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TEXAS BOARD of LAW EXAMINERS

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This information is not a substitute for reading the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas and the relevant sections of the Texas Government Code, which can be found in the Rulebook.

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ATLAS

Declarations and Bar Exam Applications

- What are the filing deadlines for the Declaration of Intent to Study Law? (Texas law students only.)
- If I am a Texas law student, do I have to file my Declaration before I file my In-State Application? (Texas law students only.)
- I am completing an In-State Law Student Application. Do I have to list information that was previously provided in the Employment or Character & Fitness sections on my Declaration? (Texas law students only.)
- What documentation is accepted as proof of my citizenship status, USCIS status, or other compliance with Rule II(a)(5)?
- How do I obtain a certified birth certificate?
- May I use law professors as a reference in the Attorney References section of my Declaration?
- How do I provide proof of my ABA-Approved J.D. degree?
- The instructions state that a signed copy of my law school application is required. What does this mean?
- How do I respond on the employment history section of Board forms if:
- Do offenses that are the subject to orders of non-disclosure need to be revealed?
- Do expunged or sealed offenses need to be revealed?
- I’m completing Criminal History or Civil Litigation questions. What is a "cause number"? What does "style" mean?
- How do I obtain court records or arrest/offense/incident reports for criminal history disclosure?
- I received a letter from my Licensure Analyst instructing me to update my law school application and to provide a copy of the school’s disposition to my update. How do I comply with this by the deadline given by my Analyst?
- The 30-day grace period to provide outstanding third-party documentation to supplement my application is approaching, but I have not received the requested documentation. Will my application be rejected? Will I owe any additional fees?
- Does my character and fitness investigation have to be completed before I can sit for the bar exam?
- Will I be notified when my character and fitness investigation has been completed?
- How do I withdraw my bar exam application?
- How do I have my MBE score transferred to another jurisdiction?
- Does Texas accept MBE scores transferred from other jurisdictions?

Foreign-Trained Applicants

- I received my legal education outside of the U.S. or its territories. Can I take the bar exam?
- Summary of Eligibility Requirements for Foreign-Educated Applicants to take the Texas Bar Examination.
- I am licensed to practice law in a U.S. state. Can I sit for the bar exam?
- I received my law degree from a foreign school. What do I need to do to be eligible to be licensed in Texas without taking the bar exam?
- I am unsure whether I qualify to take the bar exam under Rule XIII. Can I call and receive an opinion from Board Staff about my eligiblity?
- In addition to passing the bar exam, what other requirements must I meet in order to be eligible to be licensed as a Texas attorney?
- How do I satify the requirements of Rule II(a)(5)?
- I am attending law school in the United States. However, I am a legal resident of a foreign nation and do not intend to remain in the United States after I receive my law degree and complete the bar examination. Would this preclude me from qualifying under Rule II(a)(5)(e)?
- How do I apply to take the bar exam?
- If I am applying pursuant to Rule XIII(3)(a), how must I document my active and substantial practice of law?
- I received my initial law degree from a foreign law school, and I am licensed to practice law in another U.S. state. If I want to apply for admission to the Texas Bar, what filing fee must I submit with my application?
- I am enrolled in an LL.M. program in a Texas law school. Do I need to file a Declaration of Intention to Study Law?
- How do I take the oath if I am not in the United States?
- When is the best time for me to file my application for a particular exam?
- If an LL.M. degree from an ABA-approved law school is required for my application to sit for the bar exam, can I apply while I am completing my LL.M?
- Approximately how long will it be before I find out whether I am eligible to sit for the bar examination?
- I am re-applying for the bar exam. Do I have to list information that I provided in the Employment or Character & Fitness sections of my previous application?
- I am re-applying for the bar exam. Do I need to submit another birth certificate or get re-fingerprinted? Is there any third-party documentation that must be resubmitted?
- I have an LL.M. from an ABA-approved law school, but it does not satisfy the new curricular requirements set out in Rule XIII(8).
- I am in the process of completing an LL.M. degree at an ABA-approved law school, but it may not satisfy the new curricular requirements set out in Rule XIII(8).

Photographs

AWOX (Admission Without Examination)

The Bar Exam

Laptop Testing

- Where can I find information about using my laptop on the Bar Exam?
- What are the recommended MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS for using SofTest?
- If my laptop crashes/breaks/is lost or stolen, can I re-download the software on another laptop?
- On what parts of the Texas Bar Exam can SofTest be used with my laptop?
- Who is ExamSoft?
- What is SofTest™?
- I previously downloaded ExamSoft software in law school to take exams. Do I need to download new ExamSoft software and pay the software fee if I am signed up to take the exam using my laptop?
- What is the SofTest Registration Process?
- How can I check to make sure I have installed and registered the SofTest software successfully?
- What is the Mock Exam?
- How do I get a copy of the Mock Exam?
- How will I know if my Mock Exam answer file was returned?
- May I practice with the software?
- What if I have technical problems or technical questions?
- Do I have to use a laptop to take the Texas Bar Examination?
- Can I bring my laptop case or bag, backpack, luggage or purse?
- Can I bring books, outlines, study materials, CDs, DVDs, floppy disks, USB drives, memory sticks, or cell phones into the exam room?
- Do I need to bring my power cord for my laptop?
- Can I bring a laptop cooling stand?
- Will I be permitted to use an external mouse and/or external keyboard?
- Will technical help be available on the day of the examination?
- Will spell-check or cut-and-paste features in SofTest be enabled for the bar examination?
- Can I take the Procedure and Evidence exam on my laptop?
- Will the MPT, P&E, and Essay questions appear on my screen at the time of the examination?
- Will there be a different answer screen for each Essay question?
- Can I take the MultiState Bar Examination (MBE) on my laptop?
- Can I take my laptop out of the testing room over the lunch break on Day 3? Can I leave my laptop in the testing room over the lunch break on Day 3?
- Am I allowed to use my laptop to study in the exam room before or between exam sessions?
- How will I turn in my examination answers for grading?
- Will there be Internet Connectivity at the examination site?
- I have a question regarding the use of Examsoft's SofTest software that wasn't answered on your website.
- Tips for using your laptop to take the Bar Exam
- I signed up to take the Texas Bar Examination using my laptop but no longer wish to type the exam. What do I do?

Grade Release, Swearing In, and Licensing

Reapplications

Reinstatements and Returns to Status

MPRE

Fingerprints

Military Spouses

Non-Resident Attorney Fee (Pro Hac Vice)

- How do I submit a non-resident attorney fee?
- What will I receive from the Board of Law Examiners after I submit my Non-Resident Attorney Fee Submission Form?
- When will I receive my Acknowledgment Letter?
- TROUBLE SHOOTING
- Can I fax in a Submission Form?
- After I pay the non-resident attorney fee, what else must I do in order to participate in the proceedings of a cause in a Texas court?
- Who decides a non-resident attorney’s motion for permission to participate in a Texas proceeding?
- Does a non-resident attorney have to pay the non-resident attorney fee and comply with Rule XIX in order to seek permission to participate in the following:
- Is another fee required if a case is appealed to an appellate court?
- Do non-resident attorneys have to satisfy the fee if they are employed by government agencies or nonprofit entities?
- Can the fee be waived?
- Will the fee be refunded if the case is dismissed or settles, another attorney substitutes in, or the court denies a motion to participate in the proceeding?
- Can a non-resident attorney pay one fee to cover multiple cases?
- Can a single fee cover multiple non-resident attorneys who work for the same law firm and seek to participate in the same case?
- Can one payment be submitted to cover more than one fee?
- How does the Board apply the non-resident attorney fees?
- Do I have to be associated with a Texas attorney?
- Should a motion to the Court be filed simultaneously with the application to the Board?
- Is expedited processing available?

General FAQs


ATLAS


What is ATLAS?

ATLAS is the Board of Law Examiners’ new website and portal. ATLAS allows applicants to submit applications on-line, pay fees on-line, upload required documents, amend applications on-line, and update personal and contact information on-line.

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How do I create an ATLAS account?

Go here: Create an ATLAS account.

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How do I submit an application on ATLAS? How do I upload documents?
  • Create a personal ATLAS account on this website.
  • From your ATLAS account, complete the appropriate application.
  • Electronically submit your application and pay the filing fee.
  • After you submit the application and pay the fee, a "Required Documents" box will appear on your ATLAS user home page. Click View Documents>>, and upload required documents. Keep originals on hand—you must mail them to us upon request.
  • Arrange for third parties to provide documents to us as needed.
  • Update your mailing address, email address, and other personal information through the Personal Info tab in your ATLAS account.
  • Amend your application as needed through the User Home Page in your ATLAS account. 
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Electronic Communications

It is important that you check this website and your ATLAS account on a regular basis to review our latest postings. We will correspond with you primarily through your ATLAS account, but we may also correspond with you by e-mail and through the U.S. postal service. You must keep your e-mail address and mailing address updated in your ATLAS account.

You are deemed by the Board to have received and read:

  • e-mail we send to the e-mail address you have provided in your ATLAS account
  • messages we post in your ATLAS account
  • mail we send to you at the mailing address you have provided in your ATLAS account.

TIP: Add @ble.texas.gov and noreply@ble.texas.gov to your contacts or address book to ensure that your internet provider does not filter out e-mails we send you. 

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I took the July 2016 bar exam. How do I claim my ATLAS account?

If you submitted an application for the July 2016 bar exam through eFast, don't worry--eFast has closed, but we still have all of your information, and we have created an ATLAS account for you. Here’s how to claim your ATLAS account, if you have not done so already:

  1. Go to our website
  2. Click the Login button in the top right corner
  3. Click “Forgot your password?”
  4. You will be directed to screen titled “Remind Password.” Enter the e-mail address you have on file with us. (If you do not remember the e-mail address you have on file with us, or if you have any problems claiming your ATLAS account, contact Technical Support.) 
  5. Follow the directions to reset your password.
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Meeting Deadlines

An application is considered timely filed if we receive the following on or before 11:59 p.m. Central Time on the filing deadline date:

(1) A substantially completed application

(2) A certification or verification

(3) An authorization and release

(4) All required fees (or a request to waive those fees due to indigency)

Materials Transmitted through ATLAS. An application or other materials transmitted through ATLAS are received at the time of transmission (as recorded by ATLAS), even if the transmission does not occur during business hours. For example, an item transmitted through ATLAS on Sunday, October 30 at 11:59 p.m.  Central Time is received on Sunday, October 30.

