Published on April 11, 2023 by Morgan Black
Held April 6, Cumberland School of Law’s 2023 Cordell Hull Speakers Forum highlighted women who serve and have served Alabama. Featured guests were former Congresswoman Martha Roby, J.D. ’01, and Congresswoman Terri Sewell.
Roby served as a U.S. Representative in Alabama’s 2nd congressional district from 2011 to 2021 and Sewell actively serves as a U.S. Representative for Alabama’s 7th congressional district. Sewell and Roby are the first two women elected to Congress from Alabama, with Sewell also being the first African American woman elected to Congress from Alabama.
During the roundtable discussion held in Cumberland’s John L. Carroll Moot Courtroom, the two discussed the benefits of law school and the impactful experiences they gleaned from their own law school days, and shared about their career experiences before public service and how they initially got their start in public service careers. They also shared memories of their time serving in Congress together and their special friendship, regardless of differing political opinions.
Third-year student Caroline Dozier served as this year’s forum chair. She said, “It was an honor to have Former Congresswoman Roby, and Congresswoman Sewell participate in the forum this year. What these women have accomplished during their respective careers in public service will be written down in history. These women have shown Cumberland the importance of using our legal education to serve others. I cannot thank them enough for taking the time to speak at the forum."
Third-year student Trent Mansfield served as the event co-chair. He said, “The Cordell Hull Speakers Forum is a wonderful opportunity to provide current Cumberland students with an inside look into the vast legal profession. The advice offered by both of our speakers encouraged students to pursue what is right for them, even if their goals do not lead to ‘traditional’ job placements for law graduates. A Cumberland School of Law degree is an asset that can be used to be successful in a great number of career paths. Our speakers reminded us that being a genuine version of yourself is more important than any grade, accolade or job. Caroline and I hope that the event inspired Cumberland students to pursue what brings them fulfillment and happiness and we hope that the 2023 Cordell Hull Speakers Forum will help spark interest in future forums.”
The Cordell Hull Speakers Forum is named for the 1891 graduate Cordell Hull who served as secretary of state under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and became known as the "Father of the United Nations." Established in 1974, the speaker’s forum is an organization responsible for educating the student body in a variety of areas through its guest speakers. In the past, the forum has included such renowned figures as former presidents of the United States George Bush and Ronald Reagan, U.S. Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas, Attorney General Janet Reno, author John Grisham and Alabama Governor Bob Riley.
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.