In compliance with ABA Standard 509, the following information about Cumberland School of Law and its J.D. program is provided to current and prospective students. The Standard 509 Information Report is compiled from the latest information submitted in the annual ABA questionnaire.

About Cumberland School of Law

Cumberland School of Law, established in 1847 as a part of Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, is one of the oldest law schools in the country. The law school was acquired by Samford University in 1961. Today, Samford University is the largest privately supported and fully accredited institution of higher learning in Alabama. Samford’s beautiful 318-acre campus is located in a suburban area of Birmingham, the state’s largest industrial, business and cultural center. Cumberland School of Law has been a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) since 1952 and has been accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 1949.

Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-988-6738.

Transfer Credit Details

After a transfer student is admitted, the associate dean for Academic Affairs determines the number of law school credit hours that will transfer. A maximum of 40 hours of previous coursework may transfer. In most instances all credit hours earned in regular first-year law courses at an ABA-approved law school with a grade of “C” or better will transfer. Transfer credit will not be awarded for coursework graded on a pass/fail or similar basis, or in which a student received a grade lower than a “C” or its equivalent. Transfer students are not assigned a class ranking until two semesters of study at Cumberland School of Law have been completed.

Employment Data

Information on employment outcomes for the class of 2020 may not reflect a particular law school’s typical results in this area. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, bar admission exams were canceled or delayed in many jurisdictions, thus making it more challenging for graduates to secure employment by the annual Graduate Employment Status Date of March 15. Please reference the three years of employment outcome data posted on the ABA Required Disclosures webpage of each ABA-Approved Law School or at

American Bar Association (ABA)

ABA Website


The law school seeks a diverse student body that will make a contribution to the law school and the legal profession. To that end, every applicant’s file is thoroughly reviewed for admission. In addition to the LSAT and GPA, difficulty of major, personal challenges overcome, graduate work completed, scholarly achievements and volunteer and work experience are also considered. Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis, so it is important to apply early.

Fall 2021 Entering Class Admission Statistics

Median LSAT: 154
75th percentile LSAT: 157
25th percentile LSAT: 151

Median GPA: 3.54
75th percentile GPA: 3.76
25th percentile GPA: 3.24

Fall 2021 Entering Class Profile

Total students: 160
Female: 59%
Male: 41%
Underrepresented Racial Groups: 24%
Undergraduate colleges/universities: 58

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Conditional Scholarship Data

Fall 2020

149 entered with conditional scholarships; 0 conditional scholarships were eliminated

Fall 2019

156 entered with conditional scholarships; 0 conditional scholarships were eliminated

Fall 2018

137 entered with conditional scholarships; 11 conditional scholarships were eliminated

Fall 2017

138 entered with conditional scholarships; 5 conditional scholarships were eliminated

Fall 2016

138 entered with conditional scholarships; 11 conditional scholarships were eliminated

Cumberland School of Law’s scholarship retention policy was first implemented with the fall 2011 entering class. Conditional scholarships are suspended for those recipients who are not in good scholarship standing. Good scholarship standing requires recipients to maintain a cumulative law school GPA of 2.6 or higher at the conclusion of each spring semester. Scholarships will be considered for reinstatement for a subsequent academic year where a recipient restores his or her GPA to be within the academic requirement.

Generous merit-based scholarship assistance is awarded to Cumberland School of Law’s entering and current law students annually. In addition, numerous other scholarships are provided to those students who distinguish themselves academically, make outstanding contributions through leadership in the law school, or demonstrate financial need.

Tuition and Cost of Living (Student Budget)

2021-2022 Law Student Budget
Charge Amount
Book & Supplies Budget $2,000
Additional Required Fees $640
Loan Fees Budget $647
Miscellaneous Expenses Budget $3,223
Room & Board Budget $11,250
Transportation Budget $1,750
Tuition Budget $42,390
Total Cost of Attendance $61,900

For a detailed Flex-Time budget, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Tuition costs are subject to change.

**Costs associated with one term only of the academic year subject to change.

The cost of attendance, the total estimated amount it will cost a student to complete one year of law school, is determined using rules established by the U.S. Congress. Contact the Samford University Office of Financial Aid if you have any unusual expenses that might affect your cost of attendance.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form

Refund Policy

The refund policy is set by Samford University. It can be found at the Financial Services Website.

All seat deposits paid during the admission process are nonrefundable. If a student enrolls, all seat deposits will be credited toward the fall tuition of the entering admission year.

Joint Degree Programs

The typical joint degree program permits the student to apply 12 hours in the other program toward the J.D. requirements, these grades are not transferred to the student’s law school transcript. Similarly, a student may apply six to nine hours (depending on the program) of law school credit toward the other graduate degree.

Courses taken prior to matriculation in the law school’s J.D. program may not be counted toward the J.D. degree requirements. A student participating in a joint degree program will not be permitted to count the credit hours for courses taken in the other degree program toward the J.D. requirements until the other degree is awarded following completion of all applicable requirements.

Joint Degrees Offered

  • J.D./M.B.A.
  • J.D./M.Acc.
  • J.D./M.S.E.M.
  • J.D./M.Div.
  • J.D./M.T.S.
  • J.D./M.P.H.
  • J.D./M.P.A.
  • J.D./M.S. in Bioethics
  • J.D./LL.M.