Cumberland School of Law of Samford University, the oldest law school west of the Appalachian mountains, celebrated its 175th anniversary with events over the past weekend. As a part of the festivities, Louis Hatcher, a partner with Watson Spence LLP, was named Cumberland’s 2022 Distinguished Alumnus. The Distinguished Alumnus Award is given to a Cumberland School of Law graduate who has distinguished himself/herself in the practice of law, service to the community, and leadership in the profession.
Louis graduated magna cum laude from Cumberland in 1990, where he was associate editor of the Cumberland Law Review. He has since served in various volunteer capacities for Cumberland, including as president of an alumni club, a member of the Advisory Board for the past nine years, and as a mock trial competition judge.
Cumberland also recognized Louis’ commitment to his community, both through his legal practice and through volunteer efforts. As to the former, after years in practice that included the representation of health care providers with respect to physician contracts, HIPAA compliance, and employment law matters, Louis became increasingly concerned at the inability of rural health care providers to afford more comprehensive health care legal services. Louis understood that all communities have a critical need for accessible health care, and that rural providers have limited resources with which to attempt compliance with the ever-increasing complexity of health care laws and regulations. To help met these needs, he returned to school (while continuing his practice) and earned a Master of Science in Health Law and Policy from Cumberland. He has also obtained Compliance Certification Board (CCB) certifications in Healthcare Compliance and Healthcare Privacy Compliance.
Louis is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and is admitted to the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, all federal district courts in Georgia, and the Middle District of Florida. He is currently a member of the Grievance Committee for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia and has served on that Court’s Local Rules Committee. He is a former member of the Review Panel of the Georgia Bar Disciplinary Board. He also has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1991 and actively practiced in Florida for eight years where he served on the Professional Ethics Committee of the Florida Bar from 1996 until 2002.
In awarding the honor, Cumberland noted Louis’ community activities, which include having served on the Lee County Board of Education from 2002 through 2018, as an attorney-coach for the Lee County High School mock trial teams, as a recreation league football, baseball, and basketball coach, and as a community coach for the Lee County middle and high school football teams. Louis and his wife, Ovaline, have resided in Lee County since 1998.