Published on March 18, 2020 by Morgan Black
Cumberland School of Law has once again been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top law schools in the country for trial advocacy training. The 2021 rankings released March 17 list Cumberland’s program as 7th in the nation out of 188 law schools listed.
Cumberland's consistently top-ranked program teaches students the art and science of advocacy and trains aspiring lawyers to think strategically and tactically, in and out of the courtroom. Designed to serve individual interests and needs, Cumberland students can earn a certificate in trial advocacy that highlights their specific areas of focus. Cumberland goes even further to provide excellent training by providing third-year law students the opportunity to try real cases under the supervision of a licensed attorney.
“Our 2021 U.S. News & World Report ranking demonstrates the strength of our curriculum, quality of our faculty, commitment of our trial team coaches, and professionalism of our students,” said Ramona Albin, assistant professor and director of advocacy programs.
Trial advocacy courses include Basic Skills in Trial Advocacy, Advanced Skills in Trial Advocacy, Pre-trial Practice and Procedure, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) with a focus in Negotiation or Mediation, Scientific Evidence, Advanced Evidence, Digital Evidence and a Pre-approved Litigation Externship. During the 2019-20 academic year, Cumberland introduced new courses to support the program including Jury Selection, Advanced Skills in Trial Advocacy focused on civil litigation and Depositions and Technology.
“We are blessed at Cumberland to have tremendous students dedicated to becoming the best advocates they can become, coaches committed to helping our students reach those goals, and the visionary leadership necessary to bring cohesiveness and direction to our program. This ranking is a tribute to the hard work of all of those involved and I am honored to work with each of them,” said Judge Jim Roberts '94, head coach of Cumberland’s advocacy teams.
In February, the program hosted Region 8 of the National Trial Competition, one of the most prestigious mock trial competitions in the nation. Shortly thereafter, Cumberland’s team swept Region 6 of the same competition, advancing to the national round.
“We will continue our tradition of excellence and move our program forward by expanding our curriculum, supporting our competition teams, and providing clinical opportunities so that our students will develop the advocacy skills required for 21st-century litigation,” Albin said.
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.