Skip to Content

TEXAS BOARD of LAW EXAMINERS

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.

For technical assistance with our website via email or to provide feedback regarding the website, click here.

February 2022 Texas Bar Exam (UBE)

Uniform Bar Examination (UBE)

ATLAS

AWOX (Admission Without Examination)

The Bar Exam

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 2(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?

Fees

Fingerprints

Foreign-Trained Applicants

- Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of my LL.M. classes were completed online.
- 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 am unsure whether I qualify to take the bar exam under Rule 13. Can I call and receive an opinion from Board Staff about my eligibility?
- 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 satisfy the requirements of Rule 2(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 2(a)(5)(e)?
- How do I apply to take the bar exam?
- If I am applying pursuant to Rule 13 §4(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 13.
- 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 13 §9.

General FAQs

Grade Release, Swearing-In, and Licensing

Laptop Testing

Military Spouses

MPRE

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 19 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?

Photographs

Practice Time Requirements

Reapplications; Special Filing Periods

Reinstatements and Returns to Status

Rules

Supervised Practice of Law by Qualified Law Students and Qualified Unlicensed Law School Graduates in Texas

Texas Law Component

Texas Lawyers' Assistance Program (TLAP)

Waiver Requests


February 2022 Texas Bar Exam (UBE)


Where is the February 2022 Bar Exam being administered?

Although we traditionally offer one consolidated testing site for the February bar exam, we are expanding to two sites—the Palmer Events Center in Austin and George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston--for the February 2022 exam to ensure that we have adequate social distancing.  

 

We will allow applicants to indicate their preferred site and we anticipate assigning them to their first choice.   

 

We plan to send instructions to applicants on selecting their site on December 3, 2021 and will require them to select a site no later than December 15, 2021.  We plan to notify all applicants of their final site assignments on December 17, 2021.    

 

For more information, see our Bar Exam information page.

Also see our February Exam Sites page.

Back to TOP

Will phone storage be provided?

We will provide phone storage.

You may store your cell phone with Mobile Lockers before the exam. Just find the Mobile Locker van parked near the exam site entrance and show them your Admission Ticket. There is no charge for storing your phone.

Please note that phones that have been stored cannot be accessed during the exam or during lunch breaks on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Back to TOP



Uniform Bar Examination (UBE)


I took an October 2020 exam in a UBE jurisdiction. Can I transfer that score to Texas?

On August 24, the Board approved a proposal to accept a score of 270 or higher earned on the October 5-6, 2020 remote bar examination administered by the following Uniform Bar Examination jurisdictions as satisfaction of the UBE score requirement for admission under Rule 13 §1: the District of Columbia, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Vermont. 

Applicants need to have their jurisdiction send the scores to us directly. The jurisdiction can email information@ble.texas.gov. The jurisdiction's certification of your October 2020 remote exam must include your full name, NCBE number, and scaled score.

Applicants need to complete and submit a UBE Transfer application.

Back to TOP

What is the UBE?

The Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) is an assessment of competency to practice law that is coordinated by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and is composed of the Multistate Essay Examination, two Multistate Performance Test tasks, and the Multistate Bar Examination. It may be administered by any participating jurisdiction over two days. More information on the UBE can be found at www.ncbex.org/exams/ube/. Participating jurisdictions accept transferred UBE scores from other jurisdictions that meet passing score requirements for the receiving jurisdiction.  

 Day 1 Day 2
Morning Session 2 MPTs (3 hours) MBE 1-100 (3 hours )
Lunch Break Approx. 12:30-1:30 Approx. 12:30-1:30
Afternoon Session 6 Multistate Essays (3 hours) MBE 101-200 (3 hours)


Back to TOP

When will Texas begin using the UBE?

Under the approved Rules, we will begin accepting applications to transfer UBE scores from other jurisdictions on December 1, 2019, and we will administer the first UBE in Texas in February 2021.

Back to TOP

What will Texas require as a passing score on the UBE?

Under the approved Rules, the minimum passing UBE score in Texas will be 270.

Back to TOP

Where can I find sample UBE questions?

NCBE offers free sample questions for the MBE and MPRE, free questions and analyses from older administrations of the MEE, free MPT summaries from recent administrations, and MPTs and point sheets from older administrations of the MPT.  

Back to TOP

Will Texas require completion of a Texas Law Component, in addition to an acceptable UBE score, to qualify for admission to the Texas Bar?

Yes. Under the approved Rules, an applicant for admission to the Bar must successfully complete the Texas Law Component prescribed by the Board and approved by the Supreme Court. The Texas Law Component is satisfied by completing the Texas Law Course. 

Back to TOP

What is the Texas Law Component?

The Texas Law Component is a licensing requirement established by Rule 2(a)(8) and Rule 5. It is satisfied by completing the Texas Law Course (TLC), which is a series of video presentations on Texas law from experienced Texas attorneys.

Back to TOP

How do I register for the Texas Law Component (TLC)?

The Texas Law Component is available through the State Bar of Texas – TexasBarCLE. There is no cost for the course, but you’ll need to register as a user of TexasBarCLE before you can register for the Texas Law Component.  Go to www.texasbarcle.com/TBLE, click "Register Now," and follow the prompts.

If you would like more detailed instructions on how to register for the TLC, click here.

Back to TOP

Will Texas accept a UBE score that was earned more than two years before the date of application for the Texas bar?