Materials Transmitted through the U.S. Postal Service. Materials mailed through the U.S. Postal Service are received on the postmark date. If materials have no legible postmark, then they are received on the date that they are actually delivered to staff at the Board’s office during business hours.

Materials Delivered by Private Courier or In Person. Materials sent by private courier (FedEx, UPS, etc.) or in person are received on the date that they are actually delivered to staff at the Board’s office during business hours.

Deadlines are strictly enforced.

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How do I update my contact information?
  • Login to your ATLAS account.
  • Click the Personal Info tab in the toolbar at the top of the page.
  • Edit your information as needed.
  • Click the Update button at the bottom of the page.
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How do I amend an application after I have submitted it?

To amend an application that you have already submitted:

(1) Login in to your ATLAS User Page on our website.

(2) Select the application you need to amend.

(3) Click the AMEND APPLICATION button and follow the prompts.

(4) Make the amendments as needed in your application, then SAVE AND CLOSE.

(5) Click the SUBMIT AMENDMENT button.

 

This feature is only available during the filing period. If you need to make changes to an application after the filing period has closed, please contact your licensure analyst.

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Do I have to use ATLAS?

If you want to submit a Declaration of Intention, apply for admission to the Texas Bar, register as a foreign legal consultant, or submit any other application, registration, or renewal to us, you must first create an ATLAS account. 

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Declarations and Bar Exam Applications


What are the filing deadlines for the Declaration of Intent to Study Law? (Texas law students only.)

First-semester law students ("entrants") must file their Declarations according to the deadlines set out in Rule VI(b).  Failure to do so will result in a late fee as set out in Rule XVIII.  Late filing Declarants may file at any time prior to or concurrent with the filing of their In-State Application.

Transfer students in their first semester at a Texas law school are also “entrants”, and must file their Declarations according to the deadlines set out in Rule VI(b).

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If I am a Texas law student, do I have to file my Declaration before I file my In-State Application? (Texas law students only.)

If you miss the timely filing deadline, which occurs during your first year of law school, you may file your Declaration separately anytime thereafter, or you may wait and file your Declaration concurrently with your In-State Application.  Please note that a late filing fee of $150 applies in either case.

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I am completing an In-State Law Student Application. Do I have to list information that was previously provided in the Employment or Character & Fitness sections on my Declaration? (Texas law students only.)

No.  The In-State Application is meant to update the Board with any new/additional information that occurs after you file your Declaration (employment, criminal history, school discipline, etc.).  If you are filing your Declaration and In-State Application concurrently, you do not need to re-list all employment and character and fitness information (that you listed on your Declaration) on your In-State Application.  You do not need to make duplicative disclosures. 

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What documentation is accepted as proof of my citizenship status, USCIS status, or other compliance with Rule II(a)(5)?

If you are a United States citizen or a United States national, then you should upload a birth certificate issued by a U.S. city, county, or state, or an original Consular Report of Birth.

If you are a naturalized United States citizen, then you should upload your Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship.

If you are authorized to work lawfully in the United States, then you should upload the USCIS document evidencing your status.

If you do not reside in the United States at the time of your application, then you should upload a valid identification card, containing the address where you reside, issued by a governmental body in the jurisdiction in which you reside. 

Keep all originals handy--you must mail them to us upon request. 

Notes:

  • If you are an American citizen who was born abroad, we will accept a certified copy of a Certification of Birth (DS-1350) or a certified copy of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240).  Contact the Department of State at http://travel.state.gov for more information.
  • We do not accept hospital birth certificates, photocopies, notarized photocopies, or foreign birth certificates. 
  • Individuals who do not have their Citizenship/Naturalization documentation available need to contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  A Form N-565 can be used to obtain a replacement document.
  • The Board has made special arrangements with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regarding green cards and naturalization certificates. You may make copies of either document and submit the copies with your application or declaration regardless of the statement to the contrary on the document.
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How do I obtain a certified birth certificate?

If you were born in Texas, you can contact the Bureau of Vital Statistics. If you were born in another U.S. state, you may contact the Bureau of Vital Statistics in the state where you were born. Certified birth cerificates may also be obtained on-line through www.vitalchek.com.

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May I use law professors as a reference in the Attorney References section of my Declaration?

Yes.

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How do I provide proof of my ABA-Approved J.D. degree?

You must submit the Certification of Juris Doctorate Degree form to your law school.  This form automatically loads to the User Home page of your ATLAS account.  You can also print a blank form from the Ancillay Forms tab.  Complete the top portion of the form and forward it to your law school for completion. The dean/registrar will complete the remainder of the form and send it directly to our office. 

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The instructions state that a signed copy of my law school application is required. What does this mean?

It depends on the method by which you submitted your law school application.  If you submitted your application via LSAC, you may simply print a copy from the LSAC website.  The fact that it was submitted electronically through LSAC is sufficient for the “signature”.  If you submitted your application by mail, you would need to provide a copy of the signed application that you submitted to your law school.  Contact the registrar’s office if you did not retain a copy for your records.  If you submitted any addendums with your law school application explaining and criminal history or undergraduate discipline you received, make sure you also submit these addendums to the Board.

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How do I respond on the employment history section of Board forms if:

a. an employer is no longer in business?

You should enter "No longer in business" on the line for "Name of Supervisor", instead of entering the name of your supervisor.

b. my immediate supervisor is no longer employed by an employer?

You have a choice. Either enter the name of another supervisor who is still employed by the employer who would be able to respond to an inquiry from the staff of the Board as to your honesty, etc; or, enter the current address for your former supervisor, wherever that person is now.

c. I cannot locate any documentation that indicates the exact dates that I was employed?

Enter approximate dates, but indicate that they are approximate.

d. I was employed in a non-paid, intern-type position?

The staff of the Board will elicit responses as to your honesty, etc., so the fact that you were not paid is not important. You should list such employment situations.

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Do offenses that are the subject to orders of non-disclosure need to be revealed?

Pursuant to Tex. Gov't Code §552.142(b), if you have criminal matters that are the subject of an order of non-disclosure, you are not required to reveal those criminal matters on the Declaration/Application form. However, a criminal matter that is the subject of an order of non-disclosure may become a character and fitness issue. Pursuant to other sections of the Government Code [411.081(d), 411.081(i)(5), 411.083(b), 411.084(a), 411.087(a), and 411.100], the Texas Board of Law Examiners is entitled to access criminal history record information that is the subject of an order of non-disclosure. So, if we discover a criminal matter that is the subject of an order of non-disclosure, even if you properly did not reveal that matter, we may ask you to provide information about that criminal matter.

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Do expunged or sealed offenses need to be revealed?

Matters expunged pursuant to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 55.02, or pursuant to another state’s statute with the same force and effect, need not be disclosed.  While expunged or sealed offenses, arrests, tickets, or citations need not be disclosed, it is your responsibility to ensure the offense, arrest, ticket, or citation has, in fact, been expunged or sealed. It is recommended that you obtain a copy of the court order expunging or sealing the record in question. Failure to reveal an offense, arrest, ticket, or citation that is not in fact expunged or sealed, raises questions related to truthfulness in addition to questions regarding the offense itself.  Note that orders of non-disclosure pursuant toTex. Gov't Code §411.081 are not orders of expunction.

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I’m completing Criminal History or Civil Litigation questions. What is a "cause number"? What does "style" mean?

The cause number is the number under which a case is filed (i.e., 2009-TR-21221). The style is the name of the case (i.e., State of Texas vs. John Doe).  If you do not know this information, please write “unknown”.

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How do I obtain court records or arrest/offense/incident reports for criminal history disclosure?

You are required to provide legible copies of the arrest/offense/incident report as well as all court records for any criminal matter that occurred within 5 years of the date you complete your Declaration or Application.  Submit a signed written request to the appropriate court of record and arresting agency (i.e., police department or sheriff’s office) and upload a copy of each request to your ATLAS account.  This will serve as proof that you are making a good faith effort to obtain the required documentation. Upload the records to your ATLAS account when you receive them. 

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I received a letter from my Licensure Analyst instructing me to update my law school application and to provide a copy of the school’s disposition to my update. How do I comply with this by the deadline given by my Analyst?

You must submit a letter to your law school updating your application with the new information (for example, a criminal offense that occurred after you submitted your application to law school).  You must include a copy of the letter from your Licensure Analyst when you submit your update letter to your law school.  Upload a copy of your update letter, as well as a cover letter explaining why you did not timely update your law school with this information, to your ATLAS account by the due date on the letter from your Licensure Analyst.  Your law school will eventually issue a disposition (response) as a result of your update.  Upload this as soon as you receive it.  We must receive something in writing from your law school even if only to confirm that no action will be taken.  The due date does not apply to the disposition; this can be submitted at a later date. 

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The 30-day grace period to provide outstanding third-party documentation to supplement my application is approaching, but I have not received the requested documentation. Will my application be rejected? Will I owe any additional fees?

Your application will not be rejected and you will not owe any additional fees.  However, you should contact your Licensure Analyst through your ATLAS account and provide an update as to the status of the missing documentation immediately to demonstrate that you are making a good faith effort to comply.

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Does my character and fitness investigation have to be completed before I can sit for the bar exam?

You may sit for the bar exam while your character and fitness investigation is pending, provided you have satisfied the educational requirements in Rule II.

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Will I be notified when my character and fitness investigation has been completed?

No.  You will only be contacted if we need additional information or if an issue arises.  You may contact your Licensure Analyst regarding the status of your Application; however, please note that we have 150 days to complete the character and fitness investigation and most investigations typically take at least 3-4 months.

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How do I withdraw my bar exam application?

Send a message to your analyst through ATLAS. Please note that fees are not refunded or transferred.

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How do I have my MBE score transferred to another jurisdiction?

Download the MBE Transfer Request form. Submit your request to our office post office box address. Your request must include your full name, the month and year you took the exam, the mailing address of the jurisdiction where you want the score transferred to, and $25 check/money order made payable to the Board of Law Examiners.

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Does Texas accept MBE scores transferred from other jurisdictions?

No.  See Rule XI(e) of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas.

