Published on August 24, 2021 by Morgan Black  
Goodin Katie
For the 10th year, regional law firm Balch & Bingham hosted its Susan B. Livingston Boot Camp for Success to equip incoming law students with the necessary tools they need to succeed in law school and in their future careers. Katie Goodin, a first-year Cumberland School of Law and first-generation law student, completed the program at the end of July.
 
The two-day workshop dedicated to infusing diversity into the legal workforce included students from historically underrepresented groups in the profession, including first generation law students, and those from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. Through the interactive program, more than 100 participants received practical tips and advice from judges, attorneys and law professors, participated in a simulated law school class, received tips on how to maximize study skills and summer job placement, and had opportunities to network with peers and practicing attorneys from a variety of backgrounds.
 
Similar to Cumberland’s first-year summer program, Balch’s program helped ease a few nerves Goodin had about starting law school as a first-generation law student.
 
“I don’t have any family members who have gone through law school, so it was helpful to get this perspective prior to starting at Cumberland,” she said. 
 
Goodin enjoyed learning stories of how the speakers got to where they are today and is grateful for the mock Contracts class they participated in as a group, which she said showed her what to expect and helped her be a little bit less intimidated.
 
Brandi Russell, Cumberland School of Law alumna and Balch’s chief diversity and inclusion officer and director of talent management said, “This year’s class included a group of outstanding incoming law students from different backgrounds who are eager to cultivate the skills and foundation needed to achieve success in law school and beyond. We were thrilled to welcome them to Balch and were glad to be able to provide an educational and meaningful experience.” 
 
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 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 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 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.