Published on February 22, 2021 by Morgan Black
For the second year in a row, Cumberland School of Law's National Trial Teams have swept Region 8 of the National Trial Competition (NTC). Each team won its final round on Friday, Feb. 19, earning a place in the national competition in April.
This is the tenth time in the past 13 years that a Cumberland team has won the NTC Regional Championship and the fifth time Cumberland has swept the regionals, for a total of 15 teams advancing to the national competition in 13 years.
“Cumberland is blessed to have extremely talented, hard-working students who are dedicated to becoming practice-ready professionals and the best advocates they can be for their future clients," said head coach Judge Jim Roberts '94. "This year was especially difficult as the entire competition was conducted virtually. Yet, our students met this unique challenge head on and mastered this new medium."
The team of second-year students Antionette Pruitt, Jake Norwood and Mason Osborn defeated teams from the University of Mississippi School of Law, the University of Memphis Humphrey School of Law and Northern Kentucky University Chase School of Law in the preliminary rounds. They trumped the University of Mississippi School of Law in the semifinal round, then clinced the regional title by defeating Faulkner University Jones School of Law in the final round.
The team of third-year student Trent Testa, and second-year students Ghada Abouhaidar and Kate Belyayeva defeated teams from the University of Tennessee College of Law and Mississippi College School of Law in the preliminary round, the University of Mississippi School of Law in the semifinal round, and won the regional title by defeating Northern Kentucky University Chase School of Law in the final round.
Sara Williams '06 and Craig Shirley '19 also served as coaches for these teams.
"I am so proud of this group and very thankful for their contributions to the legacy of Cumberland's trial advocacy program,” Roberts 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 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.