Law students filing Declarations of Intention to Study Law and graduates planning to sit for the Texas Bar Examination will soon be able to file their applications and payments online. The Texas Board of Law Examiners ultimately plans to make online filing and payment mandatory since the Supreme Court approved rule changes authorizing it to do so.
The board proposed doing away with the existing mailbox rule that allowed students and exam applicants to submit their declarations of intent, applications, and check payments through the mail. Since the Supreme Court’s rule change, the board plans to start online filing for some declarations and online payment for all declarations on September 1, although online submission will eventually be the only option. Online filing and payment for bar exam applications will start on date not yet determined.
The board now provides online payment of the $250 fee (which goes to support access to justice programs) by out of state lawyers seeking admission to a Texas court, pro hac vice. In contrast to the new rules for law students and exam applicants, this change is effective immediately and the board will stop accepting mailed pro hac vice payments on August 1, 2015.
The one-page online form can be signed electronically and replaces a three-page application that had to be mailed and signed by hand. Applicants will receive electronic confirmation, reducing the amount of time they must wait before filing a motion to appear in a Texas court for their clients.
“Online payments and applications will increase efficiency for our staff, eliminate rejection of incomplete applications and incorrect fee amounts, and improve convenience for applicants,” said the board’s Executive Director Susan Henricks in a press release.
For more information, go to http://www.ble.state.tx.us/. Note that all people taking the February 2016 bar exam must do so at only one location—the Palmer Events Center in Austin.