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Foreign-Trained Applicants


I received my legal education outside of the U.S. or its territories. Can I take the bar exam?

Maybe. You may become eligible to take the Texas Bar Examination through one of four paths:
Pursuant to Rule XIII(3)(a), demonstrate that:

  • You completed a course of study at a properly accredited foreign law school
  • The course of study was based on the principles of English common law
  • The course of study was substantially equivalent in duration to the legal education provided by an ABA-approved U.S. law school
  • You are authorized to practice law in a foreign jurisdiction or in another state; and
  • You have been actively and substantially engaged in the lawful practice of law for at least 3 of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of the application. 

Pursuant to Rule XIII(3)(b), demonstrate that:

  • You completed a course of study at a properly accredited foreign law school
  • The course of study was based on the principles of English common law
  • The course of study was at least 2 years in duration
  • You have an LL.M. degree that satisfies Rule XIII(8).

Pursuant to Rule XIII(3)(c), demonstrate that:

  • You are authorized to practice law in a foreign jurisdiction whose jurisprudence is based on the principles of English common law
  • You have an LL.M. degree that satisfies Rule XIII(8).

Pursuant to Rule XIII(4), demonstrate that:

  • You completed a course of study at a properly accredited foreign law school
  • The course of study was not based on the principles of English common law
  • The course of study was substantially equivalent in duration to the legal education provided by an ABA-approved U.S. law school
  • You have an LL.M. degree that satisfies Rule XIII(8)
  • You are authorized to practice law in a foreign jurisdiction or in another state.
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Summary of Eligibility Requirements for Foreign-Educated Applicants to take the Texas Bar Examination.

Summary
Eligibility Requirements for Foreign-Educated Applicants to take the TBE
Rule XIII of Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas

 

XIII(3)(a)

XIII(3)(b)

XIII(3)(c)

XIII(4)

Legal Education

Common Law

Common Law

-

Non-Common Law

Duration of Legal Education

Substantially equivalent to ABA-approved law school

At least
2 years

-

Substantially equivalent to ABA-approved law school

Authorized to Practice

Authorized in 
any jurisdiction

-

Authorized in foreign common law jurisdiction

Authorized in 
any jurisdiction

Attorney Experience

3 of last 5 years

-

-

-

LL.M.

-

LL.M. required

LL.M. required

LL.M. required

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I am licensed to practice law in a U.S. state. Can I sit for the bar exam?

Maybe. Simply being licensed in another state is not enough, by itself, to make you eligible to take the bar exam. If you received your initial law degree from a foreign law school, then you can sit for the bar exam if and only if you are eligible under one of the four paths outlined above.

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I received my law degree from a foreign school. What do I need to do to be eligible to be licensed in Texas without taking the bar exam?

Only attorneys who received a J.D. from an ABA-approved law school can become eligible for admission in Texas without taking the bar exam.

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I am unsure whether I qualify to take the bar exam under Rule XIII. Can I call and receive an opinion from Board Staff about my eligiblity?

The Board cannot provide advisory opinions on a potential applicant’s eligibility without a properly-filed application. Please note that, in the event that it is determined you do not qualify, no refund of fees will be issued. Therefore, it is to your advantage to ensure that you have thoroughly reviewed Rule XIII and obtained all required documentation prior to filing an application.

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In addition to passing the bar exam, what other requirements must I meet in order to be eligible to be licensed as a Texas attorney?

In order to be licensed, applicants must do the following within 2 years of passing the bar exam:

  • Be certified by the Board as having present good moral character and fitness
  • Score 85 or higher on the MPRE
  • Be willing to take the Oath
  • Satisfy the requirements of Rule II(a)(5)
  • Be 18 years of age.
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How do I satify the requirements of Rule II(a)(5)?
  • If you are a United States citizen or a United States national, then you should upload a birth certificate issued by a U.S. city, county, or state, or an original Consular Report of Birth.
  • If you are a naturalized United States citizen, then you should upload your Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship.
  • If you are authorized to work lawfully in the United States, then you should upload the USCIS document evidencing your status.
  • If you do not reside in the United States at the time of your application, then you should upload a valid identification card, containing the address where you reside, issued by a governmental body in the jurisdiction in which you reside. 

Keep all originals handy--you must mail them to us upon request. 

Notes:

  • If you are an American citizen who was born abroad, we will accept a certified copy of a Certification of Birth (DS-1350) or a certified copy of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240).  Contact the Department of State at http://travel.state.gov for more information.
  • We do not accept hospital birth certificates, photocopies, notarized photocopies, or foreign birth certificates. 
  • Individuals who do not have their Citizenship/Naturalization documentation available need to contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  A Form N-565 can be used to obtain a replacement document.
  • The Board has made special arrangements with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regarding green cards and naturalization certificates. You may make copies of either document and submit the copies with your application or declaration regardless of the statement to the contrary on the document.
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I am attending law school in the United States. However, I am a legal resident of a foreign nation and do not intend to remain in the United States after I receive my law degree and complete the bar examination. Would this preclude me from qualifying under Rule II(a)(5)(e)?

An immigration attorney may be able to assist you with this question. We cannot provide legal advice. If you determine that you do not reside in the United States at the time you submit your application and that you thus satisfy the requirements of Rule II(a)(5)(e), you should provide the Board with a legible copy of both sides of a valid identification card containing your address and issued by a governmental body in the jurisdiction in which you reside. 

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How do I apply to take the bar exam?
  • Create a personal ATLAS account on this website.
  • From your ATLAS account, complete the appropriate application.
  • Electronically submit your application and pay the filing fee.
  • Upload required documents. Keep originals on hand—you must mail them to us upon request.
  • Arrange for third parties to provide documents to us as needed.
  • Update your mailing address, email address, and other personal information through the Personal Info tab in your ATLAS account.
  • Amend your application as needed through the User Home Page in your ATLAS account. 
Back to FAQ

If I am applying pursuant to Rule XIII(3)(a), how must I document my active and substantial practice of law?

Please refer to Documenting the Active, Substantial, and Lawful Practice in the Foreign-Trained Application Instructions.

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I received my initial law degree from a foreign law school, and I am licensed to practice law in another U.S. state. If I want to apply for admission to the Texas Bar, what filing fee must I submit with my application?

If you did not receive an initial law degree from a U.S. law school, then you would only be able to qualify for admission under Rule XIII(3) or Rule XIII(4), even if you are licensed in another U.S. state. If you apply for admission under Rule XIII(3) or Rule XIII(4), then you should submit the following fees with your application (see Rule XVII):
Foreign Nation Attorney–Texas Bar Exam Applicant only:
$700-Application Fee
$ 40-Fingerprint Card Processing Fee
$150-Examination Fee
$150-Investigation Fee
$100-Foreign Nation Inquiry Fee 
$1,140-Total
(In addition, you should submit the Laptop Examination Fee and Late Filing Fee as applicable.)

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I am enrolled in an LL.M. program in a Texas law school. Do I need to file a Declaration of Intention to Study Law?

No. Only non-attorney applicants who earned (or will earn) a J.D. from a Texas law school are required to file a Declaration of Intention to Study Law.

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How do I take the oath if I am not in the United States?

If you are admitted to practice law in Texas, you must take an oath to support the constitutions of the United States and Texas, honestly demean yourself in the practice of law, and discharge your duty to your clients to the best of your ability. Tex. Gov’t Code §82.037.

If you are outside the United States, you can appear before one of the following officials, who can administer the oath to you and give a certificate of fact:

  • a minister, commissioner, or charge d’affaires of the United States who resides in and is accredited to the country where the oath or affidavit is made;
  • a consul-general, consul, vice-consul, commercial agent, vice-commercial agent, deputy consul, or consular agent of the United States who resides in the country where the oath or affidavit is made; or
  • a notary public.

Tex. Gov’t Code §602.004.

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When is the best time for me to file my application for a particular exam?

Because our usual investigation and verification of educational and professional credentials can sometimes be delayed when responses from institutions in foreign nations are not forthcoming or when postal service overseas is inefficient, it is prudent for Rule XIII(3) applicants to file timely. Applicants assume a risk that foreign institutions may not respond to our routine inquiries in sufficient time for eligibility to be determined before the bar exam, and this can result in denial of the application. According to Rule XVIII(b), refunds or transfers of application fees are not authorized. Therefore, it is advisable to have the application prepared and filed before the timely deadline specified in Rule IX(a)(1) or (2) and to plan for all required documentation to be provided promptly.

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If an LL.M. degree from an ABA-approved law school is required for my application to sit for the bar exam, can I apply while I am completing my LL.M?

Yes, but be aware that your law school must certify completion of your LL.M. degree directly to the Board’s office at least 2 weeks before the first day of the exam you apply for.

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Approximately how long will it be before I find out whether I am eligible to sit for the bar examination?

We have up to 150 days to complete the character and fitness aspects of our investigation. Other aspects may require longer. It is always prudent for foreign-educated applicants to file their applications timely. Additionally, it is helpful for the applicant to remain in routine contact with the appropriate individuals at their law school, jurisdiction of licensure, and employers listed on their application to help secure timely responses.

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I am re-applying for the bar exam. Do I have to list information that I provided in the Employment or Character & Fitness sections of my previous application?

No. Please note the language on the Re-Application that states “since the filing of my last application”. The Re-Application is meant to update the Board with any new information that has occurred since the last time you applied. Do not provide duplicative information.

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I am re-applying for the bar exam. Do I need to submit another birth certificate or get re-fingerprinted? Is there any third-party documentation that must be resubmitted?

If you are a licensed attorney, you must submit a current Certificate of Good Standing and statement of discipline (dated within the past 30 days) for each state or foreign jurisdiction where you are admitted.

Unless specifically instructed by our office, you do not need to provide any the following with your Re-Application: birth certificate, fingerprint cards, MPRE score reports, transcripts.

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I have an LL.M. from an ABA-approved law school, but it does not satisfy the new curricular requirements set out in Rule XIII(8).

If you completed your LL.M. before October 1, 2016, then you are exempt from demonstrating that your LL.M. meets the curricular requirements set out in Rule XIII(8). 

If you complete your LL.M. degree on or after October 1, 2016, then you will be required to demonstrate that your LL.M. meets the curricular requirements set out in Rule XIII(8).

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I am in the process of completing an LL.M. degree at an ABA-approved law school, but it may not satisfy the new curricular requirements set out in Rule XIII(8).