Under the approved Rules, we will accept qualifying UBE scores that were earned:

  • within two years immediately preceding the date an applicant submits a transfer application to us, or
  • within five years immediately preceding the date an applicant submits a transfer application to us, if the applicant has been actively and substantially engaged in the lawful practice of law as their principal business or occupation for at least two of the last three years immediately preceding the date the applicant submits their transfer application.
Back to TOP

I have a UBE score. How do I transfer it to Texas?
  • You may submit a UBE Transfer Application to transfer a qualifying UBE score to Texas. 
  • A qualifying UBE score is a score that is 270 or higher and that was earned 
    • within two years immediately preceding the date that you submit your UBE Transfer Application, or 
    • within the five years immediately preceding the filing of the Application, if you have been actively and substantially engaged in the lawful practice of law as your principal business or occupation for at least two of the last three years immediately preceding the date that you submit your UBE Transfer Application.
  • A UBE score is “earned” on the last day of the exam administration. Scores that were earned more than five years ago cannot be transferred.
  • In addition to submitting a UBE Transfer Application to us, you must also contact the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), and request that they transfer your score to us. http://www.ncbex.org/ncbe-exam-score-services/ube-score-services/
  • Once you submit your UBE Transfer Application, we will conduct a character and fitness investigation. This investigation can take up to nine months.
  • In addition to submitting a UBE Transfer Application to transfer a qualifying UBE score, you will need to satisfy all other licensing requirements set out in Rule 2, including requirements to:
    • Have a J.D. from an ABA-approved law school, or satisfy each element of an exception in Rule 13.
    • Satisfy the Texas Law Component by completing the Texas Law Course (TLC).
    • Document a score of 85 or higher on the MPRE.
Back to TOP

Who do I contact to have my UBE score reported to Texas?

In addition to submitting a UBE Transfer Application to us, you must also contact the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), and request that they transfer your score to us. http://www.ncbex.org/ncbe-exam-score-services/ube-score-services/

Back to TOP

What are the fees for applying for admission to the Texas bar with a transferred UBE score?

Texas Law Student (must file a Declaration of Intent to Study Law first)

                  $150  Application Fee

                     95  UBE Transfer Fee

                     55  Investigation Fee

                  $300  Total

 

Out-of-State Law Student

                $150  Application Fee

                   40  Fingerprint Card Processing Fee

                  150  UBE Transfer Fee

                  150  Investigation Fee

                $490  Total

 

Attorney with JD from ABA-approved Law School, and

Attorney Applying Under Rule 13 §3

                $700  Application Fee

                   40  Fingerprint Card Processing Fee

                  150  UBE Transfer Fee

                  150  Investigation Fee

              $1040  Total              

 

Foreign-Trained Attorney

           $700 Application Fee

               40  Fingerprint Card Processing Fee

             150  UBE Transfer Fee

             150  Investigation Fee

             100  Foreign Nation Inquiry Fee

         $1140  Total

 

Re-Application for Admission By UBE Transfer

           $225  Application Fee & Investigation Fee

               75  UBE Transfer Fee

           $320 Total

 

Back to TOP

Where can I find a copy of the approved Rules to implement the UBE in Texas?

The approved Rules begin on page 3 of the Court's ORDER GIVING FINAL APPROVAL OF AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES GOVERNING ADMISSION TO THE BAR OF TEXAS, Misc. Docket No. 19-9078. 

Back to TOP

How did the Court decide to adopt the UBE?

On October 8, 2018, the Supreme Court of Texas issued an order accepting the recommendation of the Task Force on the Texas Bar Examination to adopt the Uniform Bar Examination in Texas, and seeking public comment.

On March 26, 2019, the Court issued an order amending the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas to implement those Task Force recommendations. This order was made available for public comment.

After reviewing all comments received, on August 23, 2019, the Court issued Final Approval of Amendments to the Rules, to take effect December 1, 2019. 

Back to TOP




ATLAS


How do I add my NCBE number to my ATLAS account?
  1. Click Personal Info at the top of your ATLAS user home page.
  2. Scroll to Additional Information and enter your NCBE number. (If you do not know your NCBE number, click the link provided to get it.)
  3. Scroll to the bottom and click Update to save your updates
Back to TOP

How do I update my contact information in ATLAS?

To update your mailing address or phone number:

  • 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.

To change your email address or other personal information:

  • Login to your ATLAS account.

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

  • Find the link at the top of the page that says "Click here to update your login information." Click that link.

  • Follow the directions to change your email address and other login information.

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

Back to TOP

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.

Back to TOP

How do I create an ATLAS account?

Go here: Create an ATLAS account.

Back to TOP

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. 
Back to TOP

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. 

Back to TOP

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.
Back to TOP

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, November 1 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time is received on Sunday, November 1.

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.

Back to TOP

How do I amend an application after I have submitted it?

To amend your application:

1) Log in to your ATLAS account.

2) Click the blue Amend Application button. 

3) Scroll to Forms & Progress. 

4) Click the blue Amend button next to your application.

5) Select the section that requires amendment from the dropdown options.

6) Select the question that requires amendment.

7) Make the required changes.

8) Click the blue Save button. If you are done amending, click the blue Save & Close button.

9) Click the green Submit Amendment button. 

The amendment will be transmitted to our office and we will receive a notification, so you do NOT need to send a message or otherwise contact us to tell us that it has been amended. Note that there may be a delay between your amendment and our review of your amendment. We will notify you if we require your action or attention after we review the amendment. If you have any issues amending your application, click the yellow Technical Support Request button in the bottom left corner of your ATLAS account.

Back to TOP

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. 

Back to TOP

AWOX (Admission Without Examination)


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

See our FAQs for Practice Time Requirements.

Back to TOP

What documentation is required to substantiate my active and substantial practice of law for Rule 13 admission?

See our FAQs for Practice Time Requirements.

