President Emeritus of Birmingham-Southern College
Dean John L. Carroll
2017 Brewer Torbert Public Service Honoree
The 2017 recipient of the Brewer/Torbert Public Service Award is John L. Carroll, former Dean of the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. This Award is given annually to an individual in Alabama who has demonstrated a substantial commitment to public service.
John is one of the most highly respected lawyers in the state whose distinguished legal career includes service as a civil rights attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center (1975-1984), law school professor (Mercer University 1985-1986), U.S. Magistrate Judge (1986-2001), Dean of the Cumberland School of Law (2001-2014), Acting Director of the State Ethics Commission (2015-2016), and leader and pro bono participant in numerous local, state and national bar association service and research activities. In 1996 he was selected as a Community Hero Olympic Torchbearer, and in 2001 he was selected to become a member of Leadership Alabama, Class XI. John is currently a professor of law at the Cumberland School of Law, from which he received his J.D. Degree in 1974. He also received an LL.M. Degree from Harvard University in 1975. Prior to his legal career, John served with distinction in the United States Marine Corps.
He is a frequent lecturer and panel member at national, state, and local seminars on the subjects of the discovery of electronically stored information, mediation, ethics and criminal justice. He was the reporter to the committees of the Uniform Law Commission that drafted the Uniform Rules Relating to the Discovery of Electronically Stored Information and the Uniform Asset Preservation Order Act. He also was a member of the Uniform Law Commission committee that drafted amendments to the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, and is currently a member of the committee drafting a model veterans court act and a committee judging a model equal rights act.
John is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Inns of Court Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of the Sedona Conference, a member of the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, a Fellow of the American, Alabama, and Birmingham Bar Associations, an academic Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, and an elected member of the American Law Institute
He has received numerous state and national awards, including the 2014 Alabama State Bar Award of Merit, the 2011 Professionalism Award of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, and the 1986 National Legal Aid & Defender Association’s Defender Services Award.
John has been married to Susan for 46 years and they have one daughter, Catherine Sanders, and two grandsons, States Carroll Sanders and Forrest Weddell Sanders.
John Carroll is most deserving of this Award for his outstanding and effective leadership in a myriad legal, community and public interest initiatives that have preserved the rule of law in Alabama and have improved the lives of its residents.