Texas Admission Laws

Texas Supreme Court is the admitting body responsible for admissions to the state Bar.  The qualifications and procedures required for admission are prescribed in the Texas Supreme Court Rules governing admission to the Bar of Texas.  Rule II prescribes that an applicant for admission as a licensed attorney in Texas should be at least eighteen (18) years of age.  Applicant should be a graduate with a J.D. degree or its equivalent from an approved law school.  All applicants should successfully complete the Texas Bar Examination.  The Board of Law Examiners administers the exam.  The Board has the discretion to waive the limitation on the number of attempts to take the exam, which is set as five (5).  The exam consists of the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), and the Texas Essay Questions.  Additionally, the applicants should also complete the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) with a scaled score of 85.
An out of the state attorney may be exempted from taking the Bar exam if s/he has been actively engaged in practice of law in another jurisdiction of the U.S. for at least five of the last seven years immediately preceding the filing of the application.  S/he should have a J.D. degree from an approved law school and should not have failed the Texas Bar Exam.  An out of the state attorney may be exempted from the educational requirement for the Texas Bar exam if s/he has been actively engaged in practice of law in another jurisdiction of the U.S. for at least three of the last five years and has a J.D. degree, not by correspondence, from a law school accredited in the jurisdiction where it exists.

Every attorney admitted to the Texas Bar should complete fifteen (15) hours of accredited continuing legal education credit during each Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) compliance year.  Texas MCLE Regulations 3.2 prescribes at least three (3) of this fifteen (15) hours of continuing legal education to be completed in the subject areas of legal ethics and/or professional responsibility.  This consists of two (2) hours of participatory credit and one (1) hour of self-study credit.

Tex. R. Gov. Bar Admis. II

Rule II General Eligibility Requirements for Admission to the Texas Bar
(a) To be eligible for admission or reinstatement as a licensed attorney in Texas, the Applicant shall:
(1) comply with all applicable requirements of these Rules;
(2) be at least eighteen (18) years of age;
(3) be of present good moral character and fitness;
(4) have completed the law study required under these Rules, unless specifically exempted under the terms of Rule XIII;
(5) qualify under one of the following categories:
(A) be a United States citizen;
(B) be a United States National;
(C) be an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence;
(D) be an alien otherwise authorized to work lawfully in the United States;
****

Tex. R. Gov. Bar Admis. III
Rule III Law Study Requirement
(a) The law study requirement for eligibility of an Applicant to take the Texas Bar Examination, unless otherwise provided by these Rules, is met by:
(1) graduation with a J.D. degree or its equivalent from an approved law school;
****

Tex. R. Gov. Bar Admis. V

Rule V Professional Responsibility Examination Requirement
No Applicant for admission to the Texas Bar shall be issued a license to practice law in Texas until such person has furnished to the Board evidence that (s)he has passed the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) with a scaled score of 85.
Tex. R. Gov. Bar Admis. XI

(e) The Texas Bar Examination shall last two and one-half days and shall consist of the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), given on Tuesday morning; the Procedure and Evidence Questions (P&E), given on Tuesday morning; the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), given on Wednesday; and the Texas Essay Questions (Essays), given on Thursday.

****
(f) An Applicant may take no more than five (5) examinations. However, for good cause shown, the Board at its discretion may waive this limitation upon such conditions as the Board may prescribe.

Tex. R. Gov. Bar Admis. XIII

Rule XIII Attorneys from Other Jurisdictions
(a) An attorney holding a valid, active law license issued by another state shall meet the requirements imposed on any other Applicant under these Rules, except that:
(1) An attorney holding a valid, active law license issued by another state is eligible for exemption from the requirement of successfully completing the Texas Bar Examination, if the attorney:
(A) has been actively and substantially engaged in the lawful practice of law in any state or elsewhere as his/her principal business or occupation for at least five of the last seven years immediately preceding the filing of the application;
(B) has a J.D. degree from an approved law school; and
(C) has not failed the Texas Bar Examination.
(2) An attorney holding a valid, active law license issued by another state is eligible for an exemption from the law study requirement for admission to take the Texas Bar Examination, if the attorney:
(A) has been actively and substantially engaged in the lawful practice of law in any state or elsewhere as his/her principal business or occupation for at least three of the last five years immediately preceding the filing of the most recent application or re-application; and
(B) (1) holds a J.D. degree, not based on study by correspondence, from an unapproved law school that is accredited in the jurisdiction where it exists or
(2) holds the equivalent of a J.D. degree, not based on study by correspondence, from a law school accredited in the jurisdiction where it exists and which requires the equivalent of a three-year course of study that is the substantial equivalent of the legal education provided by an approved law school.
****

Tex. MCLE Reg. 3.0

§ 3.0 Minimum Educational Requirements
3.1 Fifteen total hours of accredited continuing legal education credit are required to be completed during each MCLE compliance year (including the initial 24-month compliance year) in order to meet the minimum educational requirements set out in Article XII, Section 6A, State Bar Rules.
3.2 A minimum of three (3) of the required fifteen (15) hours of CLE must be completed in the subject areas of legal ethics and/or professional responsibility. Two (2) hours of this minimum 3-hour requirement must be completed in the form of participatory credit. One (1) [hour] of this minimum 3-hour requirement may be completed in the form of self-study credit (Article XII, Section 6B).


Inside Texas Admission Laws