Back to TOP

I am applying for AWOX. Do I need to file my application according to the deadlines provided in Rule 9?

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. 

Back to TOP

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 TOP

How long does the AWOX process take?

The Board has up to 270 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 6 to 9 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. 

Back to TOP

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 13, which you can view here:  Ancillary Forms & Information.  We cannot provide advisory opinions without a properly-filed application. 

Back to TOP

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.

Back to TOP

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

If you took the MPRE after 1998, 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 in 1998 or earlier 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, contact your Licensure Analyst. It is possible that you will have to retake the MPRE. 

If you were licensed without being required to take the MPRE, see Waiver Requests-Guidelines and Instructions.

Back to TOP

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.

Back to TOP

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

Yes. As of December 1, 2019, failing a Texas Bar Exam is no longer a barrier to being eligible for Admission Without Examination.

Back to TOP

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. 

Back to TOP

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 13, 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.

Back to TOP

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 13 and obtained all required documentation before filing an application.

Back to TOP

The Bar Exam


How do I add my NCBE number to my Personal Info in ATLAS?
  1. Click Personal Info at the top of your ATLAS user home page.
  2. Scroll to Additional Information and enter your NCBE number. (If you do not know your NCBE number, click the link provided to get it.)
  3. Scroll to the bottom and click Update to save your updates
Back to TOP

Where can I find information about the Bar Exam?

Start here: Bar Exam >  Current Exam

Back to TOP

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. 

Back to TOP

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). 

Back to TOP

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 3, 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 before we issue 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 TOP

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:

  • BarNow (NCBE) https://store.ncbex.org/the-everything-value-pack/ 
  • BAR / BRI -  713-739-9482  www.barbri.com 
  • Fleming's Fundamentals of Law -  949-770-7030  www.lawprepare.com  (Multistate only) 
  • Kaplan Bar Review -  800-523-0777  www.kaptest.com/bar-exam 
  • PMBR -  www.pmbr.com
  • Reed Bar Review -  800-852-3926  www.reedbarreview.com
  • MyBarPrep -  www.mybarprep.com
  • Sol Software -  360-335-0142  www.sol-software.com  (MBE / MPRE only)
  • AdaptiBar -  877-466-1250  www.adaptibar.com  (MBE only)
  • Ameribar Texas -  713-758-0570  www.ameribar.com
  • 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.

Back to TOP

Are copies of prior exams available?

Past exams are available under the Bar Exam tab.

Back to TOP

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.

Back to TOP

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. 

Back to TOP

How can I get a copy of my MBE score?
  • You can probably print what you want from your ATLAS account.
  • To request unofficial MBE scores, please send a signed, written request outlining the requested material(s), including the applicant's name at time of exam, birthdate, last four digits of the applicant's social security number, approximate month/date of exam, and the physical address where you’d like the information mailed. You may submit the signed request by mail, fax, or email. See Contact Us for addresses and numbers. 
  • To request us to mail an official MBE score to another jurisdiction, please complete the online request at https://ble.texas.gov/displaymbetransferform.action. There is a fee for this service.
Back to TOP

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 6(b).  Failure to do so will result in a late fee as set out in Appendix D.  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 6(b).

Back to TOP

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 applies in either case.

Back to TOP

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. 

Back to TOP

What documentation is accepted as proof of my citizenship status, USCIS status, or other compliance with Rule 2(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.
Back to TOP

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.

Back to TOP

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

Yes.

Back to TOP

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 Ancillary 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. 

Back to TOP

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.

Back to TOP

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.

Back to TOP

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.

Back to TOP

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.

Back to TOP

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”.

Back to TOP

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. 

Back to TOP

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. 

Back to TOP

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.

Back to TOP

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 2.

Back to TOP

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 most investigations typically take at least 3-4 months.

Back to TOP

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.

Back to TOP

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

Please use the online "Request to Report Texas MBE Score to Another Jurisdiction" form available under the "Applications" tab. 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

There is a $25 fee, which you may pay through the online form.

Back to TOP

Does Texas accept MBE scores transferred from other jurisdictions?

No.  See Rule 11(e) of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas.

Back to TOP

Fees


Do you have a quick reference fee chart?

Yes, see below.

 

Application / Declaration Fees


 

 Declaration of Intention to Study Law $190
 Bar Exam: Texas Law Student $300
 Bar Exam: Out of State Law Student $490
 Bar Exam: U.S. Attorneys $1,040
 Bar Exam: Foreign-Trained Applicants $1,140
 Bar Exam: Reapplicants $320

 Bar Exam: Courtesy Seat

 

 $300

 

 UBE Transfer: Texas Law Student $300
 UBE Transfer: Out-of-State Law Student $490
 UBE: U.S.-Trained Attorneys $1,040
 UBE: Foreign-Trained Applicants $1,140
 
 AWOX $890
 
 Foreign Legal Consultant $990
 Foreign Legal Consultant Renewal $150
 
 Military Attorney  $25
 Military Attorney Renewal $25
 Temporary License for Military Spouse $0
 Redetermination of Character & Fitness $190

 

Late Fees

 
 February Exam App. filed by November 1  $150
 February Exam App filed by December 1 $300
 July Exam App. filed by April 1 $150
 July Exam App. filed by May 1 $300

 

Miscellaneous Fees

 
 Laptop Application Fee  $50
 Incomplete Fee $75
 Transfer Texas MBE score to another jurisdiction $25
 Check Return Fee $25

 

Back to TOP

Are the fees detailed in the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas?

Yes, see Appendix Fee Schedule.

Back to TOP

Fingerprints


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

See  Fingerprint Information.

