The University of Tulsa College of Law
The information on this page was provided by the law school.
Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs
The JD Program
Legal education at The University of Tulsa College of Law offers infinite possibilities. Housed in a newly renovated and technologically advanced building on The University of Tulsa campus, and fully accredited by the ABA, TU Law presents a forum for the study and exploration of legal issues enhanced by professors with exemplary credentials.
TU Law is a private law school with a total enrollment of 353 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 9.3:1. It provides an academically rigorous yet collegial atmosphere with opportunities for scholarship, leadership, and faculty mentoring. Students develop practical skills through participation in student-driven legal journals, award-winning moot court teams, on-campus clinics, and a robust externship program. TU’s Mabee Legal Information Center is recognized as one of the nation’s top university law libraries.
The University is nestled in one of the nation’s traditional energy centers in a state rich in oil, natural gas, and wind resources. TU Law has built its reputation as a destination for energy and Native American law.
Beautiful, culturally diverse, and extraordinarily friendly, the city of Tulsa offers our students award-winning ballet, national touring concerts and shows, a dynamic arts community, world-class museums, gorgeous parks, vibrant neighborhoods, and a wide array of dining and shopping areas. Tulsa also boasts an internationally recognized, burgeoning environment for high-tech industry and commerce.
Alternate Start Dates, Areas of Curricular Focus
Full-time and reduced-schedule options; summer, fall, or spring entering classes; and broad curricular offerings in fall, spring, and summer are available. Beyond our required curriculum, students may pursue interests across a broad array of subject areas, or focus on a specific area of concentration, including Sustainable Energy and Natural Resources Law, Native American Law, Immigration Law, and Health Law.
Students at TU Law have a great variety of career choices available to them that are enhanced by the opportunity for interdisciplinary study. Students may pursue a JD concurrently with graduate degrees in other disciplines, including business, psychology, and cyber security.
Social Justice & Community Advocacy - B.C. Franklin Clinic
In the Buck Colbert Franklin Legal Clinic, students will provide legal services to the North Tulsa and Greenwood communities. Students will engage in both individual and systemic advocacy to advance community development and social justice by representing individual and small business clients in civil legal matters, both transactional and litigation-based.
Students may, for example, represent an entrepreneur forming a new small business or a small business struggling financially pre and in bankruptcy. Students may also represent individuals in post-conviction matters, such as expungements and pardons, as well as in deprived proceedings, landlord-tenant matters and foreclosure defense.
Buck Colbert Franklin Legal Clinic students will take the lead on cases in teams of two. During this clinic, they will develop lawyering skills, such as interviewing, strategizing, negotiating and client-centered representation. In doing so, they will also have the opportunity to understand the role of nonlegal issues, such as trauma, on their legal cases.
An important part of the clinic experience will also be a continual critical examination of the systems in which lawyers work and the impact those systems have on marginalized populations.
In fall 2021 — the Buck Colbert Franklin Legal Clinic’s launch semester — students may continue working with community residents, leaders, business people, activists and service providers to assess the communities’ legal needs and to organize mobile clinics to address immediate legal needs on a larger scale.
Social Justice - Public Defender Clinic
The Public Defender Clinic (PDC) is a public service, criminal defense-adjacent program for law students launching in fall 2020. The PDC has two goals:
(1) To allow law students to get one-on-one advocacy experience while helping presently incarcerated individuals apply for sentence commutation, ultimately advocating for them at the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board: and (2) to reduce Oklahoma’s incarceration rate directly and by supporting legislation, with an emphasis on Oklahoma’s female incarceration crisis.
The Immigrant Rights Project (IRP) is a one-semester, six-credit clinical education program in which law students represent non-citizens in immigration matters. Clients include persons seeking asylum in the United States as a result of persecution or fear of persecution in their home countries, as well as non-citizen victims of domestic violence and other crimes, unaccompanied non-citizen minors or other non-citizens subject to removal and immigration detention.
Representation may occur in adversarial administrative hearings before immigration judges; in non-adversarial agency interviews; in appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals; or, as necessary, in appeals to the federal courts. This clinic is offered in both the fall and spring semesters.
The IRP provides a combination of practical legal experience, theory, intensive training and supervision not available in most traditional law school courses or legal jobs. The clinic also provides opportunities to engage in action, collaboration, reflection and service that are immensely rewarding and frequently inspiring. It is also a crosscultural experience. Students learn a great deal about their client’s country and face the challenges and rewards of overcoming the barriers to understanding posed by differences of language and culture.
Access to Justice - Terry West Civil Legal Clinic
The Terry West Civil Legal Clinic is supported by the Sarkeys Foundation. It addresses access to justice for marginalized communities in Tulsa, with a particular focus on the intersection of legal needs within these communities. While serving individual clients, students also engage more broadly with the justice system and structural access to justice barriers. The clinic explores different mechanisms of advocacy, including court observations, fact-finding and reporting, impact litigation, and legislative advocacy. Students may also create know your rights materials and presentations.
