• Cumberland School of Law and the Law Library
  • FAQs

    Admission+

    What is involved in the application process?

    Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from a four-year accredited college or university. Any undergraduate major is acceptable for one to apply to law school.

    Cumberland School of Law accepts applications for admission beginning Sept. 1. Applicants are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), subscribe to the Law School Data Assembly Service, have two letters of recommendation and all undergraduate and postgraduate transcripts sent to LSAC, and submit a completed application, résumé and personal statement. A $50 application fee should be included by students applying after Dec. 31. There is no application fee between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31.

    Begin your application

    Does Cumberland School of Law have an early decision plan?

    No. However, the law school has rolling admission, so admission decisions are made on a continuous basis once an applicant’s file becomes complete. Some decisions may be made as early as December. We begin receiving applications on September 1. March 14 is the ultimate deadline to submit your application, personal statement, resume and any addenda. Your credential assembly service (CAS) report and two letters of recommendation can be received at a date no later than April 1. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications by the Dec. 31 priority deadline, as seats fill quickly and scholarships are awarded early in the admission process. There is no application fee charged prior to the Dec. 31 priority deadline.

    Begin your application

    Does the admission office offer evaluative interviews?

    Visits to the law school are strongly encouraged and exhibit an increased level of interest and engagement by the prospective student. Evaluative interviews can be arranged by request and are informal in nature. Such interviews can be a helpful tool for a future student during the consideration process; however, they do not have bearing on admission to the law school. 

    What is required to apply to Cumberland School of Law as a transfer student?

    Only students who are enrolled in other ABA–accredited law schools will be eligible to apply for transfer into Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. Our program will not accept a transfer application from an applicant who has been academically dismissed from another law school. If admitted, up to 40 hours of law school course credits may be transferable. Transfer applicants are required to provide a letter of good standing from the dean of the law school attended, a CAS report and a complete transcript of the first-year law school grades. Transfer applicants’ files must be completed between early June and early August to be considered for fall admission.

    What is required to apply to Cumberland School of Law as a visiting/transient student?

    Depending on the availability of space, a limited number of students enrolled at other ABA-accredited law schools may be admitted to Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law as visiting or transient students. Those interested in applying for visiting/transient status should note that current Cumberland School of Law students who preregister in a timely manner will receive priority if a course is over-subscribed. Students applying for visiting/transient status are required to submit the following:
    • A completed application for admission, including a personal statement explaining why the applicant desires to take classes at Cumberland School of Law.
    • A letter of good standing from the dean of the applicant’s ABA–accredited law school.
    • A letter from the applicant’s ABA–accredited law school stating the applicant is authorized to take courses at Cumberland School of Law as a visiting/transient student and it will count acquired credits (subject to appropriate conditions) toward the student’s degree.

    Are tours of the law school and law library available?

    Yes! In fact, it is often after touring our historic campus and prestigious library that Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law becomes the top choice of our future students. Prospective students interested in visiting the school or sitting in on a first-year class are encouraged to attend an open house or schedule an appointment through the admission office.

    I’d like to talk to a Cumberland School of Law alum from my area. How can I make contact?

    Our alumni are passionate and loyal and will be pleased to speak with prospective students about Cumberland School of Law and a career in the legal profession. With more than 8,000 active alumni representing 48 states and extensive international locations, meeting an alum is easier than you may think. Simply call the admission office (205-726-2702 or toll free, 1-800-888-7213) or email (lawadm@samford.edu), and we’ll coordinate with our alumni affairs office to provide a list of contacts.

    What factors are considered by the admission committee when applications are reviewed?

    The admission committee examines an application for additional indicators of a student’s potential to succeed in law school. Such indicators include the difficulty of the discipline studied and the upward trend in academic performance. The amount of time a student spent in co-curricular activities and/or employment while in undergraduate school (thus decreasing the student’s study time), graduate work, community engagement and other maturing experiences are also considered by the committee. The LSAT score must be from a test taken within the last five years.

    What test scores and undergraduate GPA do I need to be a competitive applicant to Cumberland School of Law?

    It is important for the applicant to note the quality of the applicant pool varies from year to year. The admission committee considers many factors in addition to LSAT and undergraduate GPA when making admission decisions. With this in mind, applicants may use the statistics from the entering first-year class to get a general idea of how competitive they may be for admission if only LSAT scores and GPA are considered.

    What are the median LSAT score and undergraduate GPA?

    Fall 2014 Entering Class Admission Statistics
    75th percentile LSAT: 154
    Median LSAT: 151
    25th percentile LSAT: 148
    75th percentile GPA: 3.5
    Median GPA: 3.2
    25th percentile GPA: 2.9

    Does Cumberland School of Law allow admitted applicants to defer admission?