Back to TOP

Foreign-Trained Applicants


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of my LL.M. classes were completed online.

Rule 13 sec. 9 sets out curricular requirements for an LL.M. to qualify certain foreign-trained applicants to sit for the Texas Bar Exam, and Rule 13 sec. 9(a)(9) states that "courses completed online or by other distance-learning programs must not count toward the required minimum 24 semester hours of credit" required by Rule 13 sec. 9.

On May 22, 2020, the Board voted to waive the restriction against counting online LL.M. classes towards the curricular requirements of Rule 13 sec. 9, where the classes were offered online rather than in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic. No formal waiver request is needed--an applicant may simply message their analyst explaining which classes were offered online and why.

Back to TOP

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 13 §4(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 13 §4(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 13§9

Pursuant to Rule 13 §4(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 13 §9.

Pursuant to Rule 13 §5, 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 13 §9
  • You are authorized to practice law in a foreign jurisdiction or in another state.
Back to TOP

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 13 of Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas

 

13 §4(a)

13 §4(b)

13 §4(c)

13 §5

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

Back to TOP

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.

Back to TOP

I am unsure whether I qualify to take the bar exam under Rule 13. Can I call and receive an opinion from Board Staff about my eligibility?

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 13 and obtained all required documentation before filing an application.

Back to TOP

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 2(a)(5)
  • Be 18 years of age.
Back to TOP

How do I satisfy the requirements of Rule 2(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.
Back to TOP

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 2(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 2(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. 

Back to TOP

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 TOP

If I am applying pursuant to Rule 13 §4(a), how must I document my active and substantial practice of law?

See our FAQs for Practice Time Requirements.

    Back to TOP

    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 13 §4 or Rule 13 §5, even if you are licensed in another U.S. state. If you apply for admission under 13 §4 or Rule 13 §5, then you should submit the following fees with your application (see Appendix D):


    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 Application Fee and Late Filing Fee as applicable.)

     

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    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 13 §4 and Rule 13 §5 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 18(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 9(a)(1) or (2) and to plan for all required documentation to be provided promptly.

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

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

    We have up to 270 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.

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    I have an LL.M. from an ABA-approved law school, but it does not satisfy the new curricular requirements set out in Rule 13.

    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 13 §9.

    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 13 §9.

    Back to TOP

    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 13 §9.

    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 13 §9. 

    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  13 §9.

    Back to TOP

    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:

    Back to TOP

    Why does the BLE website direct me to the Texas.gov website to pay for my application?

    Online Payment is handled by Texas.gov, the official website of Texas. The price of the service includes funds that support ongoing operations and enhancements of Texas.gov, which is provided by a third party in partnership with the State, as well as processing fees.

    Back to TOP

    What is a valid law license?

    A valid law license means an active law license.

    Back to TOP

    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 18.

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    How can I get a copy of my Declaration or Application?
    • You can probably print what you want from your ATLAS account.
    • To request a copy of your bar exam application, declaration of intent, or other application submitted to us, please complete our copy request form. You may note on the request form any specific material(s) that you are requesting from your file. Per our retention policy, we only maintain files for five years from date of licensure for applicants who were issued a license to practice law in Texas, and five years from the date of last major activity for applicants who have not been issued a license to practice law in Texas.
    • To request application dates, bar exam scores, confirmation of exam passing the bar exam, licensure dates, MPRE scores from before 1999, unofficial MBE scores, or other documents or data related to a declaration, application, or bar examination, please send a signed, written request outlining the requested material(s), including the applicant's name at time of exam, birthdate, last four digits of the applciant's social security number, approximate month/date of exam, and the physical address where you’d like the information mailed. You may submit the signed request by mail, fax, or email.  See Contact Us for addresses and numbers. 
    • To request us to mail an official MBE score to another jurisdiction, please complete the online request at https://ble.texas.gov/displaymbetransferform.action.  There is a fee for this service.
    • Requests for MPRE scores for exams taken in 1999 or later must be submitted directly to the National Conference on Bar Examiners.  Additional information is available at http://www.ncbex.org/ncbe-exam-score-services/mpre-score-services/
    Back to TOP

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

    No.

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    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
    Back to TOP

    What are the ABA-approved law schools in Texas?

    Baylor Law School (Waco)

    South Texas College of Law Houston (Houston)

    SMU Dedman School of Law (Dallas)

    St. Mary's School of Law (San Antonio)

    Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law (Houston)

    Texas Tech School of Law (Lubbock)

    Texas A&M Law School of Law (Fort Worth)

    University of Houston Law Center (Houston)

    University of Texas at Austin School of Law (Austin)

    UNT Dallas College of Law (Dallas)

    Back to TOP

    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. 

    Back to TOP

    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, November 1 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time is received on Sunday, November 1.

    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.

    Back to TOP

    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. 

    Back to TOP

    Grade Release, Swearing-In, and Licensing


    When are bar exam results released?

    We plan to release February 2021 bar exam results in mid-April. Results for the March 2021 exam should be released by the first week of May.

    We plan to release July 2021 bar exam results by mid-October. 

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

    Back to TOP

    When and where is the swearing-in ceremony?

    The State Bar of Texas is planning to hold a virtual swearing-in ceremony for eligible July 2021 examinees on November 15, 2021. Eligible examinees will receive an invitation through ATLAS to register for the ceremony. Guests are invited to watch the ceremony here: https://www.youtube.com/SupremeCourtofTexas.

