Published on February 7, 2018 by Morgan Black  
cumberland trial team
Pictured from left: Coach Matt Woodham ‘15, Andrew York, Denzell Moton, Callie Brister, Craig Shirley, Stephanie Gushlaw, J.B. Brown, Kameron Buckner, Jennifer Jayjohn, and Coach Judge Jim Roberts ‘94

Samford University Cumberland School of Law’s trial competition teams swept the recent south regional portion of the National Trial Competition (NTC). Each team, comprised of all second-year law students, went undefeated throughout the tournament and each team will advance to the national finals in Austin, Texas, in April. 

Craig Shirley, Stephanie Gushlaw, Kameron Buckner and J.B. Brown defeated Barry University School of Law and Stetson University College of Law in the preliminary rounds, Faulkner University Jones School of Law in the semifinals and Mississippi College School of Law in the finals.  

Andrew York, Jennifer Jayjohn, Callie Brister and Denzell Moton defeated Florida State School of Law and Faulkner University Jones School of Law in the preliminary round, Jones School of Law in the semifinal round and clinched a victory over the University of Alabama School of Law in the finals.  

In the final rounds, Cumberland won a trial as the plaintiff and the defense demonstrating the advocacy skills necessary to win on both sides of the same case.  

“These wins are great accomplishments for our students,” said Dean Henry Strickland. “They reflect talent, deep understanding of law and its application, and hours and hours for preparation and practice.” 

Coached by alumni Judge Jim Roberts ‘94, Sara Williams ‘06 and Matthew Woodham ’15, the Cumberland team recorded its eighth NTC regional win in 10 years. These teams are the 10th and 11th Cumberland teams to advance to NTC nationals in the past 10 years. 

“Cumberland has a long-standing national reputation for educating and training outstanding trial advocates,” Dean Strickland added. “Our trial advocacy program is consistently ranked among the top five to ten programs in the country. The success of our students in competitions that simulate the use of the law in practical settings demonstrates that they both understand legal theory and have the ability to apply it to serve people and business.”     

Cumberland’s Trial Advocacy Program 

About the National Trial Competition --The NTC is co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Texas Young Lawyers Association and involves 14 regional tournaments with approximately 200 schools represented by one or two teams each. Region six of the NTC was hosted by the University of Alabama School of Law.  

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.