Compared to legal agent in other states, Oklahoma lawyer earn far below the regional average. This does not just apply to legal agent, but also to teachers and other professionals. What often happens is that the best teachers and lawyers in other states travel elsewhere (i.e., Texas) to make a reasonable living. This is unfortunate, as it causes a “brain drain” per se of some of Oklahoma’s most talented individuals. Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers www.OklahomaJudicialProcessServers.com examines the complexities behind this phenomenon.
A legal agent performing a standard serve in Oklahoma often earns around fifty dollars, which is what a sheriff’s deputy makes. On the contrary, a process server in Dallas, Texas, which is only about three hours away from Oklahoma City, can easily receive eighty-five or ninety-five dollars per local service of process. Likewise, legal representative in Arkansas, Kansas, and other states also generally receive more money than an Oklahoma bailiff does. This can become quite problematic for those wishing to serve process throughout the State of Oklahoma.
Perhaps part of the reason Oklahoma legal representatives make relatively small amounts has to do with the fact that obtaining a legal agent license is far too easy. In order to become a bailiff in Oklahoma, all one has to do is to is to get some passport photos made, pay the fee, and receive the license. Unfortunately, no education, training, or other experience is required.
State law does not require process servers to know the process serving laws or perform any type of internship. While the individual must be at least eighteen years of age and of “good moral character” that is also absent any felonies, that is about it. Perhaps this is yet another reason why legal agents in Oklahoma not only make a relatively little amount of money but is also a contributing factor as to why the general public often holds Oklahoma legal representative in relatively low regard. Of course, as noted earlier, legal agents are not the only one to experience this salary discrepancy.
A teacher in Oklahoma with a doctoral degree and ten years of teaching experience can actually make substantially less than a teacher in Texas with a master’s degree and fewer years of experience. While some might contend that the cost of living is higher in Texas, this is usually not the case. Likewise, teachers in both states have to undergo similar training requirements. Thus, if the amount and type of training is not the issue, then what is?
Many have long contended that the economy in Texas and other states is higher than Oklahoma’s. While this might prove true to some degree for some areas in Texas, the same cannot be said for those in Kansas or Arkansas, where the economic differences between there and Oklahoma are really quite minimal. What, then, could the other factors be that make the fields of teaching, process serving, etc., pay so much less in Oklahoma than in other states
Oklahoma has not been known in the international or even regional arenas to place a high value on education. Given that Oklahoma’s economy has long been agriculture-based where formal education was unnecessary, the importance that many residents have traditionally placed on schooling has not kept up with those in certain other states. Likewise, a strong correlation between the value placed upon education and teachers’ salaries exists. Needless to say, the same holds true for process servers.
With the exception of attorneys and those who need to have papers served in an efficient manner, many people in Oklahoma simply do not value process servers. When one takes the complete lack of educational requirements and experience required for a legal agent license into account, this just lowers the standards of the profession and thus the pay. In order for bailiff to receive higher pay, three things will need to happen, which are as follow:
- Oklahoma will need to value its Oklahoma City legal representatives more.
- Oklahoma needs to establish more advanced training and educational requirements for lawyer licensing.
- Oklahoma’s process servers need to unionize for better wages, and they need lobbyists at the state capitol.
- The “economic recovery” really needs to continue to materialize, thereby reducing the number of people who apply to become law agent.
- Oklahoma’s population as a whole need to value its bailiffs more, which is a difficult task given that they often bring unwelcomed news.
Unless and until the aforementioned things take place, a process server in
Oklahoma is likely going to continue to make less money than their colleagues who live and work in other nearby states. Unless Oklahoma process servers, teachers and other professionals take a strong stand and work to help make their profession one that is more organized, trained, and valued by society, then they, like teachers, will likely continue to make a very minimal amount of money.