came to law school to do public interest work,"
he said, adding that his dream took shape when Southern
Poverty Law Center founder Morris Dees visited the school.
"After hearing him speak, I approached him about
working with him, and it turned out to be one of the
greatest career opportunities I could have had. We handled
class-action civil-rights litigation and capital defense
Later, after two years on the law faculty at Mercer
University School of Law, Carroll was appointed to the
U.S. magistrate judge post, presiding over a full docket
of civil trials. "A magistrate judge has a lot
of flexibility, and it depends on the distÜict judges’
vision of how best to use it," he said. "I
was fortunate to be in a district where those judges
thought I should use the full range of jurisdiction,
including dispositive authority over civil jury trials."
He was appointed by Chief Justice William Rehnquist
to the Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and to the Magistrate
Judge’s Education Committee of the Federal Judicial
Center, which he chaired.
law school deans in America have the breadth of experience
of Judge Carroll," said Samford President Thomas
E. Corts. “He has demonstrated a devotion to altruism
and to service to others, along with his practice and
teaching of law, and his judgeship. He has high principles
and common sense that make Samford proud to call him
Carroll succeeds Barry A. Currier, who left after four
years as dean in the summer of 2000 to become deputy
consultant to the American Bar Association Section on
Legal Education in Chicago. Law professor Michael D.
Floyd served as acting dean during 2000-01.
Carroll has served as president of the board of Leadership
Montgomery and is a member of the 2001 class of Leadership
Alabama, which seeks to resolve issues affectingúthe
state and region. "I am tremendously proud that
the impetus for reforming Alabama's constitution comes
from Samford President Thomas Corts," he said,
"and that Cumberland is involved in that effort
through the State Constitutional Law Project."
He describes himself as "a servant leader,"
adding that during his years in the Marines, he learned
that "you can't command respect, only earn it.
Leadership in these times depends on the ability to
build consensus, to get people to sign on to the vision
of where we need to go. I hope I can do that."
His vision for Cumberland is to continue to build on
what he describes as the school's "obvious strengths:
our faculty and our dedication to producing practicing
lawyers who are leaders." The school’s greatest
challenge, he adds, is financial. “That’s a problem
facing all private law schools. We have to find ways
to finance our program so that it is not so dependent