If you completed your LL.M. before October 1, 2016, then you are exempt from demonstrating that your LL.M. meets the curricular requirements set out in Rule XIII(8). 

If you complete your LL.M. degree on or after October 1, 2016, then you will be required to demonstrate that your LL.M. meets the curricular requirements set out in Rule XIII(8).

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Photographs


What types of applications require an uploaded photo?

Only bar exam applications require a photo.

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What are the requirements for an uploaded photo?

Your photo must meet the following requirements:

  • Color photo.
  • Individual photo taken in front of a plain white background.
  • Taken within the past 6 months to reflect your current appearance.
  • Full face view, directly facing the camera, with a neutral expression and both eyes open.
  • Photo should only include your shoulders and head.
  • No hat or head covering unless worn for religious purposes.
  • Glasses are permitted; however, glare in the photo is not acceptable (glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by turning off the flash).
  • 300 x 300 once uploaded and cropped.

Image result for front head silhouette

 

Back to FAQ

AWOX (Admission Without Examination)


What activities count as being actively and substantially engaged in the lawful practice of law?

In order to qualify for admission without examination (AWOX) under Rule XIII, applicants must establish that they have "been actively and substantially engaged in the lawful practice of law" as their "principal business or occupation for at least five of the last seven years immediately preceding the filing of the Application." Rule XIII(1)(a).

Rule I(a)(11) describes the practice of law to include:

  • private practice as a sole practitioner or for a law firm, legal services office, legal clinic, public agency, or similar entity;
  • practice as an attorney for an individual or for a corporation, partnership, trust, or other entity with the primary duties of furnishing legal counsel and advice; drafting and interpreting legal documents and pleadings; interpreting and giving advice regarding the law; or preparing, trying, or presenting cases before courts, departments of government, or administrative agencies;
  • practice as an attorney for a local government or the state or federal government, with the same primary duties described in the preceding subsection;
  • employment as a judge, magistrate, referee, or similar official for a local government or the state or federal government, provided that the employment is open only to licensed attorneys;
  • employment as a full-time teacher of law at an approved law school;
  • any combination of the preceding categories.

The Board has adopted a Policy Statement on Practice Requirements for Rule XIII, which is available on our webpage at Application Forms - Ancillary Forms Information - Other - Policy Statement

For work as an attorney in (or from within) any jurisdiction without being licensed as an attorney in that jurisdiction, you must provide a written statement, including citation of court rule, statute or binding authority in that jurisdiction, demonstrating to the satisfaction of the Board that the jurisdiction does not regard such activity or practice as unlawful.

Engaging in the unauthorized or unlawful practice of law could result in a negative character finding by the Board, a referral to the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, and could also result in your employing attorney being referred to the State Bar General Counsel for violation of Rule 5.05(b), Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.

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What documentation is required to substantiate my active and substantial practice of law for Rule XIII admission?

Tax Returns or Proof of Income. For each calendar year during the applicable 7-year period during which you are claiming employment as an attorney, you must provide one the following:

  1. A copy of each of your federal U.S. income tax returns, together with all schedules, W-2, K-1, and 1099 forms as applicable for each calendar year during which you are claiming employment as an attorney. If you need a copy of your U.S. tax return and attachments, you can complete an IRS form 4506 (Request for Copy of Tax Form), and submit it to the IRS along with the required fee. Generally, the IRS can provide copies for the current year and past six years.
  2. A copy of each income tax form and schedules required to be file by you in a foreign nation
  3. For each calendar year during which you are claiming employment as an attorney but for which you have not filed a federal or foreign income tax return or form, documentation of your total adjusted gross income and the portion of that income attributable to your law practice.

Authorization to Practice Law. Generally, at all times during the period of practice for which credit is sought, you must have had an active law license under which you have been, lawfully entitled to practice law in the issuing jurisdiction, unless controlling federal or foreign law provides otherwise.

For each jurisdiction in which you practiced law without holding a valid, active license issued by the jurisdiction in which the practice occurs, you must have the jurisdiction in which the practice occurs to confirm in writing to the Board that it regards such practice as lawful in order for it be considered for purposes of any practice requirement of Rule XIII, Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas. Only when it is demonstrated that written confirmation of lawful practice has been sought from the jurisdiction and cannot be obtained, alternate proof of lawfulness can be provided in the form of a verifiable written statement citing court rule, statute or other authority in the jurisdiction, demonstrating to the satisfaction of the Board that the jurisdiction does not regard such activity or practice as unlawful.

Proof of authorization to practice law may be satisfied by proof that you were lawfully engaged in the practice of law as an in-house counsel in a foreign jurisdiction that requires a person to surrender the person’s license in order to practice in-house.

Job Descriptions. For each law practice employment you have had, you must provide a copy of the official job description from the employer’s personnel records, describing the position you held. If the employer indicates that no official job description exists, have the employer write to the Board, on firm or company letterhead, and provide a detailed description of the work you performed in the position and a statement as to whether the employment was full-time, and if not, providing detailed documentation of the hours you worked providing legal services in this position.

Military Lawyers. If you are seeking to count practice as a military lawyer, you must submit copies of all officer evaluation performance reports for the period of time you are claiming, in addition to your DD Form 214, as applicable, at the time you file your application.

Part-Time Practice. Demonstrated practice of at least 30 hours per week is necessary to establish active and substantial practice. If your practice experience includes part-time law practice, or time that may not be counted under the Policy Statement on Practice Requirements for Rule XIII, you may be required to establish the actual number of hours per week you rendered legal services for that period of time to count toward the Rule XIII requirements.

No credit will be given for practice unless the required documentation is provided. You must submit an English translation of any required document that is not written in English.

Back to FAQ

I am applying for AWOX. Do I need to file my application according to the deadlines provided in Rule IX?

No. There are no filing deadlines for AWOX applications, so you  may sumbit your AWOX application at any time. But submitting an AWOX application around January 30 or October 30 may result in a slower processing time--we receive a large number of bar exam applications around these two days. 

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I am a self-employed attorney. The Employment History section asks for a verifying reference. Who is an acceptable self-employment reference?

Examples of acceptable references include your accountant, your landlord if you have office space, an attorney with whom you work closely, or a judge.  Do not list yourself, a relative, or anyone else with a vested interest in the licensure determination.

Back to FAQ

How long does the AWOX process take?

The Board has up to 150 days to complete its character and fitness investigation, and attempts to complete its eligibility investigation for AWOX in the same time frame.  Generally, it takes approximately three to four months from the date your application is received in our office to complete the process; however, it could take more or less time depending on the particular application.  It is helpful for you to provide all required documentation when you submit your application and to ensure that your employment references will respond promptly to any written inquiries from the Board, which will be sent after we begin processing your application.

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I am employed as an attorney in Texas, but I am not licensed to practice law in Texas. Can my employment be counted toward the AWOX practice time requirement?

Please refer to the Policy Statement on Practice Requirements for Rule XIII, which you can view here:  Ancillary Forms & Information.  We cannot provide advisory opinions without a properly-filed application. 

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I no longer have a copy of 1 or more years of my tax returns that are required to be submitted with my AWOX application, how can I obtain a copy of my return/s?

You can request transcripts of previous returns from the IRS using the 4506-T form.  Be sure to request return transcripts.  Copies are generally available for the current and past six years.  You may also be able to obtain tax documentation from your employer(s) or your accountant.

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How do I provide proof of my scaled score of 85 or higher on the MPRE?

If you took the MPRE within the past 15 years, you will contact the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and request that an official score report be sent directly to our office.  Be sure to select “Texas” when completing your score report request.

If you took the MPRE over 15 years ago and the NCBE is unable to provide an official score report, submit a request to the jurisdiction where you are licensed to practice law for a letter, on their letterhead, containing the date you took the MPRE and the scaled score you received.  This letter must be sent directly to our office from that jurisdiction.  If you are unable to obtain such information, it is possible that you will have to retake the MPRE. 

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How do I provide proof of my ABA-Approved J.D. degree?

Complete the top portion of a JD Certification Form, and send it to your law school. Your law school should complete the rest of the form and send it directly to us. The JD Certification Form automatically loads to your ATLAS home page after you submit an AWOX application.  You can also find a blank form at Ancillary Forms & Information.

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I previously applied for, but did not take, the Texas Bar Examination. Am I eligible to apply for AWOX?

As long as you have not previously sat for any portion of or failed the Texas Bar Examination, you may apply for AWOX, provided you meet all other Rule XIII AWOX requirements.

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I previously failed the Texas Bar Examination, but have since been licensed in another jurisdiction. Can I apply for AWOX?

Pursuant to Rule XIII(1)(C), only attorneys who have never failed the Texas Bar Examination may apply for AWOX.

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My employer does not have an official job description. What documentation should I provide in lieu of this?

You may submit a letter, on official letterhead and signed by a managing partner or the head of HR/personnel, detailing your job duties and dates of employment. 

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Can I submit an AWOX application before I have satisfied the 5-year practice requirement?

Do not file an application for AWOX until you have been licensed and actively and substantially practicing as an attorney for at least 5 years.  Please note that under Rule XIII(1), we  look back 7 years from the date we receive your application. For example, if we receive your application on January 1, 2014, your eligibility window would be from January 1, 2007, to January 1, 2014--you woud have to establish 5 years of practice during that 7-year window.  By Rule, we cannot consider employment that takes place after you submit your application.

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I am unsure whether I qualify for AWOX. Can I call and ask whether I am eligible to file?

The Board cannot provide advisory opinions as to a potential applicant’s eligibility without a properly-filed application.  Therefore, it is to your advantage to ensure that you have thoroughly read Rule XIII and obtained all required documentation prior to filing an application.

Back to FAQ

The Bar Exam


Where can I find information about the Bar Exam?

Start here: Bar Exam >  Current Exam

Back to FAQ

Where are the General Instructions for the Texas Bar Examination?

The General Instructions are located here: Bar Exam > Current Exam > General Instructions. You may view them online, download them and open them in Adobe (which will allow you to use the hyperlinked table of contents and bookmarks), or print them. 

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How will I know at which exam site I will be taking the Texas Bar Examination?

There is a good chance you will be assigned to your first choice of exam site; however, you may be moved to another site.  If this occurs, you will be notified.  Please note that exam site assignments are not considered confirmed until admission tickets are delivered (approximately 4 weeks before the exam). 

