Several state bar associations, including Oklahoma’s, require students to register as a law student at the beginning of their study of law. In most of the states, registration deadlines are early in the first year of law study. Students should contact the bar associations in the states in which they are considering practicing for more information and specific requirements.
Information regarding early registration as a law student in Oklahoma is available through the Oklahoma Board of Bar Examiners.
Bar examination application deadlines are normally set several months before the test date. Consequently, students who did not register as a law student during their first year in law school should apply at least four (4) to six (6) months prior to graduation to take the bar examination in the state in which they intend to practice. Students who are considering participating in the Legal Internship Program in Oklahoma should register with the Board of Bar Examiners of the Oklahoma Bar Association, even if they have not definitively decided to take the Oklahoma Bar Examination.
In addition to the bar examination, most states, including Oklahoma, require students to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). This exam is offered three (3) times each year and can be taken prior to graduation. Students should consider taking the MPRE after they complete the Professional Responsibility course.
The National Conference of Bar Examiners and the ABA Section on Legal Education has produced a Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements for students who are planning to register for the bar exam in any state.
Bar Support Program
The University of Tulsa College of Law believes its obligation to students extends beyond the JD degree. We recognize the final hurdle that must be completed before one can become a practicing lawyer is passing a bar examination. Although most law programs give students the substantive knowledge they need to be a lawyer, they do not teach them how to prepare for the bar examination. The bar examination, like other comprehensive and concentrated licensing exams, requires endurance, discipline, and training.
To enhance the traditional program of law study, TU College of Law offers a bar support program to its students. As part of the 3L professionalism requirement and a prerequisite for graduation, students will take the one credit hour “Strategies & Skills for Bar & Practice” (“Bar Skills”) course in their final semester of law school. A full-time faculty member of the College of Law teaches this course utilizing study materials furnished by BARBRI. The course specifically addresses the mechanics of taking a bar examination and provides a substantive review of three (3) subject areas tested on the bar exam. Although this assistance does not replace the bar review program every student should take after graduation, it gives students a head start and provides knowledge of what it takes to succeed on the bar exam.
In the Bar Skills course, students learn and begin to master the skills necessary for success on the bar exam and in the practice of law. Students focus on discrete legal reasoning skills, including:
- Legal reading and comprehension skills
- Issue identification
- Separating relevant facts from distractor facts based upon the call of the question
- Clearly articulating a specific rule of law
- Critically analyzing and applying relevant law to relevant facts
- Drawing and clearly stating the correct conclusion
- Techniques for avoiding the common pitfalls in answering multiple choice questions
- Essay-writing techniques, including effective organization
The course features a highly participative, learn-by-doing approach. For each skill, the professor will demonstrate the skill, and students have an opportunity to practice and master that skill. Class activities include both written and oral assignments. In addition to skills-based learning, each class will include elements of the most tested rules of law on three (3) of the MBE subject areas.
Following graduation, students should take a commercial bar prep course. BARBRI and Kaplan provide thorough 7-week courses that prepare students for each component of the exam. Because some students do not have the resources to pay for such a course, a limited number of scholarships are available. These scholarships are awarded by TU College of Law through an application process and are only available to students taking the Oklahoma Bar exam.
Finally, TU College of Law offers a $1,000 interest-free loan for students who certify that they will not work while preparing for the bar exam. This incentive allows students to have back-up funds for living expenses while studying for the bar. We have found that students who devote the full eight (8) weeks to bar preparation without working have a substantially better chance of passing the bar.
Bar exam assistance
The MLIC Bar Exam Help section provides information concerning the Oklahoma state bar exam, as well as information regarding bar exams in other states.