Frequently Asked Questions - Admission

General

Deferment is only offered to applicants called into active military duty or students in other extreme extenuating circumstances as determined by the Office of Admission. Outside of those situations, applicants who wish to attend Cumberland School of Law at a later date much reapply or reactivate their file. Applicants who reapply or reactivate their file are considered along with all other applicants for admission and are given no special preference.

While visits to the law school are strongly encouraged, interviews are granted by request only, are informal in nature and have no bearing on admission to the law school.

Only students who are enrolled in other ABA-accredited law schools will be eligible to apply for transfer. Samford University's Cumberland School of Law will not accept a transfer application from an applicant who has been academically dismissed from another law school. If admitted, up to 40 hours of law school course credits may be transferable to Cumberland School of Law. Transfer applicants are required to provide a letter of good standing from the dean of the law school attended, a CAS report and a complete transcript of the first year law school grades. Transfer applicants' files must be completed between by August 5 to be considered for the upcoming fall admission. For a summary of transfer application requirements, please refer to the Cumberland School of Law Admission Policy and Procedures which accompany the Law School's application for admission.

Depending on the availability of space, a limited number of students enrolled at other ABA-accredited law schools may be admitted to Samford University's Cumberland School of Law as visiting or transient students. Those interested in applying for visiting/transient status should note that current Cumberland School of Law students who pre-register in a timely manner will receive priority if a course is over-subscribed. Students applying for visiting/transient status are required to submit the following: a completed application for admission, including a personal statement explaining why the applicant desires to take classes at Cumberland School of Law; a letter of good standing from the Dean of the applicant's ABA-accredited law school; and a letter from the applicant's ABA-accredited law school stating that the applicant is authorized to take courses at Cumberland School of Law as a visiting/transient student AND that it will count those credits (subject to appropriate conditions) toward the student's degree. Application page.

Yes. Those interested in visiting the school or attending a first-year class are encouraged attend an Open House or schedule an appointment through the admission office. E-mail: lawadm@samford.edu, 205-726-2702 or toll free 1-800-888-7213.  Read more about visits.

Simply contact the admission office at 205-726-2702, toll free 1-800-888-7213 or via e-mail at lawadm@samford.edu.

Minimum requirements for Windows computers are:

1.5Ghz or faster Processor
100GB Hard Drive
2 GB Memory
Wireless (802.11b/g) and/or Wired Ethernet
Windows Vista or later
Microsoft Office Standard or Student Edition
Anti-Virus Software (See the University PTG Web Site for list of recommended AV Products)

Minimum requirements for Macintosh computers are:

1.5Ghz or Faster Processor
100GB Hard Drive
2 GB Memory
Wireless (802.11b/g) and/or Wired Ethernet
Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later
Microsoft Office for Mac Standard or Student Edition
Anti-Virus Software (See the University PTG Web Site for list of recommended AV Products)

Yes. Samford University currently provides wireless internet access across campus. Cumberland School of Law has wireless access points installed throughout Robinson Hall and the Lucille Stewart Beeson Law Library. 99% of the law school building and most areas in the law library currently have wireless internet access.

For instructions to connect to Samford University's wireless network, go to http://www.samford.edu/wireless.

Cumberland School of Law accepts applications for admission beginning September 1. Applicants are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), subscribe to the Law School Data Assembly Service (CAS), have two letters of recommendation and all undergraduate and post graduate transcripts sent to LSAC, and submit a $50 application fee if applying after Dec. 31 (there is no application fee between Sept. 1 and Dec 31.), resume and personal statement with their application. Any undergraduate major is acceptable for one to apply to law school. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from a four year accredited college or university.

The Admission Committee examines an application for additional indicators of a student’s potential to succeed in law school. Such indicators include the difficulty of the discipline studied and the upward trend in academic performance. The amount of time a student spent involved in extra-curricular activities and/or employment while in undergraduate school (thus decreasing the student’s study time), graduate work, and other maturing experiences are also considered by the Committee. LSAT score must be from a test taken within the last five years.

It is important for the applicant to note that the quality of the applicant pool varies from year to year. The admission committee considers many factors in addition to LSAT and undergraduate GPA when making admission decisions. With this in mind, applicants may use the statistics from entering first-year class to get a general idea of how competitive they may be for admission if only LSAT scores and GPA are considered.