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Can I sit for the Texas Bar Examination if I have not yet received my J.D. degree?

Yes.  In order to sit for the Texas Bar Examination, you must simply meet the law study requirement  in Rule III, which states that you must have received a J.D. degree from an ABA-approved law school, or be within 4 semester hours (or 6 quarter hours) of your degree.  Your law school must certify that you meet the law study requirement by submitting proof directly to our office.  Texas law schools will typically verify their students’ status prior to the issuance of admission tickets.  You should remain in contact with your law school to ensure that your law school will be able to submit this certification to the Board by the appropriate time in order for you to be eligible to receive an admission ticket for the exam that you applied for.

Back to FAQ

What bar review courses are available?

The Board is not affiliated with any companies that handle bar review courses. We have been given the following names for distribution:

  • BAR / BRI 713-739-9482 website: www.barbri.com 
  • Fleming's Fundamentals of Law (Multistate only) 949-770-7030 website: www.lawprepare.com
  • Lewis & Davis [P & E only] 713-739-9482 {material distributed by BAR/BRI}
  • MicroMash Bar Review 800-227-3926 website: www.MicroMash.net 
  • Kaplan PMBR Review   800-523-0777 website: www.kaplanpmbr.com 
  • Reed Bar Review   800-852-3926 website: www.reedbarreview.com
  • Celebration Bar Exam Review  800-840-6929  website:  http://www.celebration-bar-exam-review.com
  • MyBarPrep  website:  www.mybarprep.com
  • Primer Series ® Multi-State Bar Review Course  800-636-0716  http://www.MultistateBarReview.com  (MBE only)
  • Sol Software  360-335-0142   www.sol-software.com  (MBE / MPRE only)
  • AdaptiBar   877-466-1250    www.adaptibar.com     (MBE only)
  • NCBE Store
  • Ameribar Texas  713-758-0570  www.ameribar.com
  • BeatTheBar.com  817-276-9090  www.BeatTheBar.com  (MBE only)
  • Themis Bar Review  888-THEMIS-6 (888-843-6476)  www.themisbar.com
  • Esqyr www.esqyr.com 

This list is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an endorsement of any particular bar review course. There may be other bar review courses of which the Board is not aware.

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Are copies of prior exams available?

Past exams are available under the Bar Exam tab.

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How can I obtain MPT sample questions and/or practice MBE questions?

Sample questions may be obtained by writing to:

National Conference of Bar Examiners
402 West Wilson Street
Madison, WI 53703-3614
608-280-8550 or 800-782-5976

 A link is available on the Other Links button on our home page.

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How do I change exam testing locations?

Contact your Licensure Analyst. Your Licensure Analyst will let you know whether or not you can change exam locations. 

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I signed up to hand-write the Texas Bar Examination but now I would like to switch to the laptop program. How do I do this?

Contact your Licensure Analyst to find out whether it is still possible to switch.  If so, you will be instructed to submit a signed, written request along with the $25 laptop fee and a completed laptop application immediately. See our Laptop Information page.

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Laptop Testing


Where can I find information about using my laptop on the Bar Exam?

Start here: Bar Exam > Current Exam > Laptop Information

Back to FAQ

What are the recommended MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS for using SofTest?

SofTest can be used on virtually any modern computer (i.e. purchased within the last 3-4 years). SofTest cannot be used on virtual operating systems such as Microsoft's Virtual Machine, Parallels, VMware, VMware Fusion or any other virtual environments.

Specific system requirements can be found on ExamSoft's website.

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If my laptop crashes/breaks/is lost or stolen, can I re-download the software on another laptop?

Yes, but please be aware that, as of the July 2014 bar exam, ExamSoft charges a separate $50 administrative fee for re-downloading of SofTest.

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On what parts of the Texas Bar Exam can SofTest be used with my laptop?

As of the February 2016 exam, laptops may be used on Day 1 for the Multistate Performance Test (“MPT”), and the Procedure and Evidence ("P&E"), and on Day 3 the Texas Essay Exam.
You must be prepared to handwrite exam answers using black ink (not pencil) in the event of a problem with your computer or electric power supply. 
The only day that pencils are used is Day 2 on the Multistate Bar Examination (“MBE”).

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Who is ExamSoft?

ExamSoft Worldwide, Inc. is a software developer specializing in computerized assessment and assessment administration programs.

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What is SofTest™?

SofTest™ is a program developed and licensed by ExamSoft that enables exam takers to securely take examinations downloaded to their own laptop computers by blocking access to files, programs, and the Internet during an exam.  Examsoft will assess a fee for this software.  This fee is approximately $104.25 and is subject to change without notice.

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I previously downloaded ExamSoft software in law school to take exams. Do I need to download new ExamSoft software and pay the software fee if I am signed up to take the exam using my laptop?

Yes, the ExamSoft software that you are instructed by the Texas Board of Law Examiners to download is specifically tailored to the Texas Bar Exam.

Back to FAQ

What is the SofTest Registration Process?

In order to complete your laptop registration, you must:

1. Find Your User ID/Examinee Number and Password

  • A few days before laptop registration opens, we will send you an e-mail containing your User ID/Examinee Number and Password.

2. Sign Up with ExamSoft

  • After you recieve our e-mail containing your User ID/Examinee Number and Password, go to http://www.examsoft.com/txbar and login to the Exam Takers section using your User ID/Examinee Number and Password.

3. Purchase, Download, and Install SofTest  

  • The SofTest fee is paid to ExamSoft when you download SofTest. This fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. This fee is in addition to and separate from fees paid to the Board of Law Examiners for the Texas Bar Examination.
  • Download and install SofTest on the laptop you will use on exam day. If you have to  re-download to a different device, ExamSoft will assess a $50 administrative fee.

4. Register Your Software

  • Enter your User ID/Examinee Number and Password into SofTest to register your copy of the software.

5. Download Exam Files and Mock Exam

  • After you register your copy of SofTest, Exam Files and the Mock Exam will automatically download to your laptop.

6. Complete the Mock Exam and Upload Your Responses

  • The password to open the Mock Exam is: mock123
  • If you do not complete the Mock Exam and upload your responses by 11:59 p.m. CST on June 13, 2016, you may not be able to use your laptop for the July 2016 Texas Bar Examination.
  • Information on taking your Mock Exam and uploading your responses can be found here: http://go.examsoft.com/barexam.
Back to FAQ

How can I check to make sure I have installed and registered the SofTest software successfully?

Once you register SofTest, you will be advised on-screen and via email that you have done so successfully. After you upload your response to the mock exam, you will also receive e-mail confirmation. You may also access your registration status through ExamSoft's website.

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What is the Mock Exam?

Completing and the Mock Exam enables you, before exam day, to familiarize yourself with how to open, write, and upload your answer files. Successfully uploading the Mock Exam confirms your laptop is compatible with SofTest. (Spell check will not be enabled on the Texas Bar Examination even though it may be enabled on the Mock Exam.)

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How do I get a copy of the Mock Exam?

One copy of the Mock Exam will be automatically downloaded to your laptop after you have registered your copy of SofTest. You will receive email confirmation the download has occurred along with instructions on how to complete the Mock Exam to ensure the Mock Exam answer file has been properly uploaded.

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How will I know if my Mock Exam answer file was returned?

A visual “progress status” (blue bar) is displayed on your screen as the upload takes place. When the upload is complete, a “success” message is displayed on your screen. An email confirmation is then sent to the email address you provided when you registered.

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May I practice with the software?

Yes. We strongly urge you to take advantage of the practice options explained below. 
Practice Exam Built into SofTest - After registering SofTest, launch the program by double-clicking the SofTest icon on your Windows Desktop. Click the ‘Launch SofTest’ button. When SofTest opens, click the Practice Exam button. This process enables you to familiarize yourself with the SofTest exam environment and word processing features. The Practice Exam cannot be saved, and no Practice Exam answer file will be uploaded. You may use this Practice Exam as many times as you wish.
Internet Delivered Mock Exam – The Mock Exam will familiarize you with SofTest. Internet connectivity is required for you to upload your Mock Exam answer and to download your exam files, which will be used on the day of the Bar Examination. You will not have access to the Internet during the actual exam sessions.

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What if I have technical problems or technical questions?

Please be advised that Board staff is not trained to provide technical support. Please visit the ExamSoft Contact and Solution Center. Technical support from ExamSoft will also be available to you via email at Support@examsoft.com or by phone at 866.429.8889, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Eastern Time).

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Do I have to use a laptop to take the Texas Bar Examination?

No. The choice to use a laptop is entirely voluntary. You may choose to write the bar examination by hand. Laptop examinees must use the security software and comply with the mandatory Internet file upload procedures.
In the even of a hardware/software malfuction, or power failure that cannot be resolved immediately, you will be required to handwrite your exam answers in answer books. No extra time will be given to do so. 

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Can I bring my laptop case or bag, backpack, luggage or purse?

No. Do not bring laptop bags, luggage, backpacks, or purses-- a clear 2.5 gallon Hefty or Zip-Loc bag can cover your laptop.

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Can I bring books, outlines, study materials, CDs, DVDs, floppy disks, USB drives, memory sticks, or cell phones into the exam room?

No. 

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Do I need to bring my power cord for my laptop?

Yes. All laptop examinees must either bring a power cord that is at least 8-feet long, or bring an extension cord so their laptop can be powered from an outlet that is 8 feet away.

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Can I bring a laptop cooling stand?

Yes.  However, if your laptop overheats, crashes or is not functioning reliably without a cooling stand, IT IS A MISTAKE to attempt to use your laptop for the bar exam. A cooling stand is subject to inspection by exam staff. You must be prepared to handwrite exam answers in the event of a problem with your computer.

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Will I be permitted to use an external mouse and/or external keyboard?

Yes. These will be subject to inspection by the exam staff.

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Will technical help be available on the day of the examination?

VERY LIMITED. ExamSoft Site Engineers will provide limited technical support during the laptop set up instructions. ExamSoft provides approximately one site engineer per one hundred examinees. It is your responsibility to be familiar with the software and the procedures for saving and uploading answers and to ensure that your laptop is in working order BEFORE the examination. Board staff members are not technical engineers and are not available for technical support.