    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 person authorized to administer the oath may administer it to you remotely, such as by videoconferencing or teleconferencing, and may attest to the oath electronically by sending you an electronic or scanned image of his or her signature on the oath form. The person administering the oath must also comply with any other applicable requirements; for example, a notary must comply with the requirements for online notarization. See Tex. Gov’t Code §406.101 et seq.

    A copy of the oath, the elements of which can be found at Texas Government Code §82.037, will accompany your license. You may also download a copy 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.

    Back to TOP

    Can I take the oath remotely? If there is no swearing-in ceremony, how do I take the oath?

    Any person who is authorized to administer oaths—including a judge, retired judge, clerk, or notary public—may swear you in, either before or after you receive your license in the mail. See Tex. Gov’t Code §602.002.

    A person authorized to administer the oath may administer it to you remotely, such as by videoconferencing or teleconferencing, and may attest to the oath electronically by sending you an electronic or scanned image of his or her signature on the oath form. The person administering the oath must also comply with any other applicable requirements; for example, a notary must comply with the requirements for online notarization.  See Tex. Gov’t Code §406.101 et seq.

    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.

    Back to TOP

    How do I complete the licensing process?

    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. 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 public—may swear you in, either before or after you receive your license in the mail. See Tex. Gov’t Code §602.002. A person authorized to administer the oath may administer it to you remotely, such as by videoconferencing or teleconferencing, and may attest to the oath electronically by sending you an electronic or scanned image of his or her signature on the oath form. The person administering the oath must also comply with any other applicable requirements; for example, a notary must comply with the requirements for online notarization.  See Tex. Gov’t Code §406.101 et seq. 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 the Justice James A. Baker Guide to Ethics and Professionalism in Texas 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. 

    Back to TOP

    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 delivered to you. 

    Back to TOP

    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. 

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

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

    No. However, Rule 11(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. The review takes place in Austin 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 read Scoring and Weighting the Bar Exam.

    Back to TOP

    What was the pass rate for the most recent exam?

    View the Statistics tab on the Board's Bar Exam page.

    Back to TOP

    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. 

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    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 17(a). Rule 17(a) provides that 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

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    Laptop Testing


    How can I ask for help with ILG Exam360?


    If you encounter any technical issues with ILG Exam360®:

    • Submit a technical support ticket directly from your ILG Exam360® user account; or
    • Submit a technical support ticket from the "My Account" tab in ILG Exam360® software; or
    • Call 833.ILG.SUPP (833.454.7877).

    Do not contact the Texas Board of Law Examiners for technical support with ILG Exam360®. The Board will not be able to assist you with technical support for ILG Exam360®.

    Back to TOP

    I want to use my laptop on the exam. Why didn't I get information on how to register my laptop with ILG Exam360?

    If you applied for the July 2021 Texas Bar Exam (UBE) and you indicated that you would use your laptop on the exam, instructions on how to register have been sent to you. If you have not received these instructions:

    (1) Check your email. Instructions were emailed to you at the email address you have on file in ATLAS. Check your spam and junk folder.

    (2) When you applied for the exam, you may have answered "no" when asked if you wanted to use your laptop on the exam. If so, message your analyst. Updated 7/21: If you are a July 2021 applicant, we have processed you as a handwriter and it is too late to switch to laptop for the July 2021 exam.

    (3) It is possible that you did not actually apply for the July 2021 Texas Bar Exam (UBE). Application deadlines for the July 2021 Texas Bar Exam (UBE) have passed. It is too late to apply for the July 2021 Texas Bar Exam (UBE). You can apply for the February 2022 exam beginning June 30.

    Back to TOP

    What is the ILG Exam360 laptop registration process?

    July 2021 Texas Bar Exam (UBE) Laptop Registration For Those Who Already Applied to Use Their Laptops

    • Laptop Registration opens June 1, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. for those who applied to use their laptops
    • Timely Laptop Registration closes July 15, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Fee: $80
      • Late Laptop Registration is available for those who applied to use their laptops through 5:00 p.m. on July 23, 2021, subject to an additional $75 late fee

    When laptop registration opens, we will send those who applied to use their laptops an e-mail reminding you of the registration period and providing registration instructions. Basically, you will be instructed to purchase the software ($80), download and install the software on the laptop you will use for the exam, and complete the practice  exams.

    You can take as many practice exams as you want to. Feel free to use ILG Exam360 to do multiple practice essays and MPTs.

    Updated 7/21 to clarify that the laptop registration is only available to those who applied to use their laptops when they submitted their bar exam application. If you applied as a handwriter, then the laptop registration period does not apply to you. When you began your bar exam application, you were asked if you would use your laptop on the exam. If you said yes, then this laptop registration information applies to you. If you said no, then you have been processed as a handwriter and it is too late to change to laptop for the July 2021 Texas Bar Exam.

    Back to TOP

    Is there a list of frequently asked questions regarding ILG Exam360?

    Yes, and we recommend you review the ILG Exam360 frequently asked questions as they answer a number of common questions.

    Back to TOP

    Will spell-check or cut-and-paste features in ILG Exam360 be enabled for the bar examination?

    Spell check, copy-and-paste, and cut-and-paste will all be enabled for all examinees.

    Back to TOP

    Can I use an external keyboard? External mouse? Cooling stand? Extension cord?

    Yes, all these devices are allowed.

