Oklahoma Board of Bar Examiners
 

The Oklahoma Board
of Bar Examiners

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the purpose of the Certificate of Practice form and who should sign it?

    The Certificate of Practice form is an original document filed with the Oklahoma Supreme Court as an attachment to the Report and Recommendation of Admission filed by the Board of Bar Examiners should your application be approved and recommended for admission to the Court. The form should be signed by a judge and two attorneys from your jurisdiction who can attest to your active and continuous practice of law for at least five of last seven years preceding your application. The individuals signing the form should themselves be in good standing in your jurisdiction and have practiced at least the length of time to which they are attesting to have known you to be practicing.

    Does Oklahoma have reciprocity and/or admission on motion with any other jurisdictions for admission without examination?

    At present Oklahoma has reciprocity and/or admission on motion or admission without examination with the following jurisdictions: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

    I was admitted before the MPRE was required in my state. Do I have to take the MPRE for admission to Oklahoma?

    Yes. If your state requires the MPRE of Oklahoma attorneys applying for admission without examination to your state, you must supply a passing score (as is required in your state) on the MPRE for admission to Oklahoma.  

    What are the requirements for admission on motion?

    Rule Two of the Oklahoma Rules requires a person to be lawfully admitted to practice and in good standing on active status in a reciprocal state engaged in the actual and continuous practice of law for a least five years of the seven years immediately preceding application for admission. The period of practice of law shall have occurred outside the State of Oklahoma and have been in a reciprocal state. The person shall have graduated from an ABA approved law school. An individual who has previously failed the Oklahoma bar exam is ineligible for admission on motion.

    What is the passing score on the MPRE in Oklahoma and how long is my MPRE score valid?

    Oklahoma requires a minimum scaled score of 75. The score is valid for an unlimited time. If the reciprocal jurisdiction has a more stringent requirement for minimum score and/or time limit, the higher standard is applied.

  • Do I have to be present for the admission ceremony?

    Yes. This is an official session of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. If there are compelling reasons why you cannot be present, notify the Board’s administrative office in order to make alternative arrangements.

    How do I join the Oklahoma Bar Association?

    You are automatically a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association when you are admitted to the practice of law in Oklahoma. The OBA is the disciplinary arm of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. To remain in good standing you must pay the required annual dues and meet the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Requirements. There are no dues or MCLE requirements for the remainder of the calendar year in which you are admitted.

    Now that I have passed the bar exam, can I immediately begin the practice of law?

    No. You must take the Oath of Attorney and sign the Roll of Attorneys. Your name is then added to the official roster of the Oklahoma Bar Association, and a bar card and permanent identification number are issued.

    When is the admission ceremony?

    The admission ceremony is normally scheduled two weeks after the announcement of the results.

  • Can a convicted felon take the Oklahoma bar exam?

    Conviction of a felony is not an absolute bar to taking the Oklahoma bar exam, but it is a factor that will be considered in determining whether a person can prove by clear and convincing evidence that he/she possesses the requisite good character and fitness to qualify for admission to the Oklahoma bar. The Board considers the nature of the crime, how long ago it was committed, the punishment, and positive contributions to society since the conviction. A pardon or a restoration of the person’s civil rights is certainly a positive factor.

    Can I take the exam if I have filed for bankruptcy?

    Bankruptcy is in itself not a disqualifying factor, but the Board will look at the apparent reasons for the bankruptcy to determine whether they may be disqualifying financial responsibility factors.

    I have a security clearance from my military duty. Do I have to complete the NCBE character report application?

    Yes

    If I have an unresolved character and fitness issue, may I take the exam before it is resolved?

    It depends. If the issue appears serious and is brought to the attention of the Board before the exam, the Board may determine that you are ineligible to take the exam unless and until the issue is resolved in your favor. Frequently investigations are still in progress as the exam date approaches. In many instances you will be permitted to take the exam; but even if you pass the exam, you still must resolve all character and fitness issues to the satisfaction of the Board before you can be licensed.

    Why is my credit of concern to the Board?

    A lawyer is regularly called upon to handle a client’s funds or to advise a client with respect to money management issues. A history of credit problems (delinquent credit card or other charge accounts, missed loan or rent payments, etc.) indicates an applicant’s apparent lack of financial responsibility.

    Why is my driving record of concern to the Board?

    Rule One, §1, of the Rules states that the applicant shall have good moral character, due respect for the law, and fitness to practice law. An applicant with a lengthy record of traffic violations and/or DUI and DWI charges may lack due respect for the law. Indications of substance abuse will be carefully reviewed.

  • Does the Board release sample answers for the essay questions?

