FAQ

How much does it cost to attend BSL? (updated 3/11/2016)

Beginning August 22, 2016, the tuition and fees for the 2016 – 2017 academic year are:

  • Tuition for weeknight courses will be $672.00 (3 credit hours/$224 per credit hour). You must schedule and enroll in a minimum of three courses per semester (total tuition cost of $2,016/semester for the minimum weeknight program).
  • Tuition for Saturday courses will be $810.00 (3 credit hours/$270 per credit hour). You must schedule and enroll in a minimum of three courses per semester (total tuition cost of $2,430/semester for the minimum Saturday program).
  • Tuition for the 1st year/1st semester Lawyering Fundamentals Course (Law 500) is $810 (2 credit hours/$405 per credit hour). NOTICE – due to VA rules, the tuition costs for the LFC are not funded or eligible for reimbursed by the VA for veterans.
  • Tuition for an elective Independent Study (IDS) course is $1,050 (3 credit hours/$350 per credit hour). The IDS method of study is not available for core coursesNOTICE – due to VA rules, IDS courses are not funded or eligible for reimbursed by the VA for veterans.
  • The Student Fee is $200 and the Technology Fee is $50 per semester. All students must pay these two fees each semester regardless of the number of courses/hours scheduled.

Based on the tuition and fee expenses for the 2016 – 2017 academic year, you should expect to spend at least $25,000 for the weekday program and at least $29,500 for the full 34 class course of instruction (books, supplies, living expenses, and other fees are not included). This is an approximation based upon fall 2016 tuition and fee expenses and should not be considered as a promise or a contractual offer to freeze program costs through to your graduation.

All program costs are subject to change without advance notice or approval from students. The prudent applicant and/or enrolled student should anticipate and plan for periodic tuition and fee increases during the four-year program.

 

What does the Student & Technology Fees cover?

  • These fees cover access licenses and expenditures for Westlaw (computerized legal research), maintenance and repair of computer hardware and the wireless network, software licenses and software updates for computer antivirus and word processor programs loaded to school computers, IT services, law library expenses (photocopiers, supplies, etc.), and janitorial and security services.

When do classes meet?

  • Weeknight class meet from 6:00 – 8:45 pm, Monday through Friday
  • Saturday classes meet in three class periods: 1st period 9:00am – 11:45 am, 2nd period 12:30 pm – 3:15 pm, 3rd period 3:30 pm – 6:15 pm. There is a 45 minute break for lunch between the 1st and 2nd periods and a 15 minute break between the 2nd and 3rd periods.

Are student loans or loan deferments available?

  • Federally insured student loans are not available because BSL is not an “eligible school” as defined by the Higher Education Act of 1965 (see 34 CFR 600 et.al.). This law requires, among other things, that law schools must be specifically accredited by the ABA in order to participate in loan deferment activities.
  • Deferments of your current federally insured student loans may not be available. Loans obtained prior to attending BSL are generally not eligible for deferments under the same Higher Education Act and you may face significant limitations and challenges when seeking loan deferments while you attend BSL. We recommend you contact your lender or loan servicing agent as soon as possible to determine your eligibility for any lender sponsored voluntary deferment or forbearance payment programs they may offer.

Does BSL participate in any veteran’s education programs?

  • Yes, BSL participates in all federally funded veteran programs administered by the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) including the GI Bill (Chapter 30), Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33), Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31), and Dependent’s Educational Assistance (Chapter 35) programs.
  • Students at BSL are not eligible for the State of Alabama disabled veteran dependent’s scholarship program.

Does BSL have scholarships available for entering students (first year or “1L” students)?

  • No. BSL has a limited endowment and has chosen to create scholarships that reward 2L and above students for their academic performance and financial need. A complete list of scholarships and their requirements are available on the scholarships page.

How many semesters is the law school open for “normal” instruction each year?

  • BSL operates year round, scheduling three semesters each calendar year (fall, spring and summer), and all students must attend year round unless an extraordinary circumstance beyond your control prevents year round attendance (illness, job loss, military call-up, etc.). The summer semester is not a shortened or “mini” semester but is a full academic term of 14 weeks including final exams. There is a semester break of approximately one week between the spring and summer semester and another week break between the summer and fall semester. We have a longer break of approximately three weeks at the end of the fall term through the Christmas and New Years holidays.

How many courses may you schedule each semester?

  • You must schedule a minimum of three courses each semester. Students on academic probation may not schedule more than three courses in a semester until they clear probation.
  • Those students with minimal academic performance (minimum of 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale) may schedule as many as four course per semester without additional permissions or approval required. Those students wishing to take more than four courses must have above average academic credentials and demonstrated performance (minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale) AND receive written permission from the Dean or Associate Dean.

Is BSL accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA)?

  • No, BSL is not accredited by the ABA nor do we anticipate application to the  ABA for future ABA accreditation.
  • But, pursuant to state law (Code of Alabama, 1975, § 34-3-2.1), BSL graduates are allowed to sit for the Alabama State Bar attorney licensing examination and, upon successful completion, may practice law before all federal, state, and municipal courts or administrative bodies in Alabama. Your ability to practice law in other states varies from state to state depending on each state’s bar association requirements. We recommend you contact the state bar of interest for specific details and up-to-date information if you intend to practice law in a second state.

What is the effect of attending a non-ABA school?

  • Attending a law school not accredited by the ABA may restrict the portability of your degree/license to practice law in other states.
  • Graduates of BSL, with a current Alabama law license, currently enjoy reciprocity with a small number of other states. Your legal training and law license may be transferable to one of these states with reciprocity if you meet the secondary state’s admission rules (most will require you to take the bar exam a second time).  We recommend you contact the state bar association in the secondary state of interest if you are considering practicing law in a state other than Alabama.