    Back to TOP

    Military Spouses


    Temporary Licenses for Qualifying Military Spouses

    Effective December 1, 2019, a qualifying military spouse can receive a temporary Texas law license for no fee. Rule 23 provides that a spouse (Military Spouse) of an active-duty military service member who has been ordered stationed in Texas is eligible for a three-year temporary license to practice law in Texas if the Military Spouse:

    • is admitted to practice law in another State;
    • is in good standing in all jurisdictions where admitted and an active member of the bar in at least one State;
    • is not currently subject to discipline or the subject of a pending disciplinary matter in any jurisdiction;
    • has never been disbarred or resigned in lieu of discipline in any jurisdiction;
    • has never had an application for admission to any jurisdiction denied on character or fitness grounds;
    • meets the law study requirements of Rule 3 or is exempted under Rule 13 §§ 3, 4, or 5;
    • has satisfactorily completed the Texas Law Component; and
    • is residing in Texas.

    To apply for a temporary license, the Military Spouse must create an ATLAS account, complete and submit an Application for Military Spouse Temporary License, and provide the required documentation, including a copy of military dependent identification documents, a copy of military orders showing that the spouse has been ordered stationed in Texas, and a certificate of good standing from each jurisdiction where admitted. A sample application can be viewed here: Application Forms / Accommodations, Waivers, and Other Forms.

    Back to TOP

    Does Texas have a policy concerning military spouses seeking a regular license?

    First, please note that the Court adopted Rule 23, effective December 1, 2019, allowing qualifying military spouses to receive a temporary Texas law license for no fee. 

    The Board, in consultation with the Supreme Court, has adopted policy guidelines for (a) consideration of problems faced by military spouse applicants seeking a regular license 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 regular 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 18(c) 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 9(a).
    • The military spouse applying for admission without examination (AWOX) should meet all other eligibility criteria for admission, but if lacking only Rule 13 practice time, then the military spouse may submit a written request for waiver of 13 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.
    • The military spouse’s waiver request shall be submitted 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.
    Back to TOP

    I am a military spouse applying to take the Texas Bar Exam. How do I request a reduction of fees?

    First, please note that the Court adopted Rule 23, effective December 1, 2019, allowing qualifying military spouses to receive a temporary Texas law license for no fee.

    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,
    Back to TOP

    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?

    First, please note that the Court adopted Rule 23, effective December 1, 2019, allowing qualifying military spouses to receive a temporary Texas law license without documenting any practice time requirement.

     

    If you are military spouse seeking admission under Rule 13 section  2, you may submit a request for waiver of the 5-year practice requirement in Rule 13 sec. 2 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.
    Back to TOP

    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 5. The MPRE is administered by the NCBE.

    If you were licensed without being required to take the MPRE, see Waiver Requests-Guidelines and Instructions.

    Back to TOP

    How do I provide Texas with proof of my scaled score of 85 or higher on the MPRE?
    • If you took the MPRE after 1998, 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 in 1998 or earlier 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, contact your Licensure Analyst. It is possible that you will have to retake the MPRE. 
    If you were licensed without being required to take the MPRE, see Waiver Requests-Guidelines and Instructions.

    Back to TOP

    How can I get a copy of my MPRE score?
    • To request MPRE scores from before 1999 that were submitted to us, please send a signed, written request outlining the requested material(s), including the applicant's name at time of exam, birthdate, last four digits of the applciant's social security number, approximate month/date of exam, and the physical address where you’d like us to mail the information. You may submit the signed request by mail, fax, or email.  See Contact Us for addresses and numbers. 
    • Requests for MPRE scores for exams taken in 1999 or later must be submitted directly to the National Conference on Bar Examiners.  Additional information is available at http://www.ncbex.org/ncbe-exam-score-services/mpre-score-services/
    Back to TOP

    Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, I am unable to travel to the U.S. to take the August 2021 MPRE. What can I do?

    NCBE will offer a limited number of international site testing opportunities to take the MPRE in August 2021 for candidates who are unable to travel to the United States. These will be offered at authorized international Pearson VUE Professional Centers between August 16 and August 20, 2021. For more information, please visit the MPRE Registration page of the NCBE website. For the best chance of approval, candidates should submit their requests by May 17, 2021. Absolutely no new requests will be accepted after the August 2021 registration deadline of June 10, 2021.

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    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.
    Back to TOP

    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.
    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    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 19 of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas for information on the required form and content of these motions.

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    Does a non-resident attorney have to pay the non-resident attorney fee and comply with Rule 19 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 19 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 19 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.

    Back to TOP

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

    Yes. The appellate case is considered a new proceeding.

    Back to TOP

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

    Yes.

    Back to TOP

    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

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    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).

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    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 resident practicing Texas attorney. See Rule 19(a)(2) and 19(b) of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas.

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    Is expedited processing available?

    No.

    Back to TOP

    Photographs


    What types of applications require an uploaded photo?

    Only bar exam applications require a photo.

    Back to TOP

    What are the requirements for an uploaded photo?

    Your photo must meet the following requirements:

    • Taken within the past 6 months to reflect your current appearance.
    • Color photo.
    • Individual photo taken in front of a plain white background.
    • Full face view, directly facing the camera, with a neutral expression and both eyes open.
    • Have uniform lighting. Photo must not show shadows or shadowing of facial features.
    • 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.
    • Photo file type must be a .png, .jpg., or .jpeg

    Image result for front head silhouette

     

    Back to TOP

    Practice Time Requirements


    Determining What Counts as the Active, Substantial, and Lawful Practice of Law

    Rule 1(a)(11) describes the practice of law to include:

    1. private practice as a sole practitioner or for a law firm, legal services office, legal clinic, public agency, or similar entity;
    2. 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;
    3. practice as an attorney for a local government or the state or federal government, with the same primary duties described in the preceding subsection;
    4. 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;
    5. employment as a full-time teacher of law at an approved law school;
    6. any combination of the preceding categories.

    The Board has adopted a Policy Statement on Practice Requirements for Rule 13, which is available at Application Forms – Ancillary Forms Information -- Other.