    No

    Can I take the Oklahoma bar exam if I did not graduate from a law school which was approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) at the time of my graduation?

    No. The Board has adopted the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools. See Rule Four, §3.

    Can I use my laptop to take the essay portion of the exam?

    Yes. Simply mark the box on your exam application that you will be using your laptop for the essay portion of the exam. There is a fee of $125 payable to ExamSoft when you register your laptop. Additional information regarding system requirements and use of your laptop will be sent to each registered exam applicant in the Exam Information Packet which is typically mailed in mid-December for the February exam and in mid-May for the July exam.

    Does Oklahoma require the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (the “MPRE”)?

    Yes

    How long do I have to meet the MPRE requirement after passing the bar exam?

    Admission must be effected within one year after the date the bar exam results are released. Otherwise the exam is nullified.

    How many take the February exam?

    Approximately 150 apply for the February exam.

    How many take the July exam?

    Approximately 370 apply for the July exam.

    How many times may I take the Oklahoma bar exam?

    Unlimited number of times.

    How much does it cost to take the Oklahoma bar examination?

    The fee depends on your status (registered law student, non-registered law student, attorney, repeat applicant) when you apply. Go to Applications for the fee list or to Rule Seven in the Rules Governing Admission.

    I am licensed in another state but do not qualify for admission without examination. Is there an abbreviated “attorneys’ exam” which I can take in lieu of the regular bar exam?

    No

    I have been notified by the law school that I lack graduation requirements. What happens to the exam fee I paid?

    The fee will apply to the next scheduled bar exam. A new Exam Application form must be submitted by the application deadline.

    I have not taken or passed the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. Am I allowed to take the bar exam?

    Yes. If successful on the bar exam, you will not be admitted to practice law until the MPRE requirement (scaled score of 75) has been met.

    I plan to take the MPRE immediately following the bar exam (after the February exam or after the July exam). Will the MPRE results be available in time for the admission ceremony?

    Possibly not.  There have been instances where the MPRE results have not be received prior to the Board’s filing the Recommendation for Admission with the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

    I took the Multistate Bar Exam in another state. Can I transfer that score to Oklahoma?

    No. Oklahoma requires an applicant to take both portions of the bar exam at the same administration in Oklahoma as a means of assessing the applicant’s current competency.

    I want to take the Oklahoma bar exam concurrently with another state’s exam? Will Oklahoma accept the MBE score?

    Oklahoma will accept the MBE score on a concurrent examination. A concurrent examination is possible only with those states that use Thursday/Friday for the other portion of their bar exam. Applicants are advised to consider their own stamina and to carefully check on travel schedules before deciding on concurrent exams.

    Is my application considered timely filed if it is postmarked by the filing deadline?

    No. The application must be received in the office by the deadline.

    Is there a drop box at the Oklahoma Bar Center?

    No

    Is there a late filing deadline?

    Yes. Late filing is allowed for two months after deadline with payment of additional fee. If filed within 30 days after the deadline, the late fee is $50. If filed during the second month after the deadline, the late fee is $150. See Rule 7 of the Rules Governing Admission.

    What are the exam dates?

    The Multistate Bar Exam is administered on the last Wednesday of February and July. The essay portion of the exam is administered on the preceding day (Tuesday).

    What is the deadline for filing an application to take the February bar exam?

    Six months prior to the exam date. The bar exam is administered on the last Tuesday and Wednesday in February. To simplify the calculation of the due date, the February exam deadline is September 1 of the year preceding and the July exam deadline is February 1. If a deadline falls on a non-business day (i.e., Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday), applications will be accepted until the close of business on the first day immediately following the deadline. Repeat applications are due December 15 for the February exam.

    What is the deadline for filing an application to take the July bar exam?

    Six months prior to the exam date. The bar exam is administered on the last Tuesday and Wednesday in July. Late filing allowed for two months after deadline with payment of additional fee. To simplify the calculation of the due date, the July exam deadline is February 1 of the current year. If a deadline falls on a non-business day (i.e., Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday), applications will be accepted until the close of business on the first day immediately following the deadline. Repeat applications are due May 15.

    What is the passing score on the MPRE in Oklahoma and how long is my MPRE score valid?

    Oklahoma requires a scaled score of 75 or higher on the MPRE. The score is valid for an unlimited period of time.

    What subjects are tested on the Oklahoma bar exam?