How many students are currently enrolled at BSL?

  • Approximately 400 students.

What is BSL’s average class size?

  • Approximately 40-45 students. Our largest class for summer 2016 is approximately 75 students and the smallest class has approximately 8 students.

How many new students does BSL admit each semester?

  • BSL admits students twice a year, fall and spring, but the admission rate/numbers are different each semester depending upon the number of seats we have available to incoming first year students (1L). The typical new class in the fall contains approximately 100-125 students and the entering class for spring admissions is approximately 40-50 students.

Do I have to start law school in the fall?

  • No, you may start law school in the spring semester if you wish.
  • However, if you begin law school in the spring, you cannot attend classes on the Saturday program and must schedule all of your classes on the weeknight schedule because we are not able to offer 1L appropriate classes in the spring semester on the Saturday program. You will be restricted to weekday classes until such time as the courses you need in future semesters are available to you on the Saturday program. Normally, you will not be able to schedule a full slate of Saturday only classes (three classes) until your 4th or 5th semester of law school.

What is the deadline for application?

  • Spring deadline is November 1st *
  • Fall deadline is June 1st *

* Subject to extension. If you are considering submitting an enrollment application near or just after the published deadline (4-5 days), please contact the Registrar at (205) 322-6122 for information.

What is required to complete an application?

  • To complete an application you must 1) submit the online application, 2) pay the required application fee online, 3) order official transcripts from each college and university you have attended, 4) write and submit a personal statement, 5) write and submit a resume or list of all past employers & positions held.  All documents, except transcripts, must be received by the published deadline. If the you have attended graduate school we will need those transcripts as well. At least one of your transcripts must indicate the award of a baccalaureate degree (B.A., B.S, B. Ed., etc.). Associate degrees (A.A., A.S.) or post-graduate level degrees (M.A., M.S., M.Ed., etc.) are not acceptable to the Alabama State Bar for law school admission.

(If you have taken the LSAT and are currently registered with LSDAS you do not have to forward individual official transcripts. We will contact LSDAS for copies of your LSAT scores and LSDAS documents)

Does BSL require the LSAT and is there a set score?

  • The LSAT is not required and we do not set a minimum score for most applicants at BSL. However, if your undergraduate GPA is below 2.75 you may find it beneficial to take the LSAT and participate in the Law School Admission Council’s (LSAC) Credential Assembly Service (CAS). Members of BSL’s Admissions Committee use submitted test results to augment the information contained in your transcripts and other application documents in order to estimate your predicted performance in law school and judge whether or not you should be admitted as a regular student or admitted to school on a probationary status.
  • NOTICE: If your undergraduate baccalaureate degree was earned from a college or university foreign to the United States you must participate in both the LSAT and CAS. Please see www.lsac.org for more information concerning the LSAT and CAS programs, test dates and required fees.

What is the GPA cut off for admissions?

  • The GPA cut off is different each fall or spring semester. The cut off point depends on the number of applicants, the relative performance of each individual within the application pool, and the number of seats available to the new class.

What is the average undergraduate GPA for admitted students?

  • This statistical number will also vary from class to class based upon the performance of the members of the class. We typically accept most applicants within a range of grades from C+ (2.5) to A+ (4.0).
  • Depending upon the information contained in your application, we may deviate from the minimum stated GPA and admit applicants with performance grades/GPA outside the parameters we seek for admission. These waiver, if any, will be made on a case-by-case basis for good cause.

What other factors influence admission decisions?

  • In addition to GPA we consider undergraduate degree/major, undergraduate school attended, life/work experience, and any personal challenges an applicant may face and overcome (mobility disabilities, sight/hearing impairment, education disabilities such as ADHD, etc.).

What is the minimum GPA to remain in school?

  • All BSL  students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (4.0 scale) to remain in school. Those who fall under this mark will be given two (2) semesters to correct their academic deficiencies. Those students who fail to return to the minimum GPA will be dismissed.

Who are the professors at BSL?

  • Approximately 95% of our professors are adjunct professors and practicing attorneys/judges who are actively engaged in the day-to-day practice of law in Alabama. Some of our professors are also corporate professionals working as in-house counsel for banks, insurance companies, and land title companies. Several hold law licenses in multiple states and a large number have experience teaching at the graduate and undergraduate level at local colleges and universities.

Does BSL make accommodations pursuant to ADA (American Disability Act)?

  • Yes, BSL makes reasonable accommodations with proper diagnosis and documentation provided by the affected student to school administrators. For specific accommodation policies please contact the Associate Dean at gwarren@bsol.com.

What is BSL’s absentee policy?

  • You may not miss more than three (3) class meeting per subject, per semester. We treat all absences equally and do not differentiate between what some would describe as excused or unexcused absences or the reason for the absence (death in the family, illness, employment conflicts, automobile problems or accidents, or you just want to take the day off). If you miss four (4) or more class meetings you will receive a grade of “F/A” (failure due to excessive absences and must repeat the course.

What is BSL’s dress code for students?

  • Anything from business casual (which is the norm) to casual is allowed. Most students wear jeans or long pants in cooler weather and short sleeves and shorts during the summer months. Above all else, we expect all students and faculty to use good taste and decorum and avoid provocative or suggestive clothing or intentionally creating situations of annoyance or confrontation by the selection of your attire.

Is there parking available?

  • Yes. There are two close-by parking lots (one surface lot and one parking deck) plus nearby street parking.

May I tour the school before I apply?

  • You are always welcome to tour the school. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays are the best days (not including holidays) between 9am and 3pm. Please call the school administration office at (205) 322-6122 to schedule a tour.