No. 81 E.D. Misc. Docket, 1979.
Susan L. Anderson, Philadelphia, for respondent.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Manderino, Larsen and Flaherty, JJ. Roberts, J., filed a statement in support of the Order denying petition. Manderino, J., filed a Dissenting Opinion in which Larsen and Flaherty, JJ., join.
Author: Per Curiam; Roberts
STATEMENT OF MR. JUSTICE ROBERTS EMPHASIZING THE SOUND EDUCATIONAL POLICY BEHIND PENNSYLVANIA BAR ADMISSION RULE 204
It is indeed regrettable that there appears a need to restate and reemphasize this Court's commitment to the wisdom and propriety of the American Bar Association accreditation requirement for admission to the Pennsylvania Bar. Petitioner Helen Babula Kartorie applied for admission to our Bar on motion under Pa.B.A.R. 204. The Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners denied the application because Ms. Kartorie did not satisfy Rule 204's requirement of graduation from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.*fn1 The record reveals that petitioner attended
an unaccredited law school in Ohio from September 1934 to June 1938. The law school was not accredited by the A.B.A. until 1957, nineteen years after petitioner's graduation. Petitioner has appealed to this Court requesting admission to the Bar without examination, although she did not graduate from an A.B.A. accredited law school as required by Rule 204. This Court, consistent with sound legal educational principles, and in accordance with its long established practice, sustained the Board of Law Examiners and denied the appeal.*fn*
No rule, principle, or doctrine is more firmly established in this Court's jurisprudence than the requirement of graduation from an A.B.A. approved law school as a prerequisite for admission to the Pennsylvania Bar. There is no reason why this applicant should be treated any differently from the more than 24,000 members of the Pennsylvania Bar who have already fulfilled this educational requirement.
It has long been the practice of this Court to rely upon the professional judgment and expertise of the American Bar Association in evaluating the quality of the legal education provided by America's legal institutions. Rule 204 and its predecessors embody our commitment to this practice. It is a commitment shared by no less than thirty-four states and the District of Columbia, as well as the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.*fn2 Indeed, the federal government, through the ...