College of Law
300 Timberdell Road
Administrative Officers of the College
Joseph Harroz, Jr., University Vice President and Dean
Michael A. Scaperlanda, Associate Dean for Academics
Steven S. Gensler, Associate Dean for Scholarship and Research
Scott L. Palk, Assistant Dean for Students
Casey T. Delaney, Assistant Dean for External Affairs
Darin K. Fox, Director of the Law Library
Cheryl Brown Wattley, Director of Legal Clinic
The College of Law was established in 1909. In 1911 the College of Law joined the Association of American Law Schools. Since 1923 the College of Law has been accredited by the American Bar Association’s Section on Legal Education. The College of Law is the only public law school in Oklahoma.
In 1971, the University of Oklahoma Law Center was formed. The Law Center comprises the College of Law, Law Library and the Legal Assistant Education program. The center was established to encourage and facilitate development of programs beyond the normal law school scope. The role of the Law Center is more than training lawyers. It provides a number of professional activities to serve the Bar and the citizens of the state of Oklahoma. These include continuing legal education for lawyers, training of legal assistants, publishing books on Oklahoma law, organized legal research, public service projects, and legal aid services for the needy. It is home to the Donald E. Pray Library.
The Law Center building, now named Andrew M. Coats Hall, was completely renovated in 2002, adding 80,000 square feet to the facilities. The expansion included a new law library with large reading room, high-speed modernized computer labs, private study rooms, and a 250-seat high-tech courtroom. OU Law students now are able to watch live trials and appeals hearings as state and federal courts bring the real world into the Law Center.
The College of Law offers the Juris Doctor degree, the first professional degree in law. The J.D. degree requires 90 semester hours earned, with the last 30 hours completed in residence in the College of Law.
The John B. Turner LL.M. Program offers a unique combination of courses, available only at OU, and allows students to choose from three specializations: energy and natural resources, indigenous people’s law, or US Legal Studies (for foreign-educated lawyers). OU Law provides LL.M. students outstanding opportunities such as: studying in the classroom with world class faculty and juris doctor students and attending guest lectures, field trips, social events, and networking opportunities. LL.M. students may also receive credit for related courses offered by other OU departments. The LL.M. in Energy and Natural Resources or LL.M. in Indigenous Peoples law can be completed in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study. The LL.M. in US Legal Studies can be completed in one year of full-time study.
The Master of Legal Studies (MLS) Program at OU Law allows students seeking a legal knowledge in energy and natural resources law or indigenous peoples law to gain that knowledge in less time than the three years of full-time study required to earn a Juris Doctor degree. The MLS in Indigenous Peoples law can be completed in two years of part-time study. The MLS in Energy and Natural Resources can be completed in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study.
A student also may earn jointly the J.D. and Master of Business Administration degrees upon completion of 80 hours of law work and the requirements for the M.B.A. degree.
The College of Law and the College of Public Health at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Department of Health Administration and Policy currently offer a J.D./Master of Public Health in Health Administration and Policy. This program is designed to offer to students at the College of Law who are interested in a public health law specialty the opportunity to combine into four years of study the three-year J.D. program and a two-year M.P.H. degree.
The College of Law also participates in the Generic Dual Degree program offered by the Graduate College. This option allows a law student to obtain a J.D. and simultaneously seek a master’s degree from another graduate program of his/her choosing.
Upon the successful completion of certain requirements, full-time JD degree-candidate OU Law students are also eligible to receive the following certificates at graduation: Natural Resources Law, Energy Law, Law and Entrepreneurship, or American Indian Law. For requirements, contact the Registrar at the College of Law.
The number of hours required for each program and the course selections required will differ depending upon the program chosen. Those students who desire more specific information about these programs should contact the Registrar at the College of Law.
First year students are admitted only in the fall. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation in the College of Law. Application forms may be obtained by writing: University of Oklahoma College of Law Student Services Office, 300 Timberdell Road, Norman, OK 73019-5081, or online at www.law.ou.edu.
All applicants must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), administered by the Educational Testing Service and available by writing for an application and information from: LSAT, Box 2000, Newtown, PA 18940, or via their website at www.lsac.org. Applicants must take the test no later than February of the year in which admission to the College of Law is sought and should indicate on the LSAT application form that their scores be reported to the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
All applicants must also register with the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS).
