Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2011-01-27


The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law will present its annual Thurgood Marshall Symposium Thursday, Feb. 3, at noon in the moot courtroom of Robinson Hall law building. The public is invited.

 “When Money Talks, Criminals Walk: How Socioeconomic Status Affects the Level of Fairness Received in the Criminal Justice System” is the topic of the program. A four-member panel will discuss the impact of class, wealth and education on the distribution of and access to justice in the U.S. criminal system.

Panelists are Jefferson County circuit court criminal division judge Clyde E. Jones, Birmingham criminal defense attorneys Anthony Joseph and Michael Rasmussen, and U.S Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Joyce Vance. Cumberland dean John Carroll will serve as moderator.

The Thurgood Marshall symposium is named to honor the first African-American to serve as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nesha Q. Spencer, a third-year law student, is president of Cumberland’s BLSA chapter.  Shade’ Hyche, a second-year law student, is symposium chair.


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.