Published on February 26, 2024 by Morgan Black  
Client Counseling 24
(L-R) Ford Waters, Elley Smith, William Taylor, Jalen Williams, Zane Mitchell, Lucas Harris-Miller

Samford University Cumberland School of Law had three student advocacy teams compete in the American Bar Association Regional Client Counseling Competition, Feb. 16-18, for the first time in more than five years. Two of Cumberland School of Law's teams advanced to the final round and ultimately placed 2nd and 3rd in the alternative dispute resolution competition. 

Three Cumberland School of Law teams consisted of six students including Ford Waters, Elley Smith, Zane Mitchell, Lucas Harris-Miller, William Taylor II and Jalen Williams. They were coached by Kevin Bufford, JD 17, and Ben Warren, JD 18.
The teams competed against students from Boston College Law School, University of Denver - Sturm College of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, and Washington and Lee University School of Law, who hosted the virtual competition. Mitchell and Harris-Miller and Williams and Taylor advanced to the final round and ultimately placed 2nd and 3rd in the competition. 
Bufford said, “All six of the students who competed this past weekend showed incredible dedication and worked tirelessly for the 10 days we had to prepare for this competition. Part of this competition incudes a writing component, on which one of our teams had a perfect score. I could not be prouder of all six of these students for their hard work and professionalism when representing Cumberland School of Law in this competition.”
Sara Williams, JD ’06, visiting director of advocacy programs, said, “The ABA's Client Counseling Competition is a competition Cumberland has traditionally excelled in, and I am proud of these students for meeting the challenge of competing in it once again. Their performance is a testament to their dedication to this program and their coaches' dedication to educating and training the future of our profession.”
Cumberland School of Law, which was founded on the basis of preparing practice-ready lawyers, holds a longstanding tradition of excellence in advocacy training.
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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.