Juris Doctor

Cumberland School of Law offers the juris doctor, the classic degree for a practicing lawyer.

First Year

First-year classes cover the fundamental legal concepts that are the basis for all Anglo-American law. Emphasis is on legal analysis, legal writing, research, and lawyering skills.

Second and Third Year

Second- and third-year students typically take 15–16 hours each fall and spring semester. Course selection offers more flexibility, allowing for selection of elective courses in specialized areas.

Areas of Interest

  • Administrative Law
  • Business and Commercial Law
  • Entertainment Law
  • Family Law and Estate Planning
  • Health Law
  • Intellectual Property/Privacy Law
  • International Law
  • Labor, Employment, and Employment Discrimination Law
  • Legislation
  • Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Regulation
  • Skills Development
  • Taxation

Career Options

With more than 8,200 accomplished alumni in 48 states and abroad, Cumberland School of Law has produced a long list of distinguished graduates, including two United States Supreme Court justices, several governors, U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull, and numerous federal, state and local judges.

Cumberland School of Law was recently ranked by The National Law Journal as a “Top 50 Go-To Law School” based on the percentage of 2011 graduates who took jobs at the nation’s largest law firms. This honor reflects highly on the reputation of Cumberland School of Law lawyers across the nation and the strong relationship between our alumni and the law school.

Cumberland alumni practice law, serve as judges and elected representatives, prosecute crimes as district and U.S. attorneys, teach and perform research, etc.  Alumni have achieved great accomplishments such as working as director of the White House Office of Management and Budgeting, working with DiamlerChrysler AG or receiving the state of Florida Pro Bonon award.  Five of the last six presidents of the Alabama State Bar are Cumberland School of Law graduates.

Companies for Externships

Corporatelegal offices, banking, construction, health, real estate and patent offices participate in this program.

Governmentplacements include government agencies such as the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Internal Revenue Service, National Labor Relations Board or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Judicialmany judges and magistrates in the Northern District of Alabama participate in this program.

Litigationstudents may be placed in the district attorney’s office, public defender’s office, Legal Aid Society and Legal Services of Metro Birmingham.

Public Interestorganizations such as Coalition Against Violence, Birmingham Volunteer Lawyer Program and the YWCA Domestic Violence Clinic participate in this program.

*The Office of Clinical Education also works with students to set up externships outside of the Birmingham area to help them network and broaden their experience in their field of interest. Previous places of participation have included the United Nations, The Hague; Department of Justice, Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Section, Washington, D.C.; FBI, etc.