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The school offers the Juris Doctor, and the Master of Comparative Law. This program is designed to educate foreign lawyers in the United States' basic legal principles. The school also offers six dual-degree programs. It's also building a biotechnology law emphasis via its research center.
Cumberland School of Law was founded in 1847 in Lebanon, Tennessee at Cumberland University.
During the Antebellum years Cumberland was successful. Students learned through reading and a mandatory moot court program. However, when the Civil War started in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln calls for volunteers divided, and deserted the campus within days. Unfortunately, the war saw the destruction of the University buildings.
For nearly 15 years the law school struggled. Robert Caruthers, who had previously served as the state attorney general bought Corona Hall from the Corona Institute for Women for $10,000. He then donated it to the University to be used by the law school.
In 1903 Nathan Green, Jr. became the first dean of the law school. In 1901, Cumberland began admitting women. From 1869 to 1878, the library grew from 600 volumes to 3000. Today, the Lucille Stewart Beeson Law Library has over 300,000 volumes. In 1949, the law school received accreditation by the ABA. In 1961, the law school moved from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, to Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Today the law school is known for its emphasis on trial advocacy and is building a biotechnology emphasis through its Biotechnology Center.
Notable alumni include two United States Supreme Court Justices, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Cordell Hull, who is known as ''the father of the United Nations'', as well as 50 plus U.S. representatives, and numerous senators, governors, and judges.
Cumberland School of Law's mission, per information at the website, is to ''educate a diverse group of people in a nurturing environment to become highly competent and ethical lawyers who possess knowledge of practical skills, and are committed to professionalism and service. Our ambition is to empower every graduate to make a significant impact in the world, becoming an exemplary ambassador of the legal community.''
The current dean, former federal judge John L. Carroll (class of '74) is quoted at the school's website in his message to students as saying: ''Cumberland School of Law offers a superior education with exceptional academics, personalized instruction by a faculty dedicated to teaching, peer support from the nation's top students, and community involvement in a thriving metropolitan city. From new law student to seasoned attorney, we will guide your way to a successful and fulfilling legal career.''
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