Published on December 16, 2020 by Morgan Black
Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law and Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, have partnered to offer Austin Peay undergraduate students an accelerated bachelor’s to J.D. program. This partnership, more commonly known as a 3+3 partnership, creates a pathway for students to receive a bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay and a law degree from Cumberland in six years of study, rather than the traditional seven. This partnership, solidifying the relationship that already exists between the two schools, was formalized in a virtual signing event Dec. 9, 2020.
“I’m very excited about this [partnership] and what this means for our students,” said Austin Peay Interim President Dannelle Whiteside. “You will see, at Cumberland, that our students are special. They are highly motivated, intellectually curious, tenacious, persistent, and really know how to get the job done. I think they will make excellent law students and will eventually make excellent lawyers.”
Whiteside added that the program will be transformative to the students’ lives as this accelerated model will allow them to save a year of expenses toward the pursuit of a legal education.
Austin Peay students who have completed three-fourths of their undergraduate coursework required for a bachelor’s degree will be eligible for admission to Cumberland. After the student successfully completes the first year of the J.D. program, Austin Peay will award the student the appropriate bachelor’s degree. Then, when the student completes the requirements for the J.D., the student will be awarded the degree from Cumberland.
The partnership, in addition to being a great benefit for highly motivated students, solidifies Cumberland School of Law’s historic foundation. Cumberland School of Law was founded at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1847, making it one of the oldest law schools in the country.
“I am particularly excited about this relationship with Austin Peay because of Cumberland’s historic roots in Tennessee,” said Cumberland School of Law Dean Corky Strickland. “This partnership really means a lot to us to be able to maintain our heritage and relationship with Tennesseans.”
Cumberland School of Law also has 3+3 partnerships with Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College, the University of Montevallo, Troy University and Tuskegee University.
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.