 

No. However, the law school has rolling admission, so admission decisions are made on a continuous basis once an applicant’s file becomes complete. Some decisions may be made as early as December. We begin receiving applications on September 1st. March 14th is the ultimate deadline to submit your application, personal statement, resume and any addenda. Your credential assembly service (CAS) report and two letters of recommendation can be received at a date no later than April 1st. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications by the December 31st priority deadline, as seats fill quickly and scholarships are awarded early in the admission process.  There is no application fee charged prior to the priority deadline.

Accreditation

Samford University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the Juris Doctor Degree. It has been accredited by the American Bar Association since 1949 and has been a member of the Association of American Law Schools since 1952. Because all of these certification requirements are met, a Cumberland School of Law graduate is eligible to take the bar examination in any state.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Merit scholarships are awarded to entering students on the basis of LSAT scores and undergraduate GPA. Award amounts vary and range from full tuition plus a stipend and book award to a partial tuition scholarship.

All admitted applicants are automatically considered for scholarship assistance.*  Since scholarships are usually awarded early in the application process, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their application materials by the December 31st priority deadline.

*Admitted applicants are not automatically considered for the Jere White Fellowship.  Eligible admitted applicants will be notified and invited to apply for the Fellowship.

Three basic categories of scholarships are available for law students:
1. Merit scholarships - awarded based on academic performance
2. Need-based scholarships - awarded based on financial need
3. Leadership scholarships - awarded to students holding specific leadership positions at the law school

To begin the application process for Federal financial aid, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid and include Samford University on this form.

Cumberland by the Numbers

Fall 2013 total enrollment at Cumberland: 421.

Samford University's total enrollment is about 4,833.
 

 

The entering first-year Fall 2013 class had 172 students.

With the exception of the Lawyering Skills and Legal Reasoning (LLR) course, which is smaller, students can expect to have about 50 to 55 students in their first-year classes.

The fall 2013, the student-faculty ratio was 12:1.

Faculty offices are located on the second-floor of the law school building, just a few steps away from first-floor classrooms. Faculty post their office hours and often leave their office doors open as they welcome students' inquiries. The faculty have a genuine interest in the students and are focused on providing quality legal education while pursuing a high degree of legal scholarship. At times, this involves use of the internet to facilitate dialogue and debate on various issues.

The average course load is 15 hours. In order to receive the JD degree, students must complete at least 90 semester hours of acceptable credit with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. Most students earn the JD degree in three years.

Yes, for both entering and current students. Entering students have the option of coming to summer school. Students who want to begin in the summer take two first-year elective courses designed for entering law students. Second- and third-year law students may choose from a variety of summer courses at Cumberland or participate a school-sponsored study abroad program.

Flex Time

Flex-time is an enrollment option designed to give entering students the flexibility of taking a reduced course load of eight or nine credit hours each semester and having up to five years to complete the requirements for the JD degree. On their application, applicants should indicate if they are interested in the flex-time option.

The flex-time option is ideal for non-traditional students, professionals with flexible employment status who wish to maintain some level of employment while carrying a slightly reduced course load or parents of school-age children who have additional responsibilities to tend to while in law school.

The flex-time program is not night school. Flex-time students attend class during the weekdays alongside full-time students. There are no weekend classes.

Jobs and Joint Degrees

Cumberland offers eight joint-degree programs:

  • J.D./Master of Accountancy (Samford's Brock School of Business)
  • J.D./Master of Business Administration (Samford's Brock School of Business)
  • J.D./Master of Divinity (Samford's Beeson School of Divinity)
  • J.D./Master of Arts in Theological Studies (Samford's Beeson School of Divinity)
  • J.D./Master of Science in Environmental Management (Samford's Howard College of Arts & Sciences)
  • J.D./Master of Public Administration (UAB's School of Social and Behavioral Sciences)
  • J.D./Master of Public Health (UAB's School of Public Health)
  • J.D./Master of Science in Bioethics (Albany Medical College)

 

About Samford

Samford's campus consists of Georgian-Colonial style buildings and approximately 300 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. The campus is located in the picturesque mountainous area of Shades Valley, less than six miles from downtown Birmingham, the state's largest city and industrial and cultural center.

Only undergraduate students live on-campus. However, since the campus is situated in Homewood, a thriving suburb of Birmingham near I-65, U.S. 280 and other major roads, a large number of apartments are easily accessible within 5 miles of the campus. For more information about apartments, contact Apartment Consultants, Inc., a free apartment locator service, at 866-923-0888, or visit their website at http://www.rentalabama411.com/.