Each applicant must pay a non-refundable application fee.
Applicants are considered individually by the Admissions Committee, composed of three members of the law faculty. Selections are made from the most qualified, with approximately equal weight given to the LSAT score and the undergraduate grade point average. Admission is competitive as applications far outnumber available seats in the first-year class.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education limit the number of nonresidents to 15 percent of the student body and precludes the admission of a nonresident whose qualifications are lower than those of a resident denied admission.
LSAT scores more than three years old will not be considered. When an applicant takes the LSAT more than once, scores will be averaged. However, if the applicant demonstrates substantial improvement on retaking the test and there is an acceptable explanation for poor performance on the prior test, then only the more recent score will be considered. Other factors, such as undergraduate major, improvement in the undergraduate GPA during the last years of study, grade inflation, working while in undergraduate school, and/or graduate work may be considered in reviewing an applicant’s academic record.
Two letters of recommendation are required. The Admissions Committee does not hold personal interviews for applicants.
Applicants to whom admission is offered will be required to pay a $200 non-refundable deposit, which will be applied toward the first semester’s tuition. If the applicant does not enroll in the College of Law, the deposit is forfeited. The offered admission is good only for the semester for which it was granted. A deferment may be granted under special circumstances for one year. The fact that an applicant was admitted in a previous year but did not attend is given no weight in evaluating a subsequent application.
Applicants will be notified when their files are complete. If any information is missing, the applicant will be notified in time to submit the information before the deadline.
The application deadline is March 15. All applicants should be notified of their admission status by May 15.
EARLY ADMISSION PROGRAM
In addition to the fall class, the College of Law also offers admission to a select group of students commencing in the summer term which starts in late May. Students selected for this program participate in an intensive program designed to facilitate their entry into the fall class. Applicants may apply for both fall admission and the Early Admission Program. These students will be identified by the Admissions Committee on the basis of factors, in addition to their GPA and LSAT, which demonstrate that they are capable of success in the study and practice of law. Students in the Early Admission Program are required to complete five or six hours of regular law coursework during the summer session prior to the fall semester for which admission is sought.
TRANSFER WITH ADVANCED STANDING
To be considered for transfer with advanced standing, an applicant must have attended an ABA accredited law school. Students must complete one full year of study before being admitted. Admission for transfer is based upon law school GPA, class standing, and various other factors. Transfer applicants must submit:
- a completed copy of the University of Oklahoma College of Law Application for Admission and all related and supporting materials;
- LSAT scores (which will be requested by the College of Law from LSDAS);
- transcripts from all law schools attended;
- a letter from the Registrar indicating that the transfer applicant is in good standing and eligible to continue, including class rank through the end of the last semester attended;
- a personal statement indicating reasons for wanting the transfer; and
- non-refundable application fee.
Transfer applicants are encouraged to apply online at www.law.ou.edu.
Transfer applications must be submitted by June 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester. Applicants will be notified as soon as a decision has been made.
A student cannot receive credit for work taken in another law school when enrolled at the same time in classes in the OU College of Law. When a student transfers to the College of Law from another school, grades at the other school will not be counted in determining the student’s cumulative grade point average or class standing at the OU College of Law. Applicants who have been dismissed from another law school for scholarly deficiency or serious academic misconduct will not be considered for admission.
Ninety hours of coursework are necessary to receive the J.D. degree. This includes 42 hours of required courses, and 48 hours of elective courses. Required courses are listed below.
FIRST YEARFall Semester
Civil Procedure I - 3 hours
Constitutional Law - 4 hours
Contracts - 4 hours
Legal Research & Writing I - 2 hours
Torts I - 3 hours
FIRST YEARSpring Semester
Civil Procedure II - 3 hours
Criminal Law - 3 hours
Legal Research & Writing II - 2 hours
Property - 4 hours
Torts II - 3 hours
SECOND OR THIRD YEAR
Professional Responsibility - 3 hours
Criminal Procedure I - 3 hours
Evidence - 4 hours
Graduation Writing Requirement - 10 hours
Substantive Core Course Menu - 4 courses
Administrative Law, Bankruptcy, Conflict of Laws, Corporations, Family Law, Federal Courts, First Amendment, Individual Income Tax, Real Estate Transactions, Remedies, Secured Transactions, and Wills and Trusts.