    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.

    Back to TOP

    Documenting the Active, Substantial, and Lawful Practice of Law

    Proof of Income. If you need to document a practice-time requirement under Rule 13( for example: AWOX, attorney with a JD from a non-ABA law school, UBET with a score over 2 years old, foreign-trained with no LL.M.), then you must provide proof of income you earned from the practice of law during that practice-time.

    • For income you earned from the practice of law as an employee (Form 1040, Line 8), upload:
      • Form 1040 and all relevant W-2s; or
      • A Wage & Income Transcript (if available).
    • For income you earned from the practice of law through sole proprietorship, single-member LLC, or other small business that reports on Form 1040, Line 12, upload:
      • Form 1040 and Schedule C; or
      • A Wage & Income Transcript (if available).
    • For income you earned from the practice of law through a Partnership, S Corporation, or other entity that reports on Form 1040, Line 17, upload:
      • Form 1040, Schedule E, and all relevant K-1s; or
      • A business return and all relevant K-1s; or
      • A Wage & Income Transcript (if available).
    • For income you earned in another country from the practice of law, upload:
      • A copy of each income tax form and schedules required to be filed by you in that country.

    Wage & Income Transcript. To request a Wage & Income Transcript, submit Form 4506T to the IRS. Under Step 6, you must select Option C – Record of Account. The IRS will only provide transcripts for the current year and returns processed during the prior 3 processing years. If a Wage & Income Transcript is not available for a particular calendar year, you must provide the other documentation set out above.

    No tax returns. For any of the calendar years during which you are claiming employment as an attorney but for which you have not filed a federal income tax return or other form, provide 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 13, 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 legal 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 13, 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 13 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 TOP

    Reapplications; Special Filing Periods


    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.

    Back to TOP

    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.

    Back to TOP

    Special filing period

    If you are awaiting results on a Texas Bar Exam, you can reapply for the next exam--if needed--during the special filing period. Each special filing period opens a few days after results are released. No late fees are assessed during the special filing period.

    • If you failed a July Texas Bar Exam, you have until December 1 to reapply for the ensuing February Texas Bar Exam.
    • If you failed a February Texas Bar Exam, you have until June 1 to apply for the ensuing July Texas Bar Exam.

    To re-apply during the special filing period:

    • Wait for the special filing period to open. (The opening date will be included in your bar exam results correspondence.)
    • Log in to your ATLAS account, click the green Start New Application button, select Bar Exam Application, and correctly answer the registration questions which will direct you to a reapplication,.
    • Complete the reapplication, upload required documents, and submit your reapplication and electronic payment by the special filing deadline.
    • You will need to complete a new Authorization and Release, Handwriting Sample, and Laptop Application (if applicable) dated within the past 30 day.
    • Do not re-upload documents that you already submitted for previous applications. You do not need to re-upload any other previously-provided documents unless specifically instructed to do so by your analyst after your application is filed. The re-application begins most questions with "Since the filing of your last application..." because we only want updated information.

    The special filing period is only available to those who failed the last Texas Bar Exam. It is not available to those who withdrew from the last Texas Bar Exam, those who sat for part of but not all of the last Texas Bar Exam, or those who failed a UBE or other bar exam in another state or jurisdiction.

    Back to TOP

    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) 427-1350.)
    • 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
    Back to TOP

    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
    Back to TOP

    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
    Back to TOP

    Rules


    Where can I find the current Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas?

    You can find the current Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas on the Rulebook page of our website.

    Back to TOP

    Where can I find previous versions of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas?

    You can find many previous versions of the Rule Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas on the Previous Rulebooks page of our website

    Back to TOP


    Supervised Practice of Law by Qualified Law Students and Qualified Unlicensed Law School Graduates in Texas


    How do I get a Supervised Practice card?

    For information on the Supervised Practice of Law by Qualified Law Students and Qualified Unlicensed Law School Graduates in Texas, please visit the State Bar of Texas.

    Back to TOP

    Texas Law Component


    What is the Texas Law Component?

    The Texas Law Component is a licensing requirement established by Rule 2(a)(8) and Rule 5. It is satisfied by completing the Texas Law Course (TLC), which is a series of video presentations on Texas law from experienced Texas attorneys.

    Back to TOP

    Who has to complete the Texas Law Component (TLC)?

    Generally, anyone seeking admission to the bar of Texas must complete the Texas Law Component. This includes those applying to take the Texas bar exam, those seeking to transfer a UBE score to Texas, those applying for Admission Without Examination, and those applying for a Military Spouse Temporary License. 

    Back to TOP

    How do I complete the Texas Law Component?

    The Texas Law Component is available through the State Bar of Texas – TexasBarCLE. There is no cost for the course, but you’ll need to register as a user of TexasBarCLE before you can register for the Texas Law Component.  Go to www.texasbarcle.com/TBLE, click "Register Now," and follow the prompts.

    To complete the TLC, you will watch a series of lectures and answer some "hurdle questions" at the end of each segment. The hurdle questions are designed to ensure that you have a minimal level of comprehension of the segment you just watched. The questions are not intended to be tricky, difficult, or hard. If you pay attention to the lecture, and perhaps take a few notes, you should be able to get through the hurdle questions. You must successfully answer most of the hurdle questions in order to proceed to the next segment. 

    The total length of the presentations is approximately 12 hours.

    Back to TOP

    How do I register for the Texas Law Component?

    The Texas Law Component is available through the State Bar of Texas – TexasBarCLE. There is no cost for the course, but you’ll need to register as a user of TexasBarCLE before you can register for the Texas Law Component.  Go to www.texasbarcle.com/TBLE, click "Register Now," and follow the prompts.

