The Board of Law Examiners

The Board of Law Examiners

Many students have concerns about how mental health and/or substance use issues may affect or delay future bar admission; this may prevent them from seeking the help they may need. Please see some excerpts below from the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners website that may address your concerns. We encourage you to review the Character and Fitness section of the BLE website for more information.

Will it delay my admission if I seek mental health treatment during law school?

“[PA BLE] Board members recognize that the stresses of law school, as well as other life factors, frequently result in applicants seeking psychiatric or psychological counseling. The Board encourages you to obtain such counseling or treatment if you believe you might benefit from it. Only severe forms of mental or emotional problems which are related to your ability to practice law may warrant further inquiry during the bar admission process. Isolated instances or short-term consultations for conditions associated with emotional stress or anxiety is not of concern to the Board.”

Will it delay my admission if I seek alcohol or drug treatment during law school?

“If you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, you are strongly encouraged to get the counseling or treatment you need as soon as possible. Your recognition of the problem and your treatment record will be the best evidence you have of rehabilitation, regardless of the seriousness of any misconduct, which may have arisen from the dependency.”

While LCL does not provide legal advice, we can refer you to resources for those who have reporting, character and fitness or ethics questions.