Three students and a faculty member in Samford University's Paralegal Studies Certificate Program have received several top national and state honors.

Luanne Anderson of Alabaster, Ala., was named one of two national recipients of a $3,000 Thomson Reuters/National Federation of Paralegal Associations student scholarship. Selection was based on community, college and paralegal program activities, academic achievement and a written essay on the pros and cons of an employer's access to employees' social media sites. The scholarship is one of NFPA's highest honors.

Anderson received the award at the annual NFPA conference in Hartford, Conn., in October.  She also received free conference travel and accommodations and $1,000 spending money in addition to the scholarship monies. She is employed at the Birmingham law firm of Dominick Feld Hyde, P.C.

Lauren Bunn of Birmingham and Melissa Moler of Leeds, Ala., captured the top two awards in the Janis Davidson Memorial Scholarship Program competition sponsored by the Alabama Association of Paralegals, Inc., (AAPi).

Bunn won a $500 scholarship and Moler won a $250 scholarship.  Bunn's essay on the pros and cons of expanding the roles of paralegals will be published in a future issue of Novus, AAPi's quarterly publication.

Gail Lucas, who teaches an introduction to paralegalism course, recently received the 2012-13 Region I AAPi member of the year award. A paralegal at Birmingham's Balch & Bingham law firm, she has taught at Samford since 2006.

"We are very proud of our students and faculty for maintaining the standard of excellence established by this program at its inception 35 years ago," said Samford Evening College executive director Laura Hendley Tomlin. "The accomplishments of Luanne, Lauren, Melissa and Gail demonstrate an extraordinary dedication to the paralegal profession. Samford's paralegal program continues to attract the best and the brightest, and these award winners are no exception."

The 10-course Paralegal Studies Certificate Program, offered through Samford's Evening College, is available to students who have already earned a bachelor's degree. The certificate can also be earned in conjunction with a bachelor of arts degree that is offered through the Evening College.


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.