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    Information Session November 13, 2014, 5:45 to 7:00 p.m. 

    Click to R.S.V.P. for Information Session 

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    About the Program

    • Samford's Paralegal Studies Certificate Program is the oldest ABA-approved program in Alabama 
    • We offer the only ABA-approved program in Birmingham
    • Experienced, dedicated faculty and staff understand the needs of working adults
    • Our ten-course certificate can be completed in one year
    • Financial aid is available for those who qualify
    • Small class sizes are conducive to learning and relationship-building
    • Classes are conveniently scheduled in the evenings


    Program Outcomes

    1. To train students in a practical way for careers as paralegals to attorneys.
    2. To promote a basic understanding of legal concepts and terms on subjects that are important to those engaged in general practice or in specialized areas of law and to equip students with legal writing and research skills that will enable graduates to perform as skilled members of a legal team.
    3. To provide a general understanding of the principles of ethical and professional responsibility as these relate to lawyers and paralegals.
    4. To provide a broad background in general education for development of educated, socially, morally, and ethically aware individuals.
    5. To constantly upgrade and adjust the program to fulfill the needs of the community by seeking input from local attorneys, paralegals, and students. 

    Application Deadlines                        




    Term Priority Deadline*

    Final Deadline**

    Term Begins

    Spring 2015

    January 7, 2015

    January 16, 2015

    January 26, 2015

    Summer 2015

    May 13, 2015

    May 21, 2015

    June 1, 2015  

    Fall 2015 July 24, 2015 August 7, 2015 TBD

    * Submission of FAFSA and completed application by this date guarantees financial aid consideration for the current term.

    ** Applicants applying for admission after this date may be eligible for financial aid through the submission of the FAFSA. Due to possible timing issues or time constraints, financial aid may not be available for disbursement by the first day of class. Students must secure other funding in the meantime to guarantee their continued enrollment.

    Information for Applicants

    We invite applications from prospective students who fall into one of the following three categories:

    1.The student has earned a bachelor's degree or a transferrable associate's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

    2. The student has earned sixty credit hours from a regionally accredited institution regardless of whether or not a degree was earned. Students who fall into this category must also meet the general education minimums established by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals. Click here for the checksheet we will use to evaluate your transcripts to determine if those requirements have been met.  In addition to the application requirements listed below, applicants in this category must have two years' relevant work experience in the legal field and submit two letters of reference from employers who can speak to the students' capacity for success in this program.

    3. The student wishes to complete a bachelor's degree in the evenings through Samford University's Evening College and also wishes to include the paralegal certificate as part of his or her degree plan. The Evening College is the administrative office that manages the needs of students who fall into this category.  You may contact an Evening College advisor by calling 205-726-2898 or by visiting their website at www.samford.edu/eveningcollege.

    All applicants may use the same online application for admission.  The following materials are required before we can begin to review your application.

    • completed online application
    • letter(s) of recommendation
    • current resume
    • application essay
    • official transcripts from each institution attended

    As noted above, applicants who do not have a degree and who do not intend to pursue a bachelor's degree must meet additional criteria before their application can be reviewed, and an application decision made. The Paralegal Studies Certificate Program admits students for the fall, spring, and summer terms.   For more information, please view our catalog section.


    Schedules and Course Information

    Important Financial Information

    • The current tuition per credit hour is $350.  The program is 30 credit hours, consisting of 10, 3-credit courses.
    • A one-time fee of $95 will attach to registration in Legal Research and Writing (ECPA 123) which will allow you access to Westlaw for the duration of the program.
    • The is an undergraduate level program.  Please make note of that when you complete your FAFSA, should you choose to apply for financial aid.
    • The number of undergraduate hours you have earned will determine the amount of aid for which you qualify.  For all financial-aid related questions, please contact the Elizabeth Martin in the Office of Financial Aid at 205-726-2905 or by email at edmarti1@samford.edu.
    • For payment due dates and other payment-related questions, please visit the Bursar's Office website or call that office at 205-726-2816.
    • To begin your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, visit www.fafsa.ed.gov.  

    Salary and Employment Information

    From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

     Other Useful Links about the Paralegal Profession: 

    Contact Us

    By Email

    For general information please contact us at paralegal@samford.edu.

    By Phone or Fax

    Our phone number is 726-2542. Our fax number is 726-2191.

    In Person

    We are located in Robinson Hall (ROBH), which is also the Cumberland School of Law building. Upon entering campus, take a right onto Montague Drive. Follow Montague Drive around campus until you reach Riley Road on your left. Take a left onto Riley Road and proceed past Cumberland School of Law on your left and park where convenient.  Laura Tomlin's office is on the Mezzanine, Room M10 and Penny Seals's office is located on the third floor, room 329.  Both offices can be accessed most easily from the north elevator, which is located next to the Student Lounge on the first floor. To enter the building at the closest point to the elevator, follow the exterior steps adjacent to the building, and enter through the patio area. The elevator will be down the hallway on your left. Click here for a campus map. We are located in building #47.

    By Mail

    Please mail all correspondence, including official transcripts, to:
    Samford University
    Paralegal Studies Certificate Program
    800 Lakeshore Drive
    Birmingham, Alabama 35229

    Laura Tomlin, Director
    Penny Seals, Recruiter

    Consumer Information 

    Estimated transportation costs per year - $1,750.00