Samford University Catalog 2016-2017 Academic Year 
    Mar 24, 2018  
Samford University Catalog 2016-2017 Academic Year [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Undergraduate Law/Paralegal Studies

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Undergraduate Programs and Requirements

Certificate Minors
Paralegal Studies Certificate   Paralegal Studies Minor  

The Paralegal Studies Program, offered by the Cumberland School of Law, has been training individuals for successful careers in the legal field since 1978. Two program options, both approved by the American Bar Association, are available: a certificate in paralegal studies and a paralegal studies minor (beginning Spring 2017). All courses in the 22-credit curriculum are offered for undergraduate level academic credit and are taught by experienced legal professionals in one of the following formats: face-to face in the evening, online or hybrid delivery.

The curriculum consists of six required legal specialty courses plus four credit hours of elective paralegal coursework, designed to help the student gain the substantive knowledge and practical skills needed to begin or to continue their career in the legal field.

Academic Regulations

Students pursuing either the paralegal studies certificate program or the paralegal studies minor are bound by the academic regulations found in the Academic Policies and Regulations  section of this catalog.

Program Goals

The Paralegal Studies Program is committed to producing well educated, capable, and ethically-aware graduates who, although they may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law, are prepared for careers as paralegals to attorneys in private, public, and corporate settings. Paralegals are professionals trained both in the substance of the law and in legal procedure who use that knowledge and those skills to provide a broad range of legal services under the supervision and direction of an attorney. Specifically, the program goals are:

  1. To train students in a practical way for careers as paralegals to attorneys.
  2. To promote a basic understanding of legal concepts and terms on subjects that are important to those engaged in general practice or in specialized areas of law and to equip students with legal writing and research skills that will enable graduates to perform as skilled members of a legal team.
  3. To provide a general understanding of the principles of ethical and professional responsibility as these relate to lawyers and paralegals.
  4. To provide a broad background in general education for development of educated, socially, morally, and ethically-aware individuals.
  5. To constantly upgrade the program and adjust the program to fulfill the needs of the community by seeking input from local attorneys, paralegals, and students.

Paralegal Studies Certificate Program

The paralegal studies certificate option is available to students who have earned a bachelor’s degree or a transferable associate’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Admission Procedures

Students who meet the above criteria may apply for admission through the University’s online application at

Requirements for Paralegal Studies Certificate Program applicants:

  1. Official transcript sent directly from all institutions attended.
  2. Current résumé.
  3. Personal essay.
  4. Letter of reference.
  5. Interview with the director of paralegal studies.

Transfer Policy

A total of three courses may transfer into the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program, provided that all of the following are met:

  1. Each course was completed in the last seven years.
  2. Each course was completed at an American Bar Association-approved program.
  3. Each course was completed at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting agency.
  4. Each course is equivalent in content and credit hours to one currently offered through the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program.
  5. The student provides a syllabus and a program/university catalog for each course under consideration.
  6. The final determination concerning transferability is approved by the program’s director.

Paralegal Studies Minor

Students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at Samford University and whose major program of study allows for the addition of a minor may apply to add the paralegal studies minor, beginning in the Spring 2017 semester.

For applicants who are current undergraduate students at Samford University, visit to download the “Application to Add a Minor in Paralegal Studies” form.

Requirements for Minor Program Applicants:

  1. Be in good academic standing with Samford University.
  2. Be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program for which it is suitable to add a minor.
  3. Obtain permission from his/her assigned advisor.
  4. Interview with the director of paralegal studies.




      Paralegal Studies

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