From the Public Interest Program during orientation to Law Week and Rascal Day later in the spring semester, there are many unique traditions that have been established by the student body over the last 167 years.
Rascal Day remains a much-anticipated event during Law Week in early March at Cumberland School of Law. This event brings together the law school’s community, students, faculty, families, and, of course, dogs. It’s a day of fun festivities that captures the spirit of Cumberland Law School experience and its ability to develop well-rounded lawyers.
The celebration honors a mongrel pup named Rascal. According to tradition, Rascal faithfully attended classes, beginning in 1933, at the law school’s former campus in Lebanon, Tennessee. In 1937, he was awarded the rare degree of doctor of canine jurisprudence. Legend states the diploma was awarded in recognition of the hundreds of classes and mock trials at which Rascal’s attendance had been difficult to ignore.
When he passed away in 1940, Rascal was buried beneath the window of the law classroom where he had spent so much time.
When Cumberland School of Law moved to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1961, Rascal’s tombstone and a few spadefuls of dirt from his grave were brought to Samford’s campus and reinterred on the west side of Robinson Hall.
Each year, a procession of two- and four-legged creatures commemorates one of the law school’s most memorable graduates.
Each spring, as a part of Law Week, the first-year law students showcase their acting abilities in a collection of skits where they take on the task of mimicking some of their most beloved Cumberland School of Law professors. The imitations are all done in good fun and prove humorous to students and faculty alike. It is an honor to participate in Freshman Follies. The student who gives the best performance is awarded the “Follie” and serves as host for the next Freshman Follies.
A long-standing tradition, Barrister’s Ball has been nicknamed “law prom” by many students. Barrister’s Ball is a formal event, complete with live music, good food and dancing. The Student Bar Association is responsible for hosting the event. Previous venues include: B&A Warehouse, Iron City Birmingham and Old Car Heaven.
Law Week has become a long-standing springtime tradition at the law school. While students must maintain their class attendance, Law Week provides a much-needed break from the rigors of law school. Each spring, the Student Bar Association assists in planning Law Week. In addition to the long-standing Freshman Follies, Rascal Day and Barrister’s Ball, past Law Week events have also included bowling night, a golf tournament, a kickball tournament, raffles, free meals and more. Law Week provides an opportunity for students to come together and create a very special community.