Published on July 20, 2021 by Morgan Black
Cumberland School of Law’s nationally recognized advocacy program is expanding its footprint with the addition of a new faculty member. In August 2021, Matt Woodham will assume the role of assistant professor of law and assistant director of trial advocacy.
Woodham, a member of Cumberland School of Law’s class of 2015, has extensive litigation experience through his previous work as an assistant public defender for Tuscaloosa County. In that role, he represented clients charged with offenses ranging from DUI to capital murder. He also taught in-office seminars on evidence and cross examination and was a National Criminal Defense College graduate.
While working at the Tuscaloosa County Public Defender’s Office, Woodham volunteered as a coach for Cumberland’s National Trial Team. He participated in coaching teams that won numerous awards and competitions including:
- Winner of the 2017 National Trial Advocacy Competition;
- Regional Champions of the 2018 National Trial Competition;
- Finalist at the 2019 Capitol City Challenge and best advocate award recipient;
- Semifinalist at the 2019 Lone Star Classic; and
- Best Advocate Award recipient at the 2020 Capitol City Challenge.
Judge Jim Roberts '94, head coach of Cumberland's national trial teams, said, "I have been honored to work with Matt as a student, fellow coach and an attorney who practiced regularly in my court. Matt is not only an excellent lawyer but also has the heart of a teacher. He will be a tremendous asset to our program."
Woodham’s success as a coach correlates to his success as a student. While in law school, he was the third-year class president, an associate editor of the Cumberland Law Review, and graduated sixth in his class. As a member of the National Trial Team, he and his fellow teammates won the 2014 National Trial Advocacy Competition (NTAC), were 2014 AAJ Student Advocacy Competition regional winners and national quarterfinalists and were the National Trial Competition (NTC) regional winners and national semifinalists in 2015. Individually, he received the Best Closing Argument Award at the 2015 NTC regionals, was a Parham Williams Freshman Trial Competition winner, and received the Michael Rasmussen Excellence in Advocacy Award.
“I am thrilled that Matt Woodham is joining the Cumberland advocacy faculty,” said Ramona Albin, associate professor of law and director of advocacy programs. “Matt not only has significant litigation experience, but he brings a deep understanding of our program as a coach, former student, and national trial team competitor. His addition will help us to continue to expand our program and lead in advocacy education.”
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. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 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.