8 Academic Programs Placement sites include Legal Aid Corporation, Internal Revenue Service, Alabama Department of Human Resources, Family Court, the Non-Profit Resource Council of Alabama and private law firms. The Dean's Award for Public Service is awarded every year to the Cumberland student who embodies the spirit of selfless service to others. Students are also eligible for a Public Service Certificate after completion of 50 hours of volunteer work through the Public Interest Project. It is the school's goal that every student participate in at least one volunteer placement through the Cumberland Public Interest Project. Informational meetings and placement sign-ups continue throughout the school year, but several placements are competitive and are assigned in the fall. Joint Degrees In a society where rapid change is a way of life, keeping legal education relevant means offering more than one traditional law degree. To help students prepare for careers in special fields and to broaden their thinking, Cumberlandoffers six different joint degrees. The joint degree program is a credit-sharing arrangement between the CumberlandSchoolofLaw and Samford University's Schoolof Business, Beeson Schoolof Divinity, and Howard College of Arts and Sciences, the University of Alabama at Birmingham's graduate schools, and Albany Medical College. The programs allow students to combine their legal studies with graduate work, resulting in two degrees earned in less time than it would take to earn the degrees separately. However, participation in a joint degree program may lengthen a student's time in law school beyond three years. Students generally spend their first year as a full-time law student and make application to the secondary school in the spring semester of their first year. Candidates must make separate application to the secondary program. The application process often requires the student to take the GMAT or the GRE. In addition to being accepted into both degree programs, students must complete a Joint Degree Enrollment Verification Form and submit it to the Office ofLaw Student Records. Students earn a separate grade point average for each degree and must graduate with both degrees in the same term. Only credits and not actual letter grades apply from one program to another. Law school class rank is based on the student's law only GPA. Students in these programs may be subject to a different maximum credit limit. (See Academic Standard 201.) The following joint degree programs are currently available: Juris Doctor/Master of Accountancy, offered in conjunction with Samford University Brock Schoolof Business Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration, offered in conjunction with Samford University Brock Schoolof Business Juris Doctor/Master of Divinity, offered in conjunction with Samford University Beeson Schoolof Divinity Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Theological Studies, offered in conjunction with Samford University Beeson Schoolof Divinity Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Environmental Management, offered in conjunction with the Samford University Howard College of Arts and Sciences Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration, offered in conjunction with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Schoolof Social and Behavioral Sciences Juris Doctor/Master of Public Health, offered in conjunction with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Schoolof Public Health Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Bioethics, offered in conjunction with the Albany Medical College
9 Academic Programs International Programs As the international dimensions of law expand, law students need exposure to and experience in the legal systems of other nations and cultures. The CumberlandSchoolofLawoffers opportunities for students to study abroad during the summer semester, and facilitates opportunities for study abroad after completing the JD degree. Cumberland also regularly brings students to the Samford campus from other countries, providing opportunities for Cumberland JD students to learn from citizens of other countries without leaving the U.S. The goal ofCumberland’s international programs is to develop each participant’s grasp of the global aspects of law. The study-abroad programs offer the additional enrichment of spending time on another continent. Cumberland-at-Cambridge, England (International and Comparative Law for JD Students) Located at Sidney Sussex College in downtown Cambridge, this summer program takes place each July. The curriculum includes a one-week comparative overview of the English legal system and the European Union, followed by two elective courses focused on international and comparative law. A field trip takes participants to the English Parliament and Inns of Court in London. Weekends provide opportunities for additional travel in the UK or on the Continent. Master of Comparative Law (for non-U.S. Students) Cumberlandoffers a Master of Comparative Law (MCL) degree program that gives graduate lawyers, judges, prosecutors, and legal educators from outside the U.S. the opportunity to learn about the U.S. legal system and culture in comparison with their home system. MCL students take 16 credit hours of summer courses in residence at Cumberland (or at a Cumberland study-abroad program) and write a thesis. Students must complete all requirements for the MCL degree within five years of the time they enter the program.