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Will spell-check or cut-and-paste features in SofTest be enabled for the bar examination?

Spell check will not be available.

Cut-and-paste and copy-and-paste will be enabled. (Use care when deleting text; consider using copy-and-paste instead of cut-and-paste.)

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Can I take the Procedure and Evidence exam on my laptop?

As of the February 2016 exam, laptops may be used on the Procedure and Evidence portion of the exam.

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Will the MPT, P&E, and Essay questions appear on my screen at the time of the examination?

No. All exam questions – including MPT, P&E, and Essay questions– are provided on paper and are distributed to each applicant (both laptop and handwriting examinees) by proctors on the day of the examination. The questions will not be included in the downloaded exam files.

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Will there be a different answer screen for each Essay question?

Yes. SofTest provides a numbered answer screen for each of the twelve Essay questions. Answer each question (and all of its corresponding parts) in the appropriately numbered SofTest window. It is very important that you use the answer screen for Question 1 only to answer Question 1, the answer screen for Question 2 only to answer Question 2, and so on.

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Can I take the MultiState Bar Examination (MBE) on my laptop?

No. The MBE is a national test and is available only in paper format. You will need to use a pencil for the MBE. This is the only exam segment to use a pencil.

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Can I take my laptop out of the testing room over the lunch break on Day 3? Can I leave my laptop in the testing room over the lunch break on Day 3?

On Day 3, you will be required to leave your laptop at your assigned table during the lunch break.  You may not access it during the break. Members of the exam staff will remain in the testing room.  Examinees will not be re-admitted before doors are opened for the afternoon session.

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Am I allowed to use my laptop to study in the exam room before or between exam sessions?

No. You will be required to launch SofTest when you enter the exam room before the MPT and before each Essay session, and you must keep your laptop closed when you have finished and exited SofTest. Examinees will not be allowed to access the exam room during the lunch breaks on Day 2 and Day 3.
No studying and no study materials are allowed in the exam room. This applies whether study materials are printed, handwritten, saved on a disk or memory device, on your hard drive, on the Internet, in an email, in a text message or in any other electronic format, and applies to both laptop and handwriting examinees.

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How will I turn in my examination answers for grading?

Internet connectivity (wired or wireless) is required to upload your MPT, P&E, and Essay answers with ExamSoft. 

On Tuesday you must complete the upload of your exam answer files for the MPT, and P&E by 4:30 p.m. (Central Time).
On Thursday you must complete the upload of your exam answer files for the Texas Essays by 10:00 p.m. (Central Time). 

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Will there be Internet Connectivity at the examination site?

You will not have access to the Internet during the actual exam sessions. While in the exam room you may not access the Internet, email, chat rooms, other computers, or any study materials.

Although most facilities will have some Internet connectivity, you may or may not be given the option to upload your exam answer files at the exam site. Detailed directions for uploading exam answers will be given at each exam site. 

On Tuesday, all applicants must complete the upload of the exam answer file for the MPT, and P&E by 4:30 p.m. (Central Time).
On Thursday, all applicants must complete the upload of the exam answer files for the Texas Essays by 10:00 p.m. (Central Time). 

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I have a question regarding the use of Examsoft's SofTest software that wasn't answered on your website.

Please refer to the ExamSoft website.

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Tips for using your laptop to take the Bar Exam
  • ​​​Be sure your laptop is dependable, meets the Minimum System Requirements, and does not tend to stall, crash, or overheat.
  • Disable all screen savers, spyware software, and power saving features before arriving at the exam site.
  • Ensure that the date and time are correct on your laptop.
  • Test your laptop with the Mock Exam and SofTest Practice exams as much as possible before arriving at the examination site.
  • Bring your laptop in a clear, 2.5-gallon Hefty or Zip-Loc bag. Do not bring laptop bags, luggage, backpacks, or purses to the exam site.
  • Bring your power cord, and an extension cord if you need to--your power outlet may be up to 8 feet away. 
  • Bring black ink pens. Do not use blue ink for any part of the exam.
  • Do not bring printed or electronic study materials, CDs, DVDs, floppy disks, USB drives, memory sticks, cell phones or any communication device.
  • On Day 1 for the MPT and P&E, and Day 3 for the Essay exam sessions, you will be given step-by-step printed instruction sheets for launching and exiting SofTest, and for accessing the Internet after the exam session to upload MPT, P&E, and Essay answer files. Carefully read the written handouts that will be provided to you and listen to all instructions announced from the podium.
  • Answer each question (and all of its corresponding parts) in the appropriately numbered SofTest window.
  • If your laptop crashes, you must be prepared to handwrite your exam answers.
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I signed up to take the Texas Bar Examination using my laptop but no longer wish to type the exam. What do I do?

Submit a signed, written request to switch from laptop to hand-writing.  Please note that no refund of fees will be issued pursuant to Rule XVIII(b). 

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Grade Release, Swearing In, and Licensing


When are bar exam results released?

We generally release July bar exam results during the first week of November.

We generally release February bar exam results during the first week of May.  

We will notify examinees of the anticipated date of grade release with their admission tickets.

Please do not contact us to ask if we will release results early.

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When and where is the swearing-in ceremony?

The State Bar of Texas generally holds a swearing-in ceremony for new lawyers 2 or 3 weeks after bar exam results are released. If you pass the exam and we have verified your completion of all other licensing requirements when results are released, you will be eligible to participate in the ceremony. We will deliver information about the ceremony with the results of those applicants who passed the exam and are eligible to participate in the ceremony.  For July 2016 examinees, the swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for Monday, November 21, 2016. 

 

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What can I expect at the swearing-in ceremony?

We suggest that you arrive early at the Frank C. Erwin Center (15th Street & I35). Doors open at 8:30 a.m.

Parking is available at 13th & San Jacinto between 12th & 13th Streets (2 hours free), 1815 Trinity & MLK ($10), or 15th & Red River ($10).

The ceremony will begin at 10:00 a. m. and will last approximately 45 minutes.

Programs will be available at the entrances of the Center.

New attorney licensees should go directly to the floor of the Erwin Center where the chairs are set up.

Family and friends must sit in the stands of the Erwin Center.

New attorneys will be sworn in en masse toward the end of the ceremony following guest speakers.

An oath is printed in the program. After the ceremony, complete the oath and attach it to the back of your law license when you receive it in the mail.

After the ceremony, go to the concourse for refreshments. Information tables will also be set up and staff will be available to answer questions or provide assistance regarding membership requirements and other information about the State Bar.

You will not be able to register with the State Bar at the Erwin Center; however, you can go to the Texas Law Center to register following the ceremony. Have your registration correspondence that was delivered to you with your bar exam results. A map to the Law Center will be available at the Membership Information tables.

Your bar card and law license will be mailed to you after you have registered with the State Bar.

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If I do not plan to attend the swearing-in ceremony, how do I become licensed as soon as possible?

You cannot practice law in Texas until you complete the licensing process. To complete the licensing process, you must:

  • Pass the bar exam.
  • Register with the State Bar of Texas, pay your bar dues, and pay a licensing fee. Visit texasbar.com/NewAttorney to register with the Bar and pay the required fees. After your fees have been received, your license will be mailed to you. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. If you do not complete this step within 2 years of grade release, your bar exam results will become void, and you cannot be licensed unless you pass the Texas Bar Exam again and meet all other admission requirements in effect at the time that you re-apply.
  • Take the oath. Any person who is authorized to administer oaths—including a judge, retired judge, clerk, or notary—may swear you in, either before or after you receive your license in the mail. See Tex. Gov’t Code §602.002. A copy of the oath, the elements of which can be found at Texas Government Code §82.037, can be found here: oath or alternative oath. After you complete the oath, attach it to the back of your license. Do not send it to the Bar or the Court.

In addition, please note that by order of the Supreme Court of Texas, all newly licensed attorneys must complete A Guide to the Basics of Law Practice no later than 12 months after being licensed. For more information, contact the Texas Center for Legal Ethics at info@legalethicstexas.com or 512-427-1477. 

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Can I pick up my license at the swearing-in ceremony?

No.  Bar cards and law licenses will be mailed. 

Questions about the licenses should be directed to the Supreme Court Clerk’s office, 512-463-1312.

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How do I become licensed if I come to Austin and walk through the process?

If you pass the Bar Exam and you would like to complete the licensing process in person: 

AFTER YOU RECEIVE THE GRADE PACKAGE, the process outlined above can be conducted in person. All the fees can be paid at the Membership Department on the 5th floor of the Texas Law Center.

However, the bar card and law license will not be available to be picked up at the time the fees are paid. Bar cards and law licenses will be mailed for those who have walked in to pay fees. Questions about the State Bar membership fees and process should be directed to the Membership Department, 512-427-1383 or via email at sandra.gavin@texasbar.com.

 

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If I am lacking a licensing requirement, how do I become licensed once that requirement is met?

After the Board receives an original document verifying the satisfaction of the lacking requirement, a new and complete licensing packet will be mailed to you.  As has been previously stated, any Change of Address must be received at the Board office in writing.

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If I do not pass the exam, how can I re-apply for the next exam?

Complete and submit a Bar Exam Application through ATLAS. If you do not submit your re-application by 11:59 p.m. on the Special Filing Deadline, you will not be eligible to take the upcoming exam. 

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Can I get my exam papers re-graded?

No.  All scores have been automatically checked for mathematical errors and all papers with borderline scores have been re-graded and double-checked for any mathematical errors before grades were released. For this reason, the Board will not grant any requests for re-grading.  No exceptions are made to this policy. Do not call or write the Board requesting a re-grade of your exam papers.  All such requests will be denied, without exception.

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I did not pass the exam. Can I look at my papers to find out what I did wrong?

No. However, Rule XI in the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas does provide for two kinds of examination reviews--a formal review and an informal review.  You cannot request both a formal and an informal review of the same exam.  The purpose of a review under Rule XI is to assist you in improving your performance on future exams.  Such a review is neither an appeal nor a re-grade of your performance on the exam. 

