Published on August 22, 2018 by Morgan Black  
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Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law recently welcomed new students for its Juris Doctor program and the online graduate degree programs.

On August 13, 145 intelligent, engaging and motivated new first-year law students stepped foot on Samford’s campus during their law school orientation. The Class of 2021 represents 17 states, 59 undergraduate colleges and universities, and 34 undergraduate majors. Also included in the new class are three second-year students who transferred from other law schools, three visiting students from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, and one visiting student from NALSAR University in India.

During the first day of orientation, the class received greetings from Dean Henry C. (Corky) Strickland and Director of Admission Whitney Dachelet. Following meet-and-greet sessions with the professors, the class assembled to hear from Alabama State Bar President and Cumberland alumnus Phillip McCallum ’87. Samford University President Andrew Westmoreland spoke to the group at a luncheon to welcome them to the Samford family.

Each day of orientation offered activities to ensure each student’s success and aid in the establishment of lifelong friendships including a picnic with law school faculty and staff and an outing planned by the Student Bar Association.

On the third and final day, 97 percent of the first-year class volunteered his or her time to one of six local service projects at locations across Birmingham including Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, Red Mountain Park, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Girls, Inc., Grace House and Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.

“This pro-bono activity has been going on for over a decade at Cumberland,” said Cassandra Adams, assistant dean and director of Cumberland’s Public Interest Program. “This is a great way to provide a space for our first-year students to kick off law school by getting into the mindset of public service which is what we, as lawyers, are called to do.”

Of all the volunteers who participated in Cumberland’s annual service day, 560 total hours of service to the community were recorded on that afternoon. 

In addition to the new Juris Doctor candidates, 30 new students started in Cumberland’s graduate program. The orientation on August 11 brought students from all over the country, from Alabama to Oregon, to Samford’s campus to learn about the completely online courses, meet with advisory board members and hear from former students.

The new students studying in either the Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) or Master of Laws (LL.M.) online degree programs represent all four concentrations including financial services regulatory compliance, health law and policy, higher education law and compliance and legal project management.

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. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 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.