Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2011-02-22


Two teams from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law have qualified to compete in National Trial Competition.

The Cumberland teams finished first and second in regional competition held in Birmingham Feb. 18-20. They will join finalists from 14 other regional events to compete in national finals in Houston, Texas, on April 6.

Cumberland teammates Carrie Hodge, Ross Massey and Samantha Nicolle defeated the University of Alabama School of Law in the final round of the regional tournament to go undefeated and earn the most judges’ votes to finish in first place. They defeated Nova Southeastern University School of Law in the semi-final round after besting teams from University of Florida, University of Alabama and Barry University law schools in preliminary rounds.  Hodge and Massey are third-year law students. Nicolle is a second-year student.

The Cumberland team of Todd Buchanan, Setara Foster and Alyson Hood went undefeated and earned the next highest number of judges’ votes to place second. They defeated Stetson University School of Law in the final round after besting Florida Coastal University College of Law in the semi-final round. They beat teams from Florida Coastal University, University of Miami and University of Mississippi law schools in preliminary rounds. Hood is a third-year law student. Buchanan and Foster are second-year law students.

Both teams are coached by Cumberland graduates Jim Roberts of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Sara Williams of Birmingham.

 The regional event, held at the Jefferson County Civil Courthouse in Birmingham, involved 26 teams from 13 law schools in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. Competing teams all argued the same criminal case. The event was co-hosted by Cumberland’s Trial Advocacy Board.

The national trial competition program is designed to expose law students to the nature of trial practice and to serve as a supplement to their education. It is sponsored annually by the Texas Young Lawyers Association and the American College of Trial Lawyers.



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.