Skills Menu - 1 course
Advanced Legal Research, Advanced Persuasive Writing: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Civil Clinic, Civil Pretrial Litigation, Criminal Defense Clinic, Evidence Lab, Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation, Legal Malpractice, Litigation Skills, Supreme Court Decision Making, Tax Practice & Procedure, Trial Techniques.
Supplementary Curricular Activities
A student may receive up to eight credit hours for approved curricular activities. These include: Competitions (one hour credit per semester); Law Review and Directed Legal Research (maximum of four hours credit); Directed Legal Research (maximum of two hours credit).
The College of Law offers a comprehensive and diverse curriculum in which students can emphasize particular areas in their law studies: Business, Commercial and Real Estate; Criminal Law and Procedure; Constitutional and Public Interest Law; Environmental and Natural Resources; Intellectual Property Law; International and Comparative Law; Native American Law; Skills, Clinical and Trial Practice; and Tax Law.
The grades given in the College of Law and the numerical grade point value are as follows: A+ = 12, A = 11, A- = 10, B+ = 9, B = 8, B- = 7, C+ = 6, C = 5, C- = 4, D+ = 3, D = 2, D- = 1, F = 0. The grades of Incomplete (I), Withdrawal Passing (W), Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) have no numerical value and are not included in the calculation of a student’s grade point average. Certain courses are graded on a Satisfactory (S)/Unsatisfactory (U) basis. Students do not have the option of choosing to be graded S/U.
Regular attendance in courses is considered indispensable. Each professor must adopt and announce an attendance policy that meets the requirements of the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools. When a student is absent an excessive number of times, the professor may withdraw the student from the course, or the professor may lower the student’s grade (even to failing) in the course.
The college is a full-time law school, and students are expected to devote substantially all their time to the study of law. Excessive outside work is discouraged. Official interpretation of Accreditation Standard 304 of the American Bar Association states that a student may not work in excess of 20 hours per week while enrolled in more than 12 class hours. First year students are urged to forego any substantial outside activities until they have had ample opportunity to measure the demands of legal study upon their time and energy.
The College of Law limits the number of hours in which a student may enroll during a semester, thus assuring each student the opportunity for sufficient concentration on each subject. First-year students may enroll only in prescribed first-year courses. Second- and third-year students may enroll in a maximum of 17 credit hours in a regular semester and a maximum of nine credit hours in a summer session. Courseloads in excess of these hours must be approved by the Associate Dean for Academics. In no instance is a student allowed to enroll in more than 18 hours.
A student’s class ranking is available when grades are processed each semester. Grades are available online at www.law.ou.edu. Class rank is usually available within seven days following the distribution of grades.
CODE OF ACADEMIC RESPONSIBILITY
Conduct of law students in the law school is governed by a Code of Academic Responsibility. Each student is to abide by the Code, which represents the ethical standards of the legal profession. The complete text of the Code of Academic Responsibility is included in the first-year orientation materials, and is also available in the Student Services office.
ACADEMIC APPEALS BOARD
The University of Oklahoma’s “Joint Statement: Rights and Freedoms of Students” provides that students shall have “protection through orderly procedures against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation.” The rules of procedure governing proceedings before the Academic Appeals Board are provided in the Law Student Handbook, which can be found on the law student intranet.
The College of Law provides career planning for students through its Office of Professional Career Development. The office is involved in a variety of activities to assist students seeking employment as well as those seeking permanent employment. These activities include training in the job search and interview process and hosting on-campus interviews.
There are many student organizations at the College of Law. These include the Student Bar Association and its Board of Governors, Law Student Division of the American Bar Association, Board of Advocates, Organization for Advancement of Women in Law, Oklahoma International Law Society, Environmental Law Society, Family Law Society, The Federalist Society, Intellectual Property Society, the Christian Legal Society, Alternative Dispute Resolution, American Civil Liberties Union, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and American Constitutional Society.
Four minority student organizations are active — Native American Law Student Association, Black Law Student Association, Hispanic-American Law Student Association, and the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association. Two legal fraternities are active — Phi Delta Phi and Phi Alpha Delta.
