The best way to experience the Samford spirit is to meet our people and walk our campus. While you might not be able to visit campus in person, we want to give you an idea of what to expect when you are able to visit. To get started, choose a tour stop from the map or the menu below.
Dedicated in 2008, Brewer Plaza is named for the late Albert P. Brewer and his late wife Martha. Brewer served as governor of Alabama from 1968 until 1971. He joined Samford in 1987 as a distinguished professor of law and government and helped establish the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA), serving as the organization’s first executive director and later, its board chairman. He served as a member of the Samford board of trustees and taught at Cumberland School of Law for more than two decades, eventually achieving professor emeritus status. At the law school, he endowed the Daniel Austin Brewer Professionalism Award in honor of his father. Brewer passed away in 2017, and, in 2018, the Samford Board of Trustees named the first Albert P. Brewer Professor of Law and Ethics, a professorship which was endowed by his family. Brewer Plaza is often the site of law school events, including orientation and commencement receptions, alumni events, and more.
As you enter the building from the Brewer Plaza, you will arrive at the first floor. This level houses the Office of Admission, the Dean’s Suite, the Office of Alumni Relations, along with the Student Records Office and Student Services. The first floor also features the John L. Carroll Moot Courtroom, a majority of our classrooms, and a student break room.
The John L. Carroll Moot Courtroom is the largest space in Robinson Hall. Named for former dean and retired law professor Judge John L. Carroll, the Moot Courtroom is one of three courtrooms in the law school. Styled after some of the finest federal courtrooms, this space is equipped with a full-size bench, jury box and witness stand, a drop-down screen for classes and trial presentations, and cameras to record team practices and competitions. The Moot Courtroom plays host to first-year orientation, speaker forums and seminars, advocacy team practices, mock trial and appellate competitions, upper-level skills classes, and numerous other campus events.
The portrait hanging above the bench in the Moot Courtroom is alumnus Cordell Hull. An 1891 graduate, Hull is most known as the longest standing U.S. Secretary of State under the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during most of World War II. Additionally, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1945 for his role in establishing the United Nations and was often referred to by President Roosevelt as the “Father of the United Nations.” Most historians believe he would have been President had he not become ill.
A small classroom in Robinson Hall usually houses the smaller upper-level classes. A large classroom usually houses the larger first-year classes. We have had classes as small as three people, however, the average number of students in an upper level course is 22. Classroom technology includes white boards, power outlets at each seat and projection equipment.
Our Trial Courtroom is used as a classroom for our Basic Skills and Advanced Skills classes, as well as a practice room for our National Trial Team. The room boasts a full-size bench, witness stand and jury box, and is equipped with technology for wireless trial presentations as well as equipment necessary for non-trial classes. Other advanced technology includes two cameras used for capturing trial practice for later critique by faculty and students.
The Great Room, another stately room in Robinson Hall, is the original law library. This multipurpose room on the second floor can be used as a fourth courtroom and is frequently used for studying, student organization events, luncheons and other functions, even Rascal Day if it’s raining outside. This space, open 24 hours a day, is adjacent to Governor Brewer’s former office and Cumberland’s Community Mediation Center. Student organization offices are located just above. Nearby is the law school’s Career Development Office who frequently uses the Great Room for career fairs, networking events and more.
Cumberland School of Law’s Career Development Office (CDO) teaches students about the practical aspects of the practice of law, provides training on conducting efficient and thorough job searches, and helps students match their skills, interests and experiences to the needs of the legal market. Their office suite, located on the second floor, is open to all students looking for advice on networking, interviewing, and the legal job search, just to name a few. Once an alumnus, Cumberland lawyers continue to have access to the services of the CDO when in search of a new job, looking to change career paths, or just need professional advice.
The trophy case on the second floor showcases the championships of Cumberland’s nationally ranked advocacy program, one of the most decorated programs in the country. U.S. News & World Report ranks our trial advocacy program 7th in the nation for 2021. In addition, the program ranks 3rd for trial competition performance since 2016.
The Hare Wynn Newell & Newton Courtroom, located on the third floor, is equipped with a full-size bench, witness stand and jury box, and is used to conduct experiential trial classes and also serves as another practice room for our National Trial Team. Two cameras in the room are used to record trial performances for later critique by faculty and students. Similar to the Trial Courtroom on the first floor, this courtroom is capable of displaying content from any wireless device for mobile trial presentations. iPads equipped with TrialPad software are used for exhibit display and annotation. Adjacent to this courtroom is the jury room, where students can view jury deliberations after trial performances.
Dedicated on Feb. 15, 1996, by former President Gerald R. Ford, the Lucille Stewart Beeson Law Library is the premiere law library in the state. A grand facility, the Beeson Law Library was designed to encourage serious study, deliberation and great ideas. With four levels and three computer labs, the library houses 474 individual study spaces – a space for every student at Cumberland (during the pandemic, patron capacity is limited to 276 simultaneous users). Beeson Law Library boasts more than 200,000 volumes, 16 conference rooms, and 96,000 volumes on microfiche. Conference rooms can be reserved for group study, or small, intimate student organization events or lectures. Cumberland alumni may continue to use the library’s collection and some of its online resources within the library even after they graduate.
In addition to the break room on the first floor, the courtyards, and spaces inside the law library, there are many other smaller spaces throughout Robinson Hall that provide opportunities for student collaboration. Such spaces include the Cumberland Law Review and American Journal of Trial Advocacy suites, the sofa room above the Great Room, the Student Bar Association (SBA) and other student organization offices, and more.
The courtyard just outside the Beeson Law Library, on the east side of Robinson Hall, features a statue commissioned by the law library patron Lucille Stewart Beeson. The Angel of Mercy is staying the sword of the Lady of Justice from being used too swiftly, tempering it with compassion. It was dedicated on Feb. 15, 1996, along with the new library. The sculptor is Lytton Glynn Acree (1927 – 2019) of Roswell, Georgia, who also created the sculpture of Martha Myers in the University’s Davis Library and the one of Mr. Beeson seated on the bench with the library behind him. Additional work by Acree may also be found on the campuses of Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Mercer University, and the University of Georgia.
Rascal was a mongrel pup who faithfully attended classes, beginning in 1933, at the law school’s original campus in Lebanon, Tennessee. In 1937, he was awarded the rare degree of Doctor of Canine Jurisprudence in recognition of the hundreds of classes and mock trials he attended. When he passed away in 1940, Rascal was buried beneath the window of the classroom where he had spent so much time.
When Cumberland moved to Birmingham in 1961, Rascal’s tombstone and a few spadefuls of dirt from his grave were brought to Samford’s campus and reinterred on Robinson Hall’s west courtyard. Each year in the spring during Law Week, Cumberland’s Student Bar Association (SBA) hosts the much-anticipated Rascal Day. This event brings together the law school’s students, faculty, families, and, of course, dogs (and occasionally, cats). This day of fun festivities embodies the Cumberland experience and its ability to develop well-rounded lawyers.
Samford University is a premier nationally ranked, private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. As a private, Christian, liberal arts university, we are committed to providing a well-rounded educational experience. With over 5,600 students from 47 states and 28 countries, Samford is the #1 most recommended university in the nation and is #2 for student engagement (The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education). With a liberal arts focus, our university offers over 170 majors, minors and concentrations that provide an environment which values diversity and encourages education to propel students forward.