Published on October 5, 2021 by Morgan Black
Thanks to the support of Lynn Hogewood ’03 and several Cumberland School of Law alumni, a new scholarship has been established in memory of beloved professor and alumna, Belle Howe Stoddard '78. The scholarship will honor her legacy and the great impact she had on hundreds of Cumberland graduates and lawyers across the state of Alabama.
As one of 11 women in her first-year class, Stoddard was a founding member of the law school’s chapter of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy. After graduating in 1978, she entered private practice in Birmingham, Alabama. She served as a staff attorney for Alabama Supreme Court Justices Janie Shores and Thomas Woodall and served 10 years on the Birmingham Board of Education.
In 1999, Stoddard joined the Cumberland School of Law faculty teaching in the legal research and writing program, Lawyering and Legal Reasoning (LLR), while also teaching other courses such as Public Law Process and Conflict of Laws. In 2001, she was named the director of the LLR program, which she led until her retirement in 2017.
Prior to her first year, Hogewood participated in the law school’s summer program in 2000, which was the start of their relationship.
“I had the honor of learning under Professor Stoddard from the very start of my legal education,” she said. “I wrote countless thank you notes to her over the years for the fun gifts she gave, for the words of wisdom she shared, and for the influence she had on my life–personally and professionally.”
In the summer of 2007, Stoddard hired Hogewood as an LLR instructor. As their relationship grew from teacher/student to fellow colleagues, Hogewood began to admire her more.
“I had the privilege of continuing to learn from, and work with, my mentor until her retirement,” Hogewood said. “All who had the honor of learning from her or working with her experienced supreme writing, wit and wisdom, and the most wonderful storytelling. She was a master of words and a builder of connections as an advocate, professor and friend.”
Stoddard passed away in 2018.
In honor of her legacy, the Professor Belle Howe Stoddard Memorial Scholarship will provide annual financial support for Cumberland School of Law students who excel and demonstrate academic excellence in the required Lawyering and Legal Reasoning Program (LLR).
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