July 2, 2024

SPPE Applicant FAQ

SPPE Applicant FAQ

Starting May 2024, Oregon will allow law graduates to become licensed without taking the bar exam through the Supervised Practice Portfolio Examination (SPPE). This alternative involves 675 hours of supervised legal work and the submission of a portfolio of legal work. The program is open to graduates from both in-state and out-of-state law schools. Candidates still have the option to take the traditional bar exam. This initiative aims to better assess practical skills needed for law practice.

The Oregon State Bar has provided useful documentation to help both supervisors and applicants. The SPPE Applicant FAQ can be found here.

Summary of the SPPE Applicant FAQ

The document is an extensive FAQ guide for the Supervised Practice Portfolio Examination (SPPE), approved by the Oregon Supreme Court for admission to the Oregon State Bar (OSB). Here is a summary and the most useful information extracted from the document:

Overview of SPPE

  • Introduction: The SPPE is an alternative to the traditional bar exam. Approved in November 2023, it allows applicants to demonstrate their competence through supervised legal work and submission of a portfolio.
  • Contact: Questions can be directed to [email protected].

Key Sections and Information

General Questions

  • Public Identification: OSB will not publicly identify how an attorney was licensed, but the information is discoverable through public records.
  • Dual Application: Applicants can apply for both UBE and SPPE but should consider the time and cost implications.
  • Completion Time: The duration to complete the SPPE varies based on individual circumstances and professional development.
  • Differences from PLP: The Provisional License Program (PLP) was specific to the February 2022 Bar Exam takers and has more stringent hour requirements compared to SPPE.

Eligibility and Requirements

  • Basic Requirements:
    • Be at least 18 years old.
    • Complete specific law courses.
    • Secure employment and a Supervising Attorney.
    • Meet educational requirements equivalent to Oregon’s traditional bar exam criteria.
  • Course Requirements: Applicants must satisfactorily complete courses in subjects like Business Associations, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts.
  • Visa Requirements: Non-US citizens need to consult an immigration attorney regarding eligibility and visa requirements.

Finding Employment and a Supervising Attorney

  • Supervising Attorney and Employer: There is no directory for Supervising Attorneys. Applicants should use their professional network or school’s career services.
  • Compensation: Employers must provide at least the salary and benefits offered to other recent law school graduates. Provisional Licensees can work part-time (minimum 20 hours per week) but cannot be compensated below this rate.

Multistate and Federal Practice

  • Out-of-State Supervising Attorneys: They can participate if they are active OSB members for at least two years and regularly practice or do business in Oregon.
  • Provisional Licensee’s Location: They can work outside Oregon but must comply with laws regarding unauthorized practice of law in other states.

Applying to the Program

  • Application Process: Employers and Supervising Attorneys can apply online. Applicants must pay an initial fee of $1000 and an additional $500 upon receiving a provisional license.
  • Ongoing Costs: There is a $150 fee for uploading portfolio materials. Provisional licensees who remain in the program for more than a year will pay an annual license fee and ILG fee.

Written Work Products and Assessments

  • Requirements: Provisional Licensees must complete 8 written work products, 2 client interaction sessions, and 2 negotiations, among other tasks.
  • Interim and Final Portfolio: Licensees must submit an interim portfolio and a final portfolio for assessment.

Additional Information

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