Foreign-Educated Applicants and Foreign Attorneys Now Eligible to Take Texas Bar Examination

Foreign-Educated Applicants and Foreign Attorneys Now Eligible to Take Texas Bar Examination

The Supreme Court of Texas issued an order amending the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas effective October 1, 2014.

After New York and California, Texas is the third state to reform its rules to allow eligible foreign educated applicants and foreign attorneys to take the Texas Bar Examination (primarily intended for licensed foreign lawyers who have graduated from an accredited law school in their home country and complete an LL.M. at an American Bar Association-accredited law school).

According to Haynes & Boone partner Larry Pascal, “The reforms would make Texas competitive with New York and California and create expanded commercial opportunities for the state’s lawyers.” Pascal chaired the task force that recommended the proposed reforms to the state’s international law practice rules.

Pascal also believes that “These reforms will particularly make it attractive for foreign lawyers interested in the energy sector to complete an LLM degree in the state, possibly do a one-year practical training with a correspondent law firm, and then return to their home country, thereby building up long-term economic and cultural ties to Texas.”

For more information about the reforms, please refer to the updated Rulebook, as well as the updated Frequently Asked Questions for Foreign-Educated Applicants and Foreign Attorneys.

For more information about Texas Law’s LL.M. Certificate in Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law, please visit the KBH Energy Center’s website or email

David Spence In the News on Fracking Bans

Cities in Texas, California, and Ohio had initiatives on the ballot this fall to ban or restrict hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the controversial production technique for extracting oil and gas from shale. Professor David Spence has studied these local ordinances (of which there are more than 400 in existence nationwide), and was quoted in coverage of the issue by the Wall Street Journal, the Houston Chronicle, and Bloomberg News this election season. Prof. Spence’s article analyzing the legal issues triggered by local fracking bans will be published in the Texas Law Review later this year.

David Spence, “As Fracking Vote Nears, a City Divided,” (Houston Chronicle)

Professor David Spence was quoted recently in a Houston Chronicle article about a local referendum on the drilling technique that could have national significance. According to the article, “If passed, the proposition would be the first to completely ban the petroleum extraction technique known as hydraulic fracking in one small corner of the great oil and gas boom sate of Texas . . . If the proposal becomes law, both sides expect litigation of epic proportions. Untested legal questions include whether the ban would conflict with the state’s powers to regulate oil and gas extraction.” Spence said, “If it goes down that road . . . that will effectively kills these bans, because no local government can afford to pay those claims.”

Jeff Civins, Tom McGarity, Melinda Taylor, “Striking a Balance: Experts examine the relationship between energy production and environmental protection,” (UT Law: The Magazine of Texas School of Law)

In an article about the conflict between energy production and environmental protection, UT Law: The Magazine of the University of Texas School of Law (Fall 2014, Volume 13) quoted Professors Jeff Civins, Tom McGarity, and Melinda Taylor, the Energy Center’s executive director, on how energy production and environmental protection are looking for a balance.

Read a PDF version of the article.

David Spence, “Why lower crude oil prices are good for the oil industry,” (Houston Chronicle)

In an article about why lower crude oil prices are good for the oil industry, the Houston Chronicle quoted Professor David Spence on how despite recent sustained prices of $100 a barrel, prices are still high. According to Spence, “I think for the major produces, there are precious few projects of theirs that can’t produce at $80 oil. The lower-cost wells are still going to have a healthy profit margin.”