    Deferment is only offered to applicants called into active military duty or students in other extreme extenuating circumstances as determined by the Office of Admission. Outside of such situations, admitted applicants wishing to attend Cumberland School of Law at a later date must reapply or reactivate their file. Applicants who reapply or reactivate their file are considered with all other applicants for admission at that time.

     

    Scholarship & Financial Aid+

    How much does it cost to attend Cumberland School of Law?

    Tuition and living costs can be found on the ABA Required Disclosure page.

    How many Cumberland students receive scholarships?

    Scholarship data can be found on the ABA Required Disclosures page

    What kinds of scholarships are available for entering law students?

    Merit scholarships are awarded to entering students on the basis of LSAT scores and undergraduate GPA. Award amounts vary and range from full tuition plus a stipend and book award to a partial tuition scholarship.

    How do entering law students apply for scholarships?

    All admitted applicants are automatically considered for scholarship assistance based upon merit.* Scholarships are typically awarded early in the application process. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their application materials before the Dec. 31 priority deadline.

    *Admitted applicants are not automatically considered for the Jere F. White, Jr. Fellowship. Eligible admitted applicants will be notified and invited to apply for the fellowship.

    Scholarships & Financial Aid

    What kinds of scholarships are available for current law students?

    Three basic categories of scholarships are available for law students.
    • Merit scholarships - awarded based on academic performance
    • Need-based scholarships - awarded based on financial need
    • Leadership scholarships - awarded to students holding specific leadership positions at the law school
     

    How do I apply for financial aid?

    To begin the application process for federal financial aid, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and include Samford University on this form. Please note, our school is listed on the FAFSA under Samford University Cumberland School of Law.

    Cumberland by the Numbers+

    What is the enrollment at Cumberland School of Law?

    Fall 2014 total enrollment: 426

    What is the entering class size?

    Fall 2014 entering first-year class: 147

    How large are first-year classes?

    With the exception of the Lawyering and Legal Reasoning course, which is smaller, students can expect to have about 50 to 55 students in their first-year classes.

    Are faculty members accessible to students?

    A resounding yes. In the words of Dean Strickland, “Our whole school has an open-door policy, and we mean it. Other institutions may have the door open, but students aren’t expected to go through it. At Samford’s Cumberland School of Law, faculty want students to come in; they have students over for dinner. Everybody here deeply cares about the student and making each student successful.”

    What is the average course load?

    The average course load is 15 hours. In order to receive the J.D. degree, students must complete at least 90 semester hours of acceptable credit with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. Most students earn the J.D. degree in three years.

    Is summer school offered?

    Yes, for both entering and current students. Entering students who want to begin in the summer take two first-year elective courses designed for entering law students. Second- and third-year law students may choose from a variety of summer courses at the law school or participate in a school-sponsored study abroad program.

    Flex-Time+

    What is Flex-Time?

    Flex-Time is an enrollment option designed to give entering students the flexibility of taking a reduced course load of eight or nine credit hours each semester and having up to five years to complete the requirements for the J.D. degree. On their application, applicants should indicate if they are interested in the Flex-Time option.

    Jobs and Joint Degrees+

    What kinds of joint-degree programs does Cumberland School of Law offer?

    Keeping legal education relevant requires offering more than one traditional law degree. To broaden perspectives or to help prepare for careers in special fields, Cumberland School of Law students have the option to pursue eight different joint degrees. Five programs are offered in conjunction with other schools at Samford University. Two are offered in association with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, an internationally recognized academic and research medical center, and one is offered with Albany Medical College.

    What is your most recent Alabama Bar passage rate?

    This can be found on the ABA Required Disclosures page.  

     

    What is your employment rate?

    This can be found on the ABA Required Disclosures page. 

    About Samford University+

    How large is the Samford University campus?

    Samford’s campus is approximately 200 contiguous acres, composed of beautiful landscaping and historic, Georgian colonial–style buildings. The campus is located in the picturesque mountainous area of Shades Valley, less than six miles from downtown Birmingham, the state’s largest city and industrial and cultural center.

    Where is Cumberland School of Law on Samford’s campus?

    Cumberland School of Law is located in the center of Samford University’s campus.

    Is housing available on campus for law students?

    Only undergraduate students live on campus. However, since the campus is situated in Homewood, a thriving suburb of Birmingham near I-65, U.S. 280 and other major roads, a large number of apartments are easily accessible within five miles of the campus.

    For more information about apartments, contact Apartment Consultants, Inc., a free apartment locator service, at 866-923-0888, or visit its website at RentAlabama411.com.

  • 1847

    Cumberland School of Law Established