Formal Reviews-- Rule XI(g) provides for a one-time formal review, which is an individual, oral review of your performance on the exam (excluding the MBE).  You are entitled to a formal review if you have failed the Bar Exam more than once and have not previously had a formal review. Regardless of the number of exams taken, you are entitled to only one formal review. We must receive your written request for a formal review within 14 days of the date shown on the result letter. This is a receipt deadline, not a postmark deadline. Examinees are strongly encouraged to fax their request for a review to 512-463-5300. The review takes place during a regularly scheduled Board meeting. We will notify you of the exact date and appropriate procedures after we receive and process all requests. Please note that if you request a Formal Review of your exam results, you cannot also request an Informal Review of those same exam results.

Informal Reviews -- Rule XI(h) provides for an informal review of your performance on the failed portions of the exam. The examining Board member has the discretion to decide whether this review will be an oral, telephonic, or written review.  You are entitled to an informal review each time you fail the Bar Exam. We must receive your written request for an informal review within 14 days of the date shown on the result letter. This is a receipt deadline, not a postmark deadline. Examinees are strongly encouraged to fax their request for a review to 512-463-5300. We will notify you of the appropriate procedures after we receive and process all requests. Please note that if you request a Informal Review of your exam results, you cannot also request a Formal Review of those same exam results.

Please read Scoring and Weighting the Bar Exam.

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What was the pass rate for the most recent exam?

View the Statistics tab on the Board's Examination Information page.

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I passed the exam. Can I have a breakdown of my exam grades?

No.  Board policy does not provide passing examinees with a breakdown of their grades.  Passing examinees will receive their final “Combined Scaled Score” and their  “Scaled MBE Score” with their result letters. 

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Can I find out my overall ranking on the bar exam?

No. There is, however, a long-standing tradition that the examinees with the top three scores will be recognized at the swearing-in ceremony.  Overall rankings are not otherwise produced.

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How will my name appear on my law license?

When you create an ATLAS account, you are asked to indicate how you would like your name to appear on your license--this is how your name will appear on your license, assuming that it complies with Rule XVII(a). Rule XVII(a) provides than a law license "may be issued only in the name shown on a valid, government-issued identification card, except that a given name may be omitted or represented  by an initial if the Applicant so requests in writing."

So, for example, if your driver's license shows your name as Jean Lee Smith, your name could be displayed on your license as:

      Jean Lee Smith         Jean Smith

      Jean L. Smith            J. Smith

      J. Lee Smith              Lee Smith

      J.L. Smith                  L. Smith

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What is After the Bar Exam?

The State Bar of Texas presents AftertheBarExam.com, a free online resource for all Texas Bar examinees, to address the concerns and questions of those facing for the first time the challenges and opportunities of a life in the law. Click on the link to learn more.

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Reapplications


I am re-applying for admission to the Texas Bar. Do I have to list information that was previously provided in the Employment or Character & Fitness sections of my previous application?

No.  Please note the language on the Re-Application that states “since the filing of my last application”.  The Re-Application is meant to update the Board with any new information that has occurred since the last time you applied.  Do not provide duplicative information.

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I am submitting a Reapplication. Do I need to submit another birth certificate or get re-fingerprinted? Is there any third-party documentation that must be resubmitted?

If you are a licensed attorney, you must submit a current Certificate of Good Standing and statement of discipline (dated within the past 30 days) for each state or foreign jurisdiction where you are admitted with each Re-Application.  Otherwise unless specifically instructed by our office, you do not need to send the following with your Re-Application:  birth certificates, fingerprint cards, MPRE score reports, JD Certification forms.

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Reinstatements and Returns to Status


I was disbarred in Texas, but now I have a judgment of reinstatement. How do I apply for the Texas Bar Exam?

Reinstatement procedures for disbarred Texas attorneys are set out in Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure 11.01 et seq. If you were disbarred in Texas and you now have a judgment of reinstatement, you may apply for the Texas Bar Exam as follows:

  • Obtain a certified copy of your judgment of reinstatement. (If you have questions about petitioning for reinstatement, you may call the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, State Bar of Texas, at (512) 453-5535.)
  • Create an ATLAS account
  • Complete a Bar Exam Application
  • Upload a certified copy of a judgment of reinstatement
  • Upload a photograph
  • Upload a copy of your government-issued photo id
  • Submit the application and pay the fee
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I was a Texas attorney who resigned in lieu of discipline, but now I have a judgment of reinstatement. How do I apply for the Texas Bar Exam?

Reinstatement procedures for Texas attorneys who resigned in lieu of discipline are set out in Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure 11.01 et seq. If you were a Texas attorney who resigned in lieu of discipline and you now have a judgment of reinstatement, you may apply for the Texas Bar Exam as follows:

  • Obtain a certified copy of your judgment of reinstatement. (If you have questions about petitioning for reinstatement, you may call the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, State Bar of Texas, at (512) 453-5535.)
  • Create an ATLAS account
  • Complete a Bar Exam Application
  • Upload a certified copy of your judgment of reinstatement
  • Upload a photograph
  • Upload a copy of your government-issued photo id
  • Submit the application and pay the fee
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I was a Texas attorney who resigned other than in the face of pending disciplinary action. How do I apply for the Texas Bar Exam?

Texas attorneys who voluntarily resigned other than in face of pending disciplinary action can request a return to status under State Bar Rules Art. III, section 10. They can apply for the Texas Bar Exam as follows:

  • Create an ATLAS account
  • Complete a Bar Exam Application  
  • Upload a photograph
  • Upload a copy of your government-issued photo id
  • Submit the application and pay the fee
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MPRE


Does Texas require the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)?

Yes. You cannot be licensed to practice law in Texas until you have passed the MPRE with a scaled score of 85 or higher. See Rule V. The MPRE is administered by the NCBE.

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How do I provide proof of my scaled score of 85 or higher on the MPRE?

Contact the NCBE and ask them to send us your MPRE Score Report.

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Fingerprints


How do I make an appointment to have my fingerprints taken electronically?

See  Fingerprint Information.

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Can I be electronically fingerprinted rather than completing the paper card sent to me by the BLE?

If you currently reside outside of Texas, then you must be complete a paper fingerprint card. See  Fingerprint Information.

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Military Spouses


Does Texas have a policy concerning military spouses?

The Board, in consultation with the Supreme Court, has adopted policy guidelines for (a) consideration of problems faced by military spouse applicants and (b) consideration of their practice time waiver requests. Pursuant to these guidelines:

  • As used in these guidelines, a military spouse applicant means an attorney holding a current active law license in another state who demonstrates that his or her spouse is a person on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States, whose duty station is in Texas.
  • The military spouse applicant may file an application for admission in Texas at a reduced fee (the fee applicable to an out-of-state law student) without having to demonstrate the indigence required under Rule XVIII(b) for fee waivers.
  • If applying to take the Texas Bar Examination, no late fee will be incurred for filing within the times provided in Rule IX(a)(3).
  • The military spouse applying for admission without examination (AWOX) should meet all other eligibility criteria for admission, but if lacking only Rule XIII(1) practice time, then the military spouse may submit a written request for waiver of XIII(1) demonstrating good cause for (a) enlarging the seven-year window to encompass law practice beyond seven years, (b) accepting fewer than the minimum five years time in practice, or both.
  • The military spouse’s waiver request shall be sumbitted through ATLAS at the time of filing the application for admission, or thereafter. In addition to any other factors the military spouse applicant may consider appropriate for the Board to consider, the applicant’s waiver request shall include:
    • A verifiable history of short-term moves that were compulsory for the applicant as an attorney married to an active duty military service member;
    • A detailed description of the unique problems, if any, the applicant faced as a military spouse in undertaking to engage actively and substantially in the lawful practice of law during the relevant time period(s) for which waiver is sought;
    • Documentation demonstrating to the Board’s satisfaction that the applicant is currently the legal spouse of an active duty member of the armed forces whose duty station is in Texas; maintains a current active license to practice law in another state or territory of the United States; is in good standing and has no current or pending discipline in any jurisdiction currently licensed (active or inactive status); is in compliance with Continuing Legal Education, fees and other requirements of licensure in all jurisdictions of active licensure; and has no issues that could result in the Board’s character and fitness director determining that the applicant lacks present good moral character and fitness; and
    • Any letters of support from attorneys with whom applicant has practiced law that the applicant considers appropriate for the Board to consider with respect to the waiver request.
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I am a military spouse. How do I request a reduction of fees?

If you are a military spouse applying to take the Texas Bar Exam, you may request a reduction of your filing fees from $1,040 (the fee for attorneys) down to $490 (the fee for out-of-state law students).

  1. Create an ATLAS account.
  2. Complete a bar exam application. 
  3. Once you have completed the application, a "request waiver" button will appear. Click on it, and complete the questions to request a reduction or waiver of fees.
  4. To receive a reduction of the fee to $490, you do not need to establish indigence, and you do not need to provide any information about your income.
  5. You do need to establish that you are currently the legal spouse of an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States who is stationed in Texas. To establish this, you will need to upload:
  • A copy of military dependent identification documents
  • Documentary evidence that the service member’s duty station is in Texas in compliance with military orders,
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I am a military spouse applying for admission without examination, but I have less than 5 years of practice time. Can I request a waiver of the 5-year practice requirement?

A military spouse may submit a request for waiver of the 5-year practice requirement in Rule XIII(1) by demonstrating good cause for (a) enlarging the seven-year window to encompass law practice beyond seven years, (b) accepting fewer than the minimum five years time in practice, or (c) both.

  1. Create an ATLAS account.
  2. Complete an AWOX application. 
  3. Once you have completed the application, a "request waiver" button will appear. Click on it, and complete the waiver request.
  4. Be sure to upload:
  • A copy of military dependent identification documents.
  • Documentary evidence that the service member’s duty station is in Texas in compliance with military orders,
  • A statement addressing a verifiable history of short-term moves that were compulsory for the applicant as an attorney married to an active duty military service member;
  • A detailed description of the unique problems, if any, the applicant faced as a military spouse in undertaking to engage actively and substantially in the lawful practice of law during the relevant time period(s) for which waiver is sought;
  • Any letters of support from attorneys with whom applicant has practiced law that the applicant considers appropriate for the Board to consider with respect to the waiver request.
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Non-Resident Attorney Fee (Pro Hac Vice)


How do I submit a non-resident attorney fee?
  • Go to the Application Forms tab on our website and complete a Non-Resident Attorney Fee Submission Form.
  • Submit the form on-line, and submit payment on-line by credit card or electronic check.
  • We will process your Submission Form by the end of our next business day.

