The Master of Studies in Law

The Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) program is a fully online, thirty-six-hour master's degree program offered by Cumberland School of Law.  The program is designed primarily for nonlawyers interested in pursuing a graduate degree that will position them for advancement in their current field, although practicing attorneys may choose to pursue a degree that complements their current practice or opens doors to a new area of practice. Our faculty members are industry experts, practicing attorneys, Cumberland School of Law faculty and Samford faculty from other disciplines.

As an M.S.L. student, you will complete two classes per term for six consecutive terms, earning the degree in twenty-four months.  You may choose from one of four specialized, career-enhancing concentrations or design a personalized course of study by choosing from a variety of electives through the general option. Follow the links below to learn more about each of our concentrations:

Our students typically have at least one year of experience in their field and wish to expand their career options while developing practical, specialized skills and expertise. 

View our Brochure Go to Master of Laws (LL.M.)

Program Goals

The goals of the Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) programs are to:

  • Prepare students for professional careers through a systematic program of real world courses and training
  • Encourage graduates to pursue relevant professional credentials from industry-leading organizations
  • Empower students to communicate and interact effectively with attorneys, compliance professionals, and other members of the legal community
  • Develop the core competencies in a specialized field of study which are necessary for professional success

Admission Requirements

All applicants must complete and submit an online application.  All materials must be submitted through the online system which includes detailed instructions.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to log into his or her application to confirm that all required materials (recommendations, transcripts) have been received by the deadline.  Official transcripts from all universities from which the applicant received college credit must be submitted directly from the institution to Cumberland School of Law, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham Alabama, 35229, ATTN: Grad Law.  Please allow ample time for transcript orders to be processed.

Minimum Requirements for Admission

Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.)

  • A bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 undergraduate GPA from a regionally accredited institution
  • GRE or MAT scores strongly advised, but not required, for students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement
  • Two letters of recommendation, each from a former faculty member or supervisor
  • Personal statement indicating career plans and likelihood of success in graduate study
  • Professional resume*

*Competitive applications for all programs will include a resume demonstrating industry experience. Students applying for the Legal Project Management concentration must have a minimum of one year of experience in a law firm or corporate legal environment

Master of Laws (LL.M.)

  • Must have earned a J.D. or be currently enrolled as a J.D. student at Cumberland School of Law
  • One letter of recommendation from a former faculty member or professional colleague
  • Personal statement indicating career plans and likelihood of success in graduate study
  • Professional resume
Important Dates
  • Application Open – October 1, 2017
  • Application Deadline – June 1, 2018
  • Orientation – August 10 & 11, 2018
  • Fall Start Date – August 27, 2018

International Applicant Information

Financial Aid, Tuition and Fees

For information about financial aid, please visit the Office of Financial Aid online or contact their office at 205-726-2905 or 1-800-888-7245.

Tuition and fees for the 2018-2019 academic year are posted on the Student Financial Services website. Students in the M.S.L. and LL.M. programs pay Samford University’s graduate per-credit-hour tuition rate. For academic year 2018-19, the graduate per-credit-hour rate is $837.  Please see the link above for complete information, including fees.  You may also view our Virtual Information Session for tuition and fee information. At this time, no scholarship opportunities are available for students in the M.S.L. or LL.M. programs.

Our Team

Photo of Kim Davey
Kim Davey, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Public Health
Office: CHS Building 1 1626
Photo of Michael E. DeBow
Michael E. DeBow
Steven Everett Wells Professor of Municipal Law
Cumberland School of Law
Office: Robinson Hall 
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Lynne Lee
Photo of Mary Menard
Mary Menard
Photo of Pamela Nelson
Pamela J. Nelson
Director of Student Services and ADA Compliance
Cumberland School of Law
Office: Robinson Hall 
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Kelli Robinson
Photo of Laura H. Tomlin
Laura H. Tomlin
Director of Graduate and Professional Programs
Cumberland School of Law
Office: Robinson Hall