Dylan Mack '12
"Cumberland School of Law is able to be both professional and challenging while at the same time being accommodating and welcoming. It’s been a great experience, and I certainly made the right choice of law schools."
Sherri Peace-Gordon '12
U.S. Army, Veteran
I enlisted in the Army in 1994 where I spent seven years on active duty. In 2001, I ended my military career but continued to work for the Department of the Army as a civilian federal employee for another seven years. The majority of my military and civilian career was spent overseas in Germany.
The military provided numerous opportunities and experiences. The benefits I received while on active duty allowed me to complete my undergraduate degree. The time spent in Germany exposed me to different cultures and enabled me to respect and appreciate the differences in people and the ability to adapt to different work environments.
My studies at Cumberland School of Law are preparing me well. This past summer at my summer internships, I was able to apply what I learned in the classroom to my assignments. Cumberland School of Law does an excellent job in preparing you to think and write like a lawyer.
The law school is full of wonderful opportunities. The staff and the students are very welcoming. This is very helpful when you are a mother of five-year-old twins and you have a two-hour commute. There is always someone available and willing to assist.
Michelle Ortiz '12
Non commissioned officer, U.S. Army Reserves
"I enlisted in the Army in 2003 following the announced expansion of war into Iraq. I spent the next four and a half years working on CH-47s in North Carolina, Iraq and in Alabama. I logged hundreds of hours of flight time and was the only female in my flight unit in Iraq. I worked side by side with multi-national forces including the Iraqi Army, Australian, Canadian, Egyptian, Colombian, Dutch and British forces.
Thanks to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, I was able to consider continuing my education. I decided to build on my undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice by pursuing a law degree. I applied and was accepted to multiple schools, choosing Cumberland School of Law as my top choice. The skills that I honed in military service, the drive to always push harder and the will to do more have served me well during the first-year at Cumberland School of Law. I currently juggle motherhood, a two hour daily commute and full-time law school status with 15 credit hours a semester, while continuing to achieve at the same rate as my military service. There have been many great opportunities to compete in law school competitions that highlight real world skills. The campus, law library and gym are key factors in my ability to study, compete and maintain fitness. Without the ability to go home during breaks from class, I found a second home on campus."
John Policastro '12
United States Military Academy at West Point
"I am impressed with the manner in which Cumberland’s administration made it a priority to be flexible and adapt its system to facilitate the Funded Legal Education Program for students like me. First-year classes already focus on preparing students for basic practice, and Cumberland offers many upper-level classes that will prepare me for the specific challenges of practicing military law. The professors all have real-world experience and can give their students much-needed perspective on the reality of law practice. Cumberland focuses on developing the entire lawyer in addition to a strong academic foundation. They accomplish this through regular opportunities to have “Lunch with a Lawyer,” to engage the community through activities such as volunteering at free legal-help clinics, and to compete early and often in litigation competitions. Cumberland’s commitment to excellence is reflected in its superb reputation in the Birmingham community. In addition to a great experience at Cumberland, my wife and I absolutely love living in Birmingham. While we also love the military lifestyle, the culture in Birmingham is a welcome break from the ordinary. I recommend Cumberland School of Law to any FLEP officer looking for a strong foundation for his or her legal career."
Robert Goss '06
"My military career as a United States Air Force pilot spanned most of the world geographically, and included assignments as an instructor pilot culminating with a headquarters United States Air Force staff position. I am a veteran of Desert Storm, Desert Thunder, and Desert Fox where I was the Mission Director.
Unfortunately, my flying career was abruptly ended by a severe disability that left me blinded. Since no airlines were willing to hire a ‘blind pilot,’ my vocational rehabilitation and training program from the VA consisted of retraining from a pilot to an attorney. After two major operations, I was once again able to see well enough to function.
I considered law schools all over the U.S., but what won me over with Cumberland School of Law was not only Judge Carroll, a former USMC pilot, but the professionalism and family-oriented environment and accommodations for my disability from every staff member through most senior professor.
Besides my children and flying, my education and experience at Cumberland School of Law were the most rewarding in my life. At the law school, I met the most remarkable people, including amazing fellow students, law school and library staff, and dedicated professors. Initially, I was concerned I would be unable to read all the assignments due to my disability. Cumberland and Samford University's environment allowed me to adapt and complete every reading assignment. I definitely had to use some of the training I learned in the military to remain dedicated until the assignment was completed, but the professors worked with me so I could maximize my limited vision.
Cumberland School of Law’s exceptional education prepared me to be accepted into the top health law LL.M. program and the third-ranked intellectual property LL.M. program in the nation. The quality of education at Cumberland was indistinguishable from the school where I secured my LL.M. degrees, with the exception of the physical environment of the schools and campus, where I found Cumberland to be superior. I now have my own firm and practice in a variety of areas, including handling Veterans’ issues.
Any military member looking to obtain a legal education where education, ethics, integrity, quality of life, and a future legal career are paramount should look no further than Cumberland School of Law."