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Student Certification to Practice

Pennsylvania Bar Admission Rule 321 and similar rules in other states authorize appearances in court under certain circumstances by students who have completed three semesters of law school. Those rules typically require that the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs certify students as being of good character and competent legal ability and as being adequately trained to perform as a certified legal intern.

Students seeking certification in Pennsylvania should obtain the proper form and instructions on completing the form from the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners website (pabarexam.org). From the Board of Law Examiners homepage, select "Application Information" from the menu on the left side of the screen. Then select the link to "Application for Rule 321 and 322." A student seeking certification in another state should consult the appropriate student practice rule and meet with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to effect compliance with that rule.

Upon completing the Pennsylvania Application for Certification, students should submit the form to the Registrar’s Office for certification of good standing and eligibility. Once the form is Certified by the Registrar, the student should submit it to the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

To enable a student to serve as a legal intern following second-year fall semester examinations, the school will tentatively presume that the student has successfully completed three semesters at the end of examinations for the third semester. Should this presumption be overcome by the student's performance in the third semester, the school will withdraw the student's certification. Students who have taken courses on a part-time basis will be considered, for certification purposes, to have completed the equivalent of three semesters when they have completed 43 credit hours.