    The Oklahoma bar exam is administered in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The first day of the exam is the essay portion; the second day is Multistate. The essay portion of the exam covers combinations of the following subjects (Rules Governing Admission, Rule Five); Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct; Commercial law, which may include - Contracts, Uniform Commercial Code, Consumer law, and Creditor's rights, including bankruptcy; Property; Procedural Law, which may include - Pleadings, Practice, Evidence, and Remedies (damages, restitution and equity); Criminal Law; Business Associations, which may include - Agency, Partnerships (including joint ventures), Corporations, and Limited Liability Companies; Constitutional and Administrative Law; Torts; Intestate Succession, wills, trusts, estate planning, including federal estate and gift taxation; Conflicts of law; and Family law.

    When and where is the MPRE given?

    The MPRE is given three times a year at various locations across the country. Use the MPRE link on the Resourses page of our website to access application deadlines, exam dates, and the application itself.

    Where are bar review courses given, how much do they cost, and which bar review course is the best?

    Oklahoma does not rate the bar review courses. Bar review courses frequently used in Oklahoma are Bar/Bri and PMBR. There are also companies that offer software review courses for the MBE. Check the bulletin boards at the law school for information.

    Where is the exam given?

    Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

  • Can I have my exam answers re-graded if my score is close to passing?

    This is done automatically prior to the release of the grades.

    Does Oklahoma have a minimum passing score on either portion of the exam?

    No. Oklahoma combines your scores on both portions of the exam to determine whether you pass. As of June 1, 2016, a passing score of the combined essay and the Oklahoma Multistate Scores is 2400 points. For the essay portion of the exam, 1200 points is considered passing. The Oklahoma Multistate Score is computed from the MBE scaled score. An MBE scaled score of 135 equals 1200 points for Oklahoma scoring purposes. You are not required to have a certain score on either portion to pass.

    I failed the exam. Can I talk with an examiner?

    No

    I lack the MPRE requirement or else have unresolved character and fitness issues. If I have passed the exam, will my name appear on the results list?

    Yes. The names of all applicants who pass the exam are posted. Inclusion on the list does not indicate your status concerning other admission requirements. You will be advised of your eligibility for admission in the formal notice which is mailed to you at the address on file. Please keep the Board advised of your current mailing address.

    If I pass the exam, why doesn’t the Board tell me my exact score instead of just notifying me that I passed?

    Since the exam is designed to measure minimum competency, it is not intended to rank the applicants who achieve higher than the minimum passing score. A high score on a minimum competency exam can be misleading and has no meaningful value. Each applicant receives the results of the MBE portion of the exam. If you fail the exam, the Board will disclose your scores on each part so that you can use the information in your efforts to prepare better for a future exam.

    If I score high enough on the MBE portion, are my essay papers graded?

    Yes. All papers are graded. There are no exceptions.

    When are the results of the Bar Examination released?

    On the date when we expect to release the results of the most recent Bar Examination, the results will be posted on the Board of Bar Examiners website and the Oklahoma Bar Association website. Formal notice is mailed that day to each person who has taken the examination. Please note that the expected release date may be delayed if persons telephone the board’s office to inquire about the release date, thus interrupting the processing and checking of examination scores.

  • Can I use a credit card to pay my fees?

    Yes, a credit card option is offered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and to the Oklahoma Board of Bar Examiners. We accept only Mastercard, Visa and American Express.

    Is my application considered timely filed if it is postmarked by the filing deadline?

    No. The application must be received in the office of the Board of Bar Examiners by 5:00 p.m. on October 15 of the second year of law school. If a deadline falls on a non-business day (i.e., Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday), applications will be accepted until the close of business on the first day immediately following the deadline.

    Is my registration an application for the bar exam?

    No. An application for a specific bar exam must be filed six months prior to the date of the exam you plan to take.

    What happens if I miss the October 15 registration deadline?

    You may file a nunc pro tunc application at any time during law school. The filing fee increases from $125 to $500.

    What is the licensed legal intern program?

    The Licensed Legal Internship Program established by the Oklahoma Supreme Court is primarily designed for third-year law students enrolled in Oklahoma law schools. It is a separate department of the Oklahoma Bar Association. With the limited license to practice law a legal intern is allowed to make court appearances in both civil and criminal matters. A supervising attorney appearance is required for many, but not all, court procedures. One of the main benefits of a Legal Intern license is the practical experience a student can obtain.

    Why should I register as a law student?

    Oklahoma has a two step process to apply for the Oklahoma bar examination:

    1. Register as a law student with the Oklahoma Board of Bar Examiners;

    2. File an application to take a specific bar examination.

    Registering by the October 15 of second year of law school deadline saves money ($125 as opposed to $500 for late registration) and allows time to settle any character and fitness issues before you have invested three years in law school only to be denied permission to take the bar exam after graduation. The registration also fulfills one requirement for participation in the Legal Intern program. You can file your law student registration application anytime after starting law school up to October 15th of your second year!