Please note that in addition to Texas state holidays, our office is usually closed for business the entire week of the February bar exam and the entire week of the July bar exam. See Current Exam for exact bar exam dates.

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What will I receive from the Board of Law Examiners after I submit my Non-Resident Attorney Fee Submission Form?

After processing your completed Submission Form, we will issue an Acknowledgement Letter stating the non-resident attorney name, the cause number, and the Texas court or body in which the proceeding is pending. The Acknowledgment Letter will serve as proof of payment of the non-resident attorney fee. We will deliver the Acknowledgment Letter by fax, mail, or e-mail, as instructed in the Submission Form. Once we deliver the Acknowledgment Letter, we cannot alter its contents, and we cannot refund or transfer the fee for any reason.

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When will I receive my Acknowledgment Letter?

We will issue the Acknowledgment Letter by the end of our next business day.
For example:

  • If you pay online on Monday, then we will issue the Acknowledgment Letter by Tuesday at 5 p.m.
  • If you pay online on Friday afternoon, then we will issue the Acknowledgment Letter by Monday at 5 p.m. (If Monday is a holiday, then we will issue the Acknowledgment letter by Tuesday at 5 p.m.)
  • If you pay online during the week of a Bar Exam, we may not issue the Acknowledgment Letter until 5 p.m. on the Tuesday after the Exam.
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TROUBLE SHOOTING
  • The submission form works best in Internet Explorer. If you use Google Chrome and encounter problems, please try again with Internet Explorer.
  • If you cannot find your acknowledgment letter, please check your Junk or Spam folder.
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Can I fax in a Submission Form?

No. The only way to submit the fee is to complete a Submission Form on-line and pay by credit card or electronic check.

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After I pay the non-resident attorney fee, what else must I do in order to participate in the proceedings of a cause in a Texas court?

After satisfying the fee requirement, a non-resident attorney then must file a motion with the applicable Texas court or body. The motion must be accompanied by our Acknowledgment Letter, as well as a motion from a resident practicing Texas attorney. See Rule XIX of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas for information on the required form and content of these motions.

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Who decides a non-resident attorney’s motion for permission to participate in a Texas proceeding?

The Texas court or body in which the motion is filed decides the motion. The court may deny the motion if the court determines that the non-resident attorney is not a reputable attorney who will observe the ethical standards required of Texas attorneys, that the non-resident attorney has been appearing in courts in Texas on a frequent basis, that the non-resident attorney has been engaging in the unauthorized practice of law in the state of Texas, or that other good cause exists.

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Does a non-resident attorney have to pay the non-resident attorney fee and comply with Rule XIX in order to seek permission to participate in the following:

a. A proceeding of a cause in a court with limited jurisdiction, such as a justice court?

Yes.  Rule XIX applies to the proceedings of a cause in any Texas state court. The rule does not apply to cases in federal courts located in Texas.

b. An administrative proceeding?

Rule XIX has been applied to proceedings in matters before Texas state agencies whose rules contemplate appearances by counsel.

c. A deposition, arbitration, mediation, or other pre-trial proceeding?

If a suit is on file in a Texas court, any participation by a non-resident attorney in the proceedings in that suit on behalf of a client, including arbitration and mediation, is subject to the fee requirement, even if the proceeding or deposition occurs outside of a courtroom.

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Is another fee required if a case is appealed to an appellate court?

Yes. The appellate case is considered a new proceeding.

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Do non-resident attorneys have to satisfy the fee if they are employed by government agencies or nonprofit entities?

Yes.

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Can the fee be waived?

Yes. The Supreme Court of Texas may waive or lower the fee for a non-resident attorney representing an indigent person.  For information on how to request a waiver, see Request to Waive or Reduce a Non-Resident Attorney Fee

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Will the fee be refunded if the case is dismissed or settles, another attorney substitutes in, or the court denies a motion to participate in the proceeding?

No. Once we deliver the Acknowledgment Letter, we cannot alter its contents, and we cannot refund or transfer the fee for any reason.

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Can a non-resident attorney pay one fee to cover multiple cases?

No.  A non-resident attorney must satisfy the fee requirement for each case in which the attorney is seeking to participate.  See Tex. Gov't Code §82.0361(b).

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Can a single fee cover multiple non-resident attorneys who work for the same law firm and seek to participate in the same case?

No.  Texas Government Code Sec. 82.0361(b) refers to an individual attorney.

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Can one payment be submitted to cover more than one fee?

No. You must submit a separate Submission Form with payment for each non-resident attorney fee.

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How does the Board apply the non-resident attorney fees?

All non-resident attorney fees are deposited in a judicial fund for programs approved by the Supreme Court that provide basic civil legal services to the indigent.

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Do I have to be associated with a Texas attorney?

Yes. A non-resident attorney seeking permission to participate in proceedings of a particular cause must be associated with a practicing attorney who is licensed in Texas. See Rule XIX(a)(2) and XIX(b) of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas.

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Should a motion to the Court be filed simultaneously with the application to the Board?

No. Satisfying the fee requirement is a mandatory first step. The Board will process the application and send an Acknowledgement Letter for the specific case listed on the application.  The Acknowledgment Letter must accompany a written motion and will inform the Court that you have satisfied the non-resident attorney fee requirement.

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Is expedited processing available?

No.

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General FAQs


My credit card won't go through, or I am getting error messages when I try to submit my fee.

For assistant with payment submission, please contact the help desk at Texas.gov:

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What is Texas' policy on reciprocal admission, admission by comity, admission on motion, or admission without examination?

Texas does not have a reciprocal agreement with any other jurisdiction.  Out-of-state attorneys who received a J.D. from an ABA-approved law school and have at least five years of recent practice may pursue Admission Without Examination (AWOX) under Rule XIII(1).  Interested individuals should review the Board's General Application page (AWOX tab) for additional requirements and more information.

Texas attorneys who seek admission to another jurisdiction will have to contact the licensing agency for that jurisdiction.  The National Conference of Bar Examiners provides contact information for all U.S. jurisdictions at http://www.ncbex.org

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What is a valid law license?

A valid law license means an active law license.

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If I do not take the bar exam, will you refund my fees?

No. There is no refund of fees or transfer of fees to a future exam. See Rule XVIII.

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How do I receive information on obtaining a third year bar card?

Contact the State Bar of Texas, Membership Department: (512) 427-1383. The State Bar's toll-free number is: 800-204-2222, ext 1383.  More information is available at the Law Student Division of the State Bar of Texas.

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How do I submit a change of address?
  • Login to your ATLAS account.

  • Click the Personal Info tab in the toolbar at the top of the page.

  • Edit your information as needed.

  • Click the Update button at the bottom of the page.

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How can I get a copy of my Declaration or Application?

You can probably print what you want from your ATLAS account. If not, submit a Copy Request Form through your ATLAS account. We retain application records for 5 years from the date an applicant is licensed or from the date of the last formal activity. After 5 years, we destroy these records.

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Is the Board of Law Examiners associated with, or a part of, the State Bar of Texas?

No.

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How much are bar dues?

Contact the State Bar of Texas, Membership Department: (512) 427-1383.  The State Bar's toll-free number is: 800-204-2222, ext 1383.

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What are the telephone numbers for the State Bar of Texas, MCLE, Membership, Supreme Court Clerk's office, and the Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism?
  • State Bar of Texas 512-427-1463
  • Membership Department, 512-427-1383
  • MCLE Department, 512-427-1806
  • Supreme Court Clerk's office 512-463-1312
  • Center for Legal Ethics 512-427-1477
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What are the ABA-approved law schools in Texas?
 
Baylor University
School of Law
P. O. Box 97288
Waco, TX 76798
254-710-1911
South Texas College of Law
1303 San Jacinto
Houston, TX 77002-7000
713-646-1810
Southern Methodist University
School of Law
Storey Hall, Room 125
Dallas, TX 75275
214-768-2551
St. Mary's University
School of Law
One Camino Santa Maria
San Antonio, TX 78228
210-436-3531
Texas Southern University
Thurgood Marshall School of Law
3100 Cleburne Avenue
Houston, TX 77004
713-313-1004
Texas Tech University
School of Law
P. O. Box 40004
Lubbock, TX 79409
806-742-3791
Texas A&M Law School (Formerly TWU)
School of Law
1515 Commerce
Fort Worth, TX 76102
817-212-4046
University of Houston
Law Center
4800 Calhoun
Houston, TX 77204-6391
713-743-2185
University of Texas
School of Law
727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
512-232-1200
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How do I become a lawyer?

The State Bar of Texas has helpful information on becoming a lawyer.  However, the Board of Law Examiners is charged with determining whether each applicant for admission to the State Bar is, in fact, qualified.  No individual will be recommended for admission to the State Bar of Texas until it is determined that they are in compliance with the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas.  The Board of Law Examiners is not associated with, or a part of, the State Bar of Texas. 

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How can I deliver documents to the Board by the filing deadline?

An application is considered timely filed if we receive the following on or before 11:59 p.m. Central Time on the filing deadline date:

  1. A substantially completed application
  2. A certification or verification
  3. An authorization and release
  4. All required fees (or a request to waive those fees due to indigency)

Materials transmitted through ATLAS are received at the time of transmission (as recorded by ATLAS), even if the transmission does not occur during business hours. For example, an item transmitted through ATLAS on Sunday, October 30 at 11:59 p.m.  Central Time is received on Sunday, October 30.

Materials mailed through the U.S. Postal Service are received on the postmark date. If materials have no legible postmark, then they are received on the date that they are actually delivered to staff at the Board’s office during business hours.

Materials delivered by private courier (FedEx, UPS, etc.) or in person are received on the date that they are actually delivered to us at our office in Austin during business hours.

Deadlines are strictly enforced.

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I am a Texas licensed attorney whose MPRE score cannot be provided by the NCBE because it is over 15 years old, and I need my MPRE score transferred to another jurisdiction.

Submit a signed, written request to our office with as much of the following information as possible:  your name at the time you applied for the Texas Bar Examination, the date (month/year) you took the MPRE, and a second identifier (date of birth, SSN).  Please also include the current mailing address where you want us to mail your MPRE score.  Please be advised that, due to our records retention policy, depending on the date you sat for the MPRE, as well as the method you selected to have your score reported to Texas, we may not be able to provide your score information. 

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