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Bell '52, Honorable Sam H. Fund for Advancement of Legal Advocacy
When the experience of men and women reflects the higher values of our existence, the law and the practitioner will be elevated to higher levels of both justice and integrity. The law lives; it changes; it breathes both hope and despair; it is in constant transition; and this is so because of the minds and experiences of every person engaged in making, interpreting, or enforcing the law, including every attorney and every would-be attorney … and as well as the desires and dreams of the people of this nation. This, I think, is why we love it so; for while the law is so deeply rooted in yesterday’s wisdom, it has always accommodated tomorrow’s vision. — Judge Sam H. Bell
Judge Sam Bell's life was devoted to the idea of justice through law. Although foremost always in his thoughts were his wife and family, Judge Bell unceasingly pursued the bringing of the blessings of equal justice and fair treatment to all of those whose lives were touched by his. With the exception of the United States Supreme Court, Judge Bell sat on every level of the state and federal courts by election, appointment, or assignment. He maintained a strong appreciation and affection for those with whom he shared the bench, in particular, the gracious and talented members of the federal family. He believed they and the many members of the Bar taught him much about the law, and perhaps more importantly, about life itself.
With these beliefs in mind, the family of Judge Bell establishes The Honorable Sam H. Bell '52 Fund for Advancement of Legal Advocacy for the promulgation of meaningful legal advocacy.
Inherent in this fund's purpose is the never-ending goal of encouraging the achievement of the ideal of justice through the continuing efforts of the members of our legal profession to hone their advocacy skills, not only in the trial setting, but in related areas of the practice of law as well.
By utilizing the splendid resources provided by Law School faculty and the invaluable input of experienced judges, practicing lawyers, and visiting lecturers, The Honorable Sam H. Bell '52 Fund for Advancement of Legal Advocacy is intended to perpetuate Judge Bell’s values through, among other vehicles, continuing legal education seminars. The seminars include assorted trial practicum experiences in working courtrooms and critiques of advocacy skills by experienced judges and practitioners that will serve to totally immerse the participants in advocacy situations.
Judge Bell knew that the better our lawyers, the better likelihood that our democracy will thrive. In order that we may strengthen the future, we must recognize and honor the traditions and strengths of the past as we look forward to the new and yet unknown — all pieces of the vast, splendid mosaic of our law.
I have also come to love the smell of the leather bindings on the books, the sight of the sunlight on the courtroom walls, the sounds of voices ceaselessly urging some point of view, and the recollection of the many faces the lawyer and the judge see and remember. These are the faces of one’s friends, allies, and sometime adversaries at the bar; the faces of countless criminal defendants, and the eyes of their wives and children; the etched anguish of the victims; the faces of litigants who sought recompense for injuries suffered and of those whose business interest required relief to prevent further wrongs; the faces of the poor, the rich, the helpless, the ignoble, the good and the bad – all somehow comprising a part of the rich tapestry of the practice of the law and the work of the judiciary.
— Judge Sam H. Bell