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Supreme Court Allows Temporary 2020 Limited Practice License

By order dated April 28, 2020, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania adopted a recommendation of the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners and authorized law graduates unable to sit for the bar examination due to COVID-19 postponements to engage in the limited practice of law.

The option is available to juris doctor graduates of an ABA-accredited law school who filed an application to sit for the July 2020 bar examination, which has been postponed. Applicants who have previously failed the bar examination or have been determined by the Board of Law Examiners not to meet the character and fitness requirements are not eligible. 

2020 limited practice licensees are permitted to:

  • Counsel clients on legal issues.
  • Prepare documents for a supervising attorney to file in court.
  • With the presence of the supervising attorney or a qualifying attorney, appear for any activity subsumed in the practice of law.

A 2020 limited licensee must be supervised by a licensed attorney with at least five years in practice. The supervising attorney may not supervise more than two limited licensees and must assume personal professional responsibility for the limited licensee’s actions.

The limited license terminates on the date of the next Pennsylvania bar exam, if the limited licensee does not sit for the exam, or on the date the results of the exam the licensee has taken are announced. A limited licensee who passes the exam may continue to practice until formally admitted. 

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