Founded in the early 20th century, the University of Oklahoma College of Law (Oklahoma Law) of Law has built a reputation for innovation, competition, and for its remarkable value. For the past decade, Oklahoma Law has been ranked in the top ten for its tremendous value, offering a top tier education at a much lower cost. Oklahoma Law also pioneered the first law school digital initiative to help prepare law students for the increasingly digital nature of the legal practice. In 1999, the law school broke ground on a new facility which included a 250 seat courtroom, one of the largest in the nation as well as the home to a number of important moot court and mock trial competitions. Notable alumni include the current Attorney General of Oklahoma and the mayor of Tulsa.
The first year at Oklahoma Law requires a total of nine courses of which six are the core courses of all legal education in the United States: civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts. First-year students combine three additional skill-based courses to complement these six core courses. The skill-based courses ground students in the skills of oral advocacy, legal brief writing, and legal research and writing generally.
After the first year, students are only required two additional courses: one in professional responsibility and the other in evidence. All other courses are elective. Oklahoma Law does offer over 12 areas of concentration that help students focus their studies on a particular practice area through a blend of substantive and practical courses. Five of Oklahoma Law’s concentrations also have the ability to obtain a certification that indicates to employers a students mastery of a practice area. These options include American Indian and Indigenous People Law as well as Oil and Gas Law.
All graduates have the standard requirement for all ABA accredited schools to complete an upper-level writing assignment as well as at least six hours of experiential education credits.
Oklahoma Law offers two graduate programs beyond their Juris Doctor program that allow both lawyers and other professionals to pursue additional legal studies. For students who have obtained their J.D. (or the foreign equivalent), Oklahoma Law offers a Master of Laws (LL.M) program with three unique concentrations. For U.S. educated lawyers, the school offers an LL.M with a concentration in Oklahoma Law’s highly regarded programs in Indigenous People law or Oil and Gas Law. Both concentrations allow LL.M candidates to study under the school’s faculty experts while they pursue advanced studies on the subjects. Foreign students who have earned their initial law degree may pursue an LL.M in the study of the U.S. legal system. This program prepares international students to practice law in the United States or further their understanding of the U.S. legal system.
For non-lawyers, Oklahoma Law offers a Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) degree in three areas: Indigenous People law, Oil and Gas law, and healthcare law. All three programs are targeted for professionals who wish to understand the legal framework of these practice areas to further their careers. Since the program is targeted at professionals, much of the coursework can be done online. All three programs require approximately 32 hours that can be completed in 15 months of coursework.
Juris Doctor candidates may also pursue a dual degree. The dual degree program allows students to purse their J.D. and another professional degree concurrently. Students share credits between both programs allowing them to complete both degrees in less time than pursuing them separately. Dual degree programs include combining the J.D. with an M.B.A. from the business school, an M.P.H. from the school of public health, or a Master of Arts in Native American Studies.
Career and Career Placement
Over 94% of graduates of Oklahoma Law are employed in careers that either requires a law license or prefer a law degree within 10 months of graduation. Over 60% of students chose traditional law firm with work with small law firms (including solo practice) being the most popular option. The second most popular career choice was a career in a government office, a path pursued by 30% of graduates. Almost 15% of graduates pursued careers in the business industry. Although Oklahoma was the most popular jurisdictions for graduates to begin their careers, Texas and Colorado were also popular destinations for Oklahoma Law graduates.
The Oklahoma Law Office of Career Development (CDO) offers students a broad and complete array of services to help them achieve their career goals. Primarily, the CDO offers students one-on-one counseling services throughout the legal education careers. Students can also request assistance in resume and cover letter preparation, access to regional and local job fairs, attending networking events, and interviewing during the on-campus recruiting events.
Experiential Learning/Distance Education
Students at Oklahoma Law learn the practical skills to be lawyers through a mixture of curricular and co-curricular activities. Opportunities to learn practical skills in the classroom are available in a number of skill-based, practicum courses where students learn advanced legal skills while under the supervision of faculty. These practicum courses build confidence through group work and hands-on learning.
Oklahoma Law also offers students the opportunity to work in its legal clinics to help real clients dealing with a range of legal solutions. Students work with indigant clients in both the civil and criminal defense clinics to provide much needed representation to some of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens. The clinics, in turn, provide students with an unparalleled practical experience.
Externships also offer students the opportunity to practice law in a limited capacity for a semester. These semester-long field placements embed students in legal offices all over Oklahoma to allow them to understand the daily practice of working attorneys.
Students at Oklahoma Law enjoy a campus committed to innovation and inclusivity. The law schools was a pioneer in developing a digital initiative that taught every student how to incorporate technology into their academic work and future careers. All students are issued an ipad as part of their academic program. The school also boasts a wide ranging group of student programs that celebrate the uniqueness and diversity of the student body. The school also offers students the opportunity to take advantage of the main university’s many resources including health facilities.
The law school is located in Norman, Oklahoma south of Oklahoma City. Norman is a suburban college town where students are central to the town life. This makes housing affordable and accessible. The Sooner football games are the focal point of many fall weekends but the university also offers countless arts and entertainment activities. Nearby cities offer more metropolitan endeavors within a short driving distance.