Published on March 28, 2022 by Morgan Black
Cumberland School of Law celebrated its annual Law Week, March 17-25, 2022. After a few years of condensed activities due to COVID-19, events coordinated by the Student Bar Association (SBA) brought a renewed energy to the week while emphasizing the law school’s dedication to service and its well-known community-driven culture.
Throughout the week, student participation in events such as Race Judicata, the Cumberland Classic Golf Tournament, Rascal Day and Barrister’s Ball, supported the SBA’S chosen philanthropy, the Cole Ellis Foundation.
After struggling with overwhelming teenage decisions and pressure, Cole Ellis took his own life at the young age of 13. The foundation, founded and managed by his parents, Rebecca and Mike Ellis, provides resources for adolescents, teens and young adults who are overwhelmed with the demands of school, churches, peers and their families. The organization’s ultimate mission is to help people walk the journey to restoration and healing so they may live a full life.
At the end of the week, a total of $5,330 was raised to support the organization’s mission.
Mary Claire Pouncey, third-year student and SBA vice president, is a family friend of the Ellises. “It was such a joy to introduce the mission of The Cole Ellis Foundation to my fellow law students,” she said. “Everyone was so supportive of them as our chosen Law Week philanthropy and that’s indicative of the culture that Cumberland is known for. I’m so grateful to attend a law school with a heart for service and I look forward to spreading this passion in my community.”
From the first-year service day during orientation, Cumberland School of Law students experience one of the core values of the legal profession, service to others. Through the Public Interest Program and the law school’s four live-client clinics, numerous opportunities are available for students to get involved in this integral component of the law school’s mission.
In addition to its dedication to service, for 175 years Cumberland School of Law has been known for its welcoming nature, ranking 4th in the nation for best quality of life by the Princeton Review in 2022. This community-driven culture, unique among law school environments, provides avenues to develop not only excellent lawyers, but well-rounded members of society. Other Law Week events that brought together the law school’s community included a volleyball tournament, the Freshman Follies, Cumberland Idol, a lunch and reception with the faculty and staff, and more.
Allen Howell serves as interim dean of Cumberland School of Law’s Public Interest Program. “Community is an important part of the law school experience, and it’s particularly special at Cumberland,” he said. “Our student leaders created Law Week events to bring together faculty, staff, students and alumni to have fun and enjoy being together. Cumberland has always been a place known for connecting law students to the greater community as well. In addition to our own programming, our students are always finding unique ways to use their legal knowledge to improve the lives of others in the community, and that was on display during this year’s Law Week. I’m very proud of the work they do to serve the communities around them.”
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.