Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century

Despite the changes that have taken place, licensing of attorneys continues to be based on two primary and distinct areas - competence and character and fitness. Decisions regarding admission to practice law in Pennsylvania are critical because of the extent of harm that could be caused to the general public by a lawyer not meeting minimum standards established by the Court. "The public position of one who is a member of the legal profession is one of great responsibility. Integrity and the exercise of good faith in an attorney's professional engagements are essential for the protection of the public, the courts and the profession itself." In Re Leopold, 469 Pa. 384, 366 A.2d 227 (1976).

Critical decisions confront the Board of Law Examiners as it prepares for a new century of service to the Supreme Court. The Board will continue to operate as a highly motivated organization that quickly responds to the changing legal and technological environments in areas such as multi-jurisdictional practice, computer-based testing and foreign attorney licensing.

Pennsylvania is, and will continue to be, the cornerstone of the nation in conducting bar admissions. As the "gatekeeper" to the lawyer-licensing process, the Board remains ever diligent in its duties and responsibilities to the public.