Alabama is home to just a few law schools, but they differ from one another significantly. If you are considering attending an Alabama law school you'll need to know about the cost and reputation of the different schools to make the decision that is most appropriate for your needs. The following article provides a brief overview of Alabama law schools with information to help choose the school that's right for you.
ABA Accredited Alabama Law Schools
The American Bar Association (ABA) provides accreditation to law schools that meet a national standard. Most states require attendance at an accredited law school in order to qualify to sit for the bar exam. The Alabama bar does not have this requirement.
However, attending an unaccredited law school may prevent you from qualifying to sit for the bar in another state. The following law schools are ABA accredited:
The University of Alabama School of Law -- The University of Alabama School of Law is the best-rated law school in the state and competitive with top schools nationally according to U.S. News & World Report. The school is particularly proud of its alumni, which include Harper Lee and Jeff Sessions.
Samford University, Cumberland School of Law -- Cumberland School of Law is among the oldest law schools in the nation. Graduates of the school include two Supreme Court Justices, a Nobel Prize winner, and dozens of high ranking politicians. The school has a high bar passage rate, but is a bit more expensive than the University of Alabama School of Law.
Faulkner University, Thomas Goode Jones School of Law -- Faulkner University offers the only Christian law school in Alabama. The school is small, but tightly-knit. It is reasonably priced in comparison to other options and would be a good choice for a student comfortable with the school's Christian values.
Unaccredited Alabama Law Schools
Alabama permits those who have attended unaccredited law schools that meet certain requirements to sit for the bar. Graduates from unaccredited schools may have difficulty obtaining admission in other states.
Miles Law School -- If you are sure you want to practice in Alabama, Miles Law School may provide the flexibility you need. The school offers a four year, part-time evening program. No financial aid is available and the school has, at times, had an abysmally low bar pass rate. On the other hand, Miles Law School is reasonably priced at $155 per class hour. Miles Law School has state accreditation, though this doesn't seem to give it any advantage over other non-ABA accredited schools.
Birmingham Law School -- Like Miles Law School, Birmingham Law School's courses take place in the evening and on weekends over four years. Although not accredited by the ABA or the state bar, Birmingham graduates qualify to sit for the state bar exam. Classes cost about $224 per class hour.
Preparing for Law School and Beyond
Choosing the right Alabama law school will set you on the path to becoming an attorney. In school you'll want to learn more about choosing elective courses, studying for exams, passing the bar, and planning a career. Check back with FindLaw's Law Students section frequently for articles and advice about these and other topics of interest.