Rule 203

Admission of Graduates of Accredited and Unaccredited Institutions

(a) Bar Examination. The general requirements for permission to sit for the bar examination are:

(1) Receipt of an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university or the receipt of an education which, in the opinion of the Board, is the equivalent of an undergraduate college or university education.

(2) (i) Except as provided in subparagraph 2(ii) of this Rule, completion of the study of law at and receipt without exception of an earned Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree from a law school that was an accredited law school at the time the applicant matriculated or graduated. See Rule 205 (relating to admission of graduates of foreign institutions) for standards applicable to graduates of foreign law schools; or

(ii) Completion of the study of law at and receipt without exception of an earned Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree from a law school located within the boundaries of the United States of America that was not an accredited law school either at the time the applicant matriculated or graduated, provided that the applicant is a member of the bar of a reciprocal state and meets the following qualifications:

(A) Presentation of a certificate from the highest court or agency of such state having jurisdiction over admission to the bar and the practice of law stating that the applicant is in good standing at the bar of such court or such state.

(B) Presentation of proof satisfactory to the Board that the applicant has for a period of five years of the last seven years immediately preceding the date of filing of the application for admission to the bar of this Commonwealth:

(i) engaged in the practice of law in a reciprocal state or states outside this Commonwealth. For purposes of this paragraph, the phrase "engaged in the practice of law" is defined as "devoting a major portion of one's time and energy to the rendering of legal services"; or

(ii) engaged full-time in the teaching of law at one or more accredited law schools in the United States; or

(iii) engaged primarily in the performance of legal functions while serving on active duty in the United States military service as a judge advocate as defined in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. § 801, as amended, regardless of the location of the service.

Service under subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) may be combined to satisfy the five year service requirement of this subparagraph.

(3) Presentation of a certificate of good standing from the highest court or the agency having jurisdiction over admission to the bar and the practice of law in every state or jurisdiction in which the applicant has been admitted to practice law, stating that the applicant is in good professional standing at the bar of such court or state. An applicant who is disbarred or suspended for disciplinary reasons from the practice of law in another jurisdiction at the time of filing an application for permission to sit for the bar exam shall not be eligible to sit for the bar exam.
(B) Admission to the Bar. The general requirements for admission to the bar of this Commonwealth are:

(1) satisfactory completion of the bar examination administered by or under the authority of the Board; and

(2) absence of prior conduct by the applicant which in the opinion of the Board indicates character and general qualifications (other than scholastic) incompatible with the standards expected to be observed by members of the bar of this Commonwealth


STANDARDS FOR PASSING THE PENNSYLVANIA BAR.

Order No. 169 Supreme Court Rules Docket No. 1 dated January 31, 1997, provides that:
Commencing with the Pennsylvania Bar Examination to be administered in February of 1998, and until further Order of this Court, a successful candidate for admission to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must, in addition to the other examination requirements approved by Order of this Court, attain a scaled score of 75 or higher on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination.

Order No. 246 Supreme Court Rules Docket No. 1 dated May 22, 2000, provides that:
Commencing with the Pennsylvania Bar Examination to be administered in July of 2001, and until further Order of this Court, a successful candidate for admission to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in addition to the other examination requirements approved by prior Orders of this Court which are not superseded hereby, must attain a total combined scaled score of at least 272 on the combined scores of the Multistate Bar Examination and the essay portion of the bar examination. There will no longer be a separate passing requirement for the essay and MBE portions of the bar examination. The essay portion of the bar examination will be weighted 55% and the Multistate Bar Examination portion will be weighted 45%.

Order No. 285 Supreme Court Rules Docket No. 1 dated December 6, 2001, provides that:
"Commencing with the Pennsylvania Bar Examination to be administered in July 2002, and until further Order of this Court, one Performance Test question developed by the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners may be used in lieu of a Multistate Performance Test question as a component of the essay portion of the bar examination."

Order No. 328 Supreme Court Rules Docket No. 1 dated March 12, 2004, provides that:
"Commencing with the Pennsylvania Bar Examination to be administered in July 2006, and until further Order of this Court, the subjects tested on the essay portion of the Pennsylvania Bar Examination shall include those set forth in Attachment 1.
"Commencing with the Pennsylvania Bar Examination to be administered in July 2004, the following subjects will no longer be tested on the essay portion of the bar examination: U.C.C. Art. III - Commercial Paper, U.C.C. Art. IV - Bank Deposits and Collections and U.C.C. Art. IX - Secured Transactions."

ATTACHMENT 1

Subjects to be Tested on the Essay Portion of the Bar Examination

1. Civil Procedure (Pennsylvania and federal)
2. Criminal Law (including related Pennsylvania and federal constitutional issues and DUI)
3. Conflict of Laws
4. Contracts
5. Business Organizations (including corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and professional corporations)
6. Wills, Trusts and Decedents' Estates (including related fiduciary responsibilities)
7. Evidence (Pennsylvania and federal)
8. Family Law
9. Federal Constitutional Law
10. Federal Income Taxes (personal only and limited to taxable and non-taxable income, deductions, proprietorships, and capital transactions)
11. Professional Responsibility
12. Real Property
13. Torts
14. U.C.C. Art. II - Sales
15. Employment Discrimination (limited to Title VII, ADA, and ADEA)