Tuition and fees for the College of Law are determined by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. These figures can be found in the “Cost of Attending OU” section in the front of this catalog and online at http://www.ou.edu/bursar.html.
FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS
The College of Law has undertaken a major initiative in recent years to increase the amount of awards and scholarships.
The College of Law also participates in the FAFSA program. Students applying for financial aid should file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through the University of Oklahoma Office of Financial Aid Services. Forms may be obtained by contacting the Office of Financial Aid Services, 1000 Asp Avenue, 216 Buchanan Hall, Norman, OK 73019–4085, (405) 325-4521, or online at http://www.ou.edu/financialaid.html.
The College of Law has a separate application for scholarships and awards. Students are encouraged to complete the scholarship questionnaire in September of each year.
The University of Oklahoma College of Law has a commitment to education and service. This commitment is established in the areas of service to community and service to students. Clinical programs include the OU Civil Clinic, which includes a Family Law component, and Criminal Defense Clinic.
The OU Law Center provides a service to the community by providing free legal assistance to those persons that otherwise would not be able to afford a lawyer to assist them with their legal needs. The College recognizes there is a need and willingly dedicates assets and resources to support this need. Students, faculty and paid legal staff work together to provide a sanctuary for those that have requirements but cannot afford to pay for quality legal assistance.
The Clinics offer students the opportunity to practice law before graduation. This process gives students the confidence and the skills to enter the practice of law immediately upon graduation with the ability to function as a sole practitioner or to join a law firm or government entity with skills already established and a high level of confidence about his or her abilities. Students participating in the program are licensed legal interns pursuant to the Oklahoma Supreme Court Student Practice Rules. They are encouraged to participate for at least two semesters to maximize the educational value of this clinical experience and to better serve their clients. A student earns three hours of credit each semester for participating in the College of Law Legal Clinic.
There are three types of skills competitions at the College of Law:
- Moot Court or Appellate Advocacy
- Mock Trials
- Lawyering Skills such as Client Counseling, Negotiation or Mediation
The College of Law participates in numerous moot court competitions each year. Each of these competitions involves drafting a detailed legal brief and presenting oral arguments before a panel of judges simulating an appellate court of law. The College of Law also competes in trial advocacy competitions and legal skills competitions. The trial teams participate in a mock trial competition and advocate their client’s position in a district court setting. The legal skills competitions allow the students to simulate actual legal scenarios and are scored on the lawyer’s ability to address legal issues and the needs of their clients in competitions involving mediation, negotiation, and client counseling.
Students at the OU College of Law are offered opportunities to study abroad through the summer program at Oxford, England, and through student-initiated programs in other host countries. Law students of other countries come to the College of Law under exchange agreements between their universities and the University of Oklahoma.
In the summer program at Oxford, courses are offered in a wide variety of legal subjects and meet all ABA and AALS requirements. Credit is granted by the University of Oklahoma College of Law and can be transferred to other law schools in the United States. For more information and an application form, contact Oxford Summer Program, OU College of Law, 300 Timberdell Road, Norman OK 73019-5081; phone (405) 325-4729; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The College of Law also participates in a summer program hosted by Renmin University of China Law School in Beijing for American law students. The program affords students an opportunity to study Chinese and international law under the guidance of American and Chinese legal educators and experience Chinese culture and history. It also provides the opportunity for two-week internships with Chinese law firms. This program is offered in affiliation with Indiana University-Indianapolis, University of Minnesota, Boston College, and University of Tennessee Schools of Law. It is the longest-standing American law school study abroad program in China, having been administered by Indiana University-Indianapolis for 25 years.
In the past several years, students at the College of Law have created individual study programs at foreign law schools. Students participating in these programs attend regular classes and participate in all of the activities of the foreign law school. Such study programs are particularly relevant to those students who have an interest in international law or international business. If approved in advance by the College of Law and the American Bar Association, students can receive up to 30 hours credit toward their Juris Doctor at the University of Oklahoma. The University of Oklahoma has exchange agreements with 128 foreign universities. Students attending a foreign university or OU under an exchange agreement pay no tuition fees to the host university, only the regular fees where the student is earning a degree. A special individual study abroad program can be developed with the help of the University of Oklahoma Education Abroad office, 640 Parrington Oval, room 211, Norman OK 73019; phone (405) 325-1607; www.ou.edu/intprog/.