Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, was one of the last unsettled territories in the continental United States. And in fact, was simply designated the "Indian Territories" for a long time. In 1889, the first of the "land runs" took place, when the U.S. Congress opened up the Oklahoma territory to non-native settlers at an official date and time. Settlers who ignored the official start-time and staked out claims ahead of time, were called "Sooners." Oklahoma adopted the term and "The Sooner State" became the official nickname.
Less than twenty-years after the land rush, Teddy Roosevelt signed the proclamation making Oklahoma the 46th state of the United States in 1907. Today, Oklahoma has one of the fastest growing populations in the country and boasts of fine agricultural lands and robust natural gas and oil industries.
If Oklahoma strikes you as the place you want to be, then you have three choices for law schools: University of Oklahoma College of Law; Oklahoma City University School of Law; and University of Tulsa College of Law.
The University of Oklahoma College of Law (OU Law) is located in Norman, Oklahoma, just twenty miles south of Oklahoma City. Founded shortly after OK became a state, OU Law has an enrollment of about 500 law students. It is accredited by the American Bar Association. The Standard 509 ABA disclosure forms indicate that the tuition falls just below the half-way point of all law schools. The 509 form also shows the LSAT acceptance range to be from about 154 to 159. According to the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings, OU Law is a second tier school.
The school's JD programs include the opportunity to obtain joint degrees with Business, Public Health, or a Masters. Being in the heart of oil country, OU Law offers both a Certificate program and a Master of Laws in Energy and Natural Resources. Further, they have Certificate and a Master of Law programs for Native American Law. To attract foreign students, they also offer a Masters of Law in U.S. Legal Studies.
Oklahoma City University School of Law (OKC Law) is, of course, located in Oklahoma City, which is smack dab in the middle of Oklahoma. OKC Law was the first law school in Oklahoma, being founded in 1907, the same year as Oklahoma obtained statehood.
The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and the ABA 509 disclosures reveal that the school has about 400 full-time and part-time students. The school is a private university and is not ranked by U.S. News & World Report. The tuition for the school falls at the mid-point of all U.S. law schools.
OKC Law has a program for Energy Law and offers a Masters of Law in American Law. Their clinics include the Oklahoma Innocence Project as well as other Pro Bono opportunities.
University of Tulsa College of Law (TU Law), located in Tulsa, Oklahoma about a hundred miles north east of Oklahoma City. TU Law is a fully ABA accredited private law school. Tulsa College of Law is a second tier school, according to the U.S. News Law School Rankings.
It's a small school ranging between 100 to 200 law students. The tuition rate is a little higher than average, according the ABA 509 disclosures for the school. However, the school claims to be one of the lowest tuition rates for a private law school in the U.S.in 2017.
The school's degree program offers, in addition to a JD, LLM programs and a number of joint degrees. TU Law prides itself on strong certificate programs of Health Law, Native American Law, and Sustainable Energy Law. They also have a number of legal clinics and externships that will help make the law student "practice ready" when they graduate.
Tips for Law School and Beyond
Whether or not you decide the open plains of Oklahoma beckon, you will no doubt want to investigate FindLaw's Law Student section website. It contains many articles that offer tips and advice to help select a school, choose classes, take the bar exam, and go onto your first job. New articles are being added all of the time, so check the Law Student section site often. Wherever your path leads, it is sure to be an exciting journey, make the most of it!