Published on October 19, 2022 by Morgan Black  
BattleoftheExperts 22
Samford University Cumberland School of Law competed in the Battle of the Experts National Mock Trial Competition, hosted by Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, Sept. 23-26, 2022. 
Students Jake Blalock, Samantha Breland, Teylor Lavin, Marilee Butler, Lauren Briscoe and Hannah Maynor faced off in the preliminary rounds against Temple University School of Law, Pace School of Law, Fordham School of Law and St. Mary’s School of Law. 
The team advanced to the semifinals after defeating two programs ranked in the top 10 advocacy programs by U.S. News & World Report. In the semifinals, the team fell three ballots to two to eventual champion UCLA. The team was coached by Spenser Templeton ’15, Curtis Seale ’17 and Rylee Davis ’21.
“I am so proud of the work our students and coaches put into this competition,” said Matt Woodham, interim director of trial advocacy. “For the first time since 2019 in this competition, our students had the opportunity to showcase their advocacy skills in real courtrooms rather than on Zoom. To come one ballot away from eliminating the eventual champion is an incredible achievement that speaks very highly of the students’ ability to soon effectively advocate in real courtrooms with real stakes.”
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.