Helping a Law School Student in Distress
If you know a law school student in distress, please give us a call. Our Helpline services are available to students of Pennsylvania’s eight law schools. We can work with you to convince the student to utilize our services for stress, anxiety, substance abuse, gambling, depression, bipolar, eating disorders, and various emotional problems or mental health disorders. Left untreated, these conditions will sabotage the student’s law school performance and jeopardize his or her admission to the Bar.
Our Helpline services for law students include:
- Free information and literature
- Referral to a qualified healthcare provider for a free, private and confidential consultation and diagnosis
- Provided with a personalized plan of treatment recommendations (if any)
- Peer support (recovering judges and law students)
- LCL staff support
The sooner a student accepts our help the better. Early utilization of our services can improve the likelihood of successfully meeting the character and fitness standards of the Board of Law Examiners.
For additional information go to the Character and Fitness section of the BLE website’s menu : www.pabarexam.org
The Board of Law Examiners
Applicants to the Bar must meet the following character and fitness standards:
“The character and fitness standards require that an applicant to the bar be one whose record of conduct justifies the trust of clients, adversaries, courts and others. The hallmark of such a person is honesty, especially in connection with the application for admission to the bar. Persons with a record showing a deficiency in honesty, trustworthiness, diligence or reliability may not be recommended for admission.”
The Board list several items indicate a potential deficiency in the necessary qualities to meet the character and fitness standards. Among these items are:
- evidence of mental or emotional instability, as it relates to the ability to practice law, and
- evidence of current or recent drug or alcohol dependency.
The Board may conduct further inquiry and request additional information:
- When evidence of current or recent substance abuse is present, the applicant should be prepared to provide evidence of rehabilitation which should include recognition of the problem and appropriate treatment.
- When the record includes a history of psychiatric or psychological counseling, the Board will make further inquiry in those cases where severe forms of mental or emotional problems may be related to your ability to practice law. Isolated instances or short-term consultations for conditions associated with emotional stress or anxiety is not of concern to the Board.