Published on November 3, 2016 by Polly Manuel  
Fred Gray

Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law and the Alabama Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers will present the Jere F. White Jr. Trial Advocacy Institute Nov. 11, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel in Birmingham. 

This year’s institute promises to be a one-of-a-kind program featuring a who’s who of skilled litigators and judges, according to Henry C. Strickland III, Cumberland School of Law dean. Both experienced trial lawyers and those newly admitted to practice will learn practical trial strategies to use immediately.

Civil rights attorney, author and former elected official Fred D. Gray will be the keynote speaker. Gray’s clients have included Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. He played a pivotal role in dismantling legal segregation in the state of Alabama. Every attendee will receive a signed copy of Gray’s book, Bus Ride to Justice: The Life and Works of Fred Gray

The program is preapproved for six hours of CLE credit, including one ethics hour, in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia.

The institute serves as the primary fundraising event for the law school’ß most prestigious scholarship, the Jere F. White Jr. Fellowship. 

Prior to his death on Oct. 3, 2011, White and his wife, Lyda, established the fellowship, which seeks to recruit outstanding students with strong academic credentials, a history of leadership and a commitment to service, thereby promoting the development of lawyers who share ideals that were so important to White. Each year, the fellowship provides one entering law student with a full-tuition scholarship, an annual stipend, tuition and lodging at the law school’s Cambridge, England, Study Abroad Program, and various mentoring opportunities.

White will be long recognized as one of the most outstanding lawyers in the country, Strickland said. More importantly, he will be remembered as a great person, friend and mentor. A graduate of the University of Georgia and Cumberland School of Law, White was a founding member of Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC in Birmingham. 

White held himself and others to the highest standard of the practice of law, Srtickland added. A third-generation lawyer, he was said to be a true “lawyer’s lawyer.” He cherished his relationship with the bench and lawyers on both sides of the bar, as is evidenced by the respect he garnered from so many in the legal community. White balanced his success as a lawyer with an even stronger devotion to his faith, family, friends and community. 

Two tickets to the Alabama-Auburn football game and two tickets to the Southeastern Conference championship football game will be given away, among other prizes. 

Register for the 2016 institute online  or call 1-800-888-7454.

Polly Manuel is marketing and communication coordinator for Cumberland 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.