The seminar and clinic work teach lawyering skills and explore the ethical, practical, theoretical, and strategic issues around legal advocacy and the lived experiences of individuals from marginalized communities. Students gain lawyering skills, including interviewing and counseling clients, fostering a lawyer-client relationship that empowers the client, developing factual and legal arguments, drafting legal briefs, and oral argument and advocacy. They also explore issues of professional responsibility, the role of the justice system in the lives of marginalized communities, their role as lawyers within this system, and ways to advocate both inside and outside of the courtroom.
Law students at TU may choose to live on or off campus. On-campus housing includes well-maintained and modern apartments located within an easy walking distance from the law school. Additional convenient and equally well-maintained and modern options exist within a short driving or walking distance from the law school. With a very attractive low cost of living, the city of Tulsa offers a great variety of affordable housing opportunities. Information about campus housing may be obtained by calling 918-631-2516.
TU College of Law students have the opportunity to publish in three highly respected journals to enhance their academic experience. Students work directly with editors and distinguished contributors nationwide.
Energy Law Journal
The Energy Law Journal is a preeminent bi-annual energy publication. The journal reaches approximately 3,000 subscribers in the United States and 10 foreign countries, and has been cited by the United States Supreme Court as well as federal courts and agencies. Students are eligible to apply upon completion of their first year of law school to begin their candidacy in the fall semester. The Energy Law Journal enables students to gain valuable writing and editing skills that employers seek, while also offering numerous networking opportunities.
Tulsa Law Review
The Tulsa Law Review (TLR) has served as the flagship law journal for the College of Law since 1964. A student-run law review, TLR publishes scholarly works covering the full legal spectrum to stimulate critical thinking, provoke legal debate and guide the law in a direction that better serves our society. 3L editors manage the journal and 2L associate editors help edit issues and write notes or comments on topics of their choice. TLR publishes three issues each year. Two issues contain scholarly articles written by legal experts and select student works. Typically, the third issue contains book reviews.
Experiential Learning / Externships
The externship program at the University of Tulsa College of Law offers 2L and 3L students the opportunity to earn academic credit while gaining practical, live client experience in the field. Students work in a legal setting under the supervision of a licensed attorney or judge while also taking a contemporaneous academic course, which provides the opportunity for reflection and additional substantive knowledge.
Externship opportunities exist in a broad range of civil and criminal litigation as well as transactional law. In addition to the many placement opportunities provided by the College of Law, students can secure their own placement, subject to approval, or work directly with the director to create an experience tailored to the student’s individual preferences.
Career Placement and Bar Passage
The Professional Development Office (PDO) provides an array of career counseling and support services with a focus on personalized professional development, mentoring, and networking.
Law school begins with the Foundations of Legal Studies program, where students get their headshots, gain insight into how to be successful in their first year, meet with attorneys and judges, and network with faculty and alumni. The Dean’s Seminar on the Legal Profession introduces students to the legal profession and includes discussions on the current legal market, career paths, and skills that enhance professional and academic success. The seminar culminates in one-on-one meetings with the PDO and the Director for Academic Success, where each student has the opportunity to discuss professional goals and begin to develop strategies for success. Students also attend small group résumé workshops to prepare them for the job application process.
In subsequent semesters, students attend a PDO Bootcamp to learn about on-campus interviews and interviewing strategies, which they may then practice during the mock interview program with local attorneys. Second-year students attend Professionalism Day, where national and local speakers cover a variety of topics. Before graduation, third-year students meet with PDO counselors to review postgraduation employment plans and obtain assistance in securing employment as necessary.
Throughout law school, the PDO provides each student individualized career counseling based on geographic preferences and practice areas of interest, including alternative career paths. Networking events occur throughout the year to introduce and expand students’ contacts with judges, attorneys, and other legal professionals. Cognizant of student needs and interests, PDO counselors stay well informed of local, regional, and national market trends to provide effective career counseling for job placement throughout the United States. All JD students have the opportunity to receive a variety of services from the PDO, such a weekly job blast; résumé and cover letter assistance; mock interviews and interview preparation; on-campus interviews; individualized career counseling, including internship, fellowship, clerkship, and job fair information; salary negotiation strategy; travel stipends for interviews and job fairs; and assistance in contacting alumni and obtaining a mentor. The PDO takes pride in learning each student’s unique skills and interests to provide a high level of individualized service. Currently, Tulsa Law's employment rate is 83.7% within 10 months of graduation.
In addition to the services provided by the Professional Development Office, The College of Law provides student with opportunity to get a jump start on Bar exam prep via a formal Bar Support Program. Taught by a dedicated member of the College of Law Administration, this mandatory for credit class is taken during the last semester of law school. Currently, the pass rate for Tulsa Law is 93.1% within 2 years of graduation.
Tuition and Aid
Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers