cumberland’s Harvey S. Jackson Award for Excellence in Teaching for his instruction in upper-level courses, and he was co-recipient of this award in 2012.
Awards and HonorsHarvey S. Jackson Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2005 & 2012