Cumberland School of Law has a chapter of the American Inns of Court, which second- and third-year students can apply to join. Cumberland is one of the few law schools in the country that provides such an opportunity. The American Inns of Court movement promotes professionalism, civility and ethics at the American Bench and Bar. Since the founding of the first American Inn of Court in 1980, lawyers, judges, academics and students have been meeting throughout this nation on a monthly basis with their local American Inn of Court for continuing education and mentoring. Today, there are more than 350 chartered Inns of Court with more than 27,000 active participants.
The American Inn of Court chartered at the Cumberland School of Law is named the Judge James Edwin Horton Inn of Court. The Inn is named after Judge James Edwin Horton, a graduate of Cumberland School of Law who, in one of the most courageous judicial acts in American history, set aside the guilty verdict and death sentence in one of the infamous Scottsboro Boys cases.
Membership in the Inn is divided according to the number of years in practice. The members of our Inn are Cumberland graduates, all of whom are outstanding practitioners and judges. Master benchers are senior lawyers and judges who have extensive practice backgrounds. Inn membership also includes barristers, associates and pupils. All of the pupils in the Judge James Edwin Horton Inn of Court are second- and third- year students. Each fall semester the dean contacts the student body about membership.
The Inn meets six times a year. The meetings include a program on some aspect of the practice of law, with particular emphasis on professionalism and ethics, as well as social time.