    If you would like more detailed instructions on how to register for the TLC, click here.

    Back to TOP

    I'm trying to register for the Texas Law Component, but I do not have a Texas Bar Card Number.

    You can register without a Texas Bar Card Number. Click here for help.

    Back to TOP

    When do I take the Texas Law Component?

    Texas Bar Exam Applicants - may complete the TLC up to one year before taking the bar exam and up to two years after passing the bar exam in Texas. Note that you cannot be licensed until you complete the TLC.

    Texas Admission Without Examination (AWOX) Applicants - may complete the TLC up to one year before and up to six months after being notified by our office that they appear eligible for AWOX, but are currently missing one or more licensing requirements. Note that you cannot be licensed until you complete the TLC.

    Texas UBE Transfer (UBET) Applicants - may complete the TLC up to one year before and up to two years after the date their application is submitted to our office.  Note that you cannot be licensed until you complete the TLC.

    Texas Military Spouse Temporary License (MSTL) Applicants - may complete the TLC up to one year before and up to two years after the date their application is submitted to our office.  Note that you cannot be licensed until you complete the TLC.

    Back to TOP

    Texas Lawyers' Assistance Program (TLAP)


    What is the Texas Lawyers' Assistance Program (TLAP)?

    The Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program is here to support any law student or graduate struggling with anxiety, depression, substance use issues, grief, or any mental health challenge.  TLAP can be reached anytime at 1-800-343-TLAP or by texting TLAP to 555888.  It can provide connection to mental health professionals, peer support, group support, and even financial assistance for mental health care. 

     

    TLAP recently produced a program for law students and graduates dealing with the anxiety of the COVID-19 isolation and it can be viewed here: https://texasbar-wo4m90g.vids.io/videos/ac98d2be1e1be4c325/law-student-hope-final-mp4 .

     

    TLAP has a page full of remote well-being resources for law students, graduates, and lawyers here: https://www.texasbar.com/tlaphelps/remote-well-being .

     

    Finally, this is TLAP’s law school page with many resources, including informational and self-help papers, videos, podcasts, and more: https://www.tlaphelps.org/law-students .

    Back to TOP


    Waiver Requests


    Can I request the Board to waive a requirement of the Rules?

    Pursuant to Rule 20(e), the Board is given discretion in the interpretation and application of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas. For good cause shown to the satisfaction of the Board, upon written request, the Board may grant waivers of specific requirements described in these Rules, unless it appears therefrom that no exceptions are contemplated by the Supreme Court.

    Back to TOP

    How do I request a waiver of the Rules, other than fee waivers?

    If you believe good cause exists to waive a specific requirement of the Rules, you may request the Board to do so pursuant to Rule 20(e).

    1. Complete the applicable application in your ATLAS account.
    2. After you have completed the application, a green "Submit" button will appear. You must first submit your application and pay the fee before you can submit a waiver request. After submitting your application and paying the fee, you may use the blue "Waiver Request" button to submit your waiver request.
    3. Use the "Upload Required Documents" feature to submit any supporting documentation. Label it "Waiver Documentation." Your request will be decided based solely on your written request submitted through the "Waiver Request" feature and any supporting documentation you have uploaded to your ATLAS account that you have labeled "Waiver Documentation."

    You have the burden to show good cause for why the Court's Rules should not apply to your particular case. Requests are presented to a 3-member panel of Board members. Your request will be decided based solely on your written request submitted through the "Waiver Request" feature and any supporting documentation you have uploaded to your ATLAS account that you have labeled "Waiver Documentation."

    For more information, please see Waiver Requests-Guidelines and Instructions.

    Back to TOP

    How do I submit a request to waive or reduce fees?

    If you believe good cause exists to waive or reduce fees, you may request the Board to do so pursuant to Rules 18 and 20(e).

    1. Complete the applicable application in your ATLAS account.
    2. After you have completed the application, and BEFORE you submit it, a blue "Waiver Request"  button will appear on your ATLAS user page. If you are requesting a waiver of fees, you may use that button to submit your fee waiver request. 
    3. Use the "Upload Required Documents" feature to submit any supporting documentation. Label it "Waiver Documentation." Your request will be decided based solely on your written request submitted through the "Waiver Request" feature and any supporting documentation you have uploaded to your ATLAS account that you have labeled "Waiver Documentation."

    You have the burden to show good cause for why the Court's Rules should not apply to your particular case. Your request will be decided based solely on your written request submitted through the "Waiver Request" feature and any supporting documentation you have uploaded to your ATLAS account that you have labeled "Waiver Documentation."

    For more information, including documentation you must include with your fee waiver request, please see Waiver Requests-Guidelines and Instructions.

    Back to TOP

    How are waiver requests decided?

    The Board has delegated authority to decide requests to waive deadlines and requests to lower or waive fees to the Executive Director. 

    A 3-member panel of the Board will consider all other waiver requests at a public meeting. Notice of the meeting will be posted with the Texas Register. Panels determine whether good cause exists to grant a request based solely on the written request and documentation submitted with the request. The Panel will not consider any other documentation, statements, or evidence. As a courtesy, the Board’s policy is to allow requestors who attend a public meeting to speak for up to 3 minutes—however, time constraints at any particular meeting may require a Panel to shorten or eliminate the amount of speaking time it extends to requestors. 

    Back to TOP

    Are my waiver materials confidential, or are they open to the public?

    Your waiver materials are open to the public. They are not confidential. A panel of the board will deliberate on your waiver materials at a public hearing. 

    Back to TOP