Published on April 3, 2018 by Morgan Black  

Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law is accepting applications for two online graduate programs: the new Master of Laws (LL.M.) for lawyers, and the Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) for non-lawyers.

Admission to the Master of Laws program is open to individuals who have already earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. A joint-degree option for current Cumberland students pursuing their J.D. is also available.     

These advanced degrees will prepare students for roles in compliance, regulatory affairs and more. The 30-credit-hour LL.M. curriculum can be completed in just 24 months, with students taking one class per term for the first fall and spring, followed by two courses per term for each term thereafter.

“The LL.M. program is designed for lawyers interested in pursuing a graduate degree that complements their current practice or opens doors to a new area of practice," said Laura Tomlin, director of graduate and professional programs at Cumberland School of Law.  “The first cohort will begin in fall 2018,” Tomlin added.

Students may choose from one of four LL.M. concentrations: financial services regulatory compliance, health law and policy, higher education law and compliance, or legal project management.

Cumberland School of Law Dean Henry C. Strickland explained that the “LL.M. program will provide lawyers with the specialized expertise and practice-ready skills to excel in fast growing areas of the law.”

Students who have not earned a J.D. may choose to pursue one of these concentrations through the Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) degree, also offered by Cumberland. This course of study, offered completely online, is a 36-hour master's degree program designed primarily for non-lawyers interested in pursuing a graduate degree that will position them for advancement in their current field.

­Faculty members for the online graduate programs are industry experts, practicing attorneys, Cumberland School of Law faculty and Samford faculty from other disciplines. The curriculum for both programs focuses on foundational and specialized knowledge as well as real-world, practical skills that can be immediately applied in the workplace.

Although the programs are completely online, students must attend an on-campus orientation which will take place Aug. 10 and 11.  According to Tomlin, this on-campus event “affords students the opportunity to connect with their peers, professors and advisory board members, facilitating better communication and networking throughout the duration of the programs.”

The application deadline for admission into either program for the fall 2018 academic semester is June 1.  Fall classes begin Aug. 27.


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.

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