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After PBI Will the Quality of Continuing Legal Education Suffer?

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | May 5, 2018

No. 1,485

The Pennsylvania Bar Association announced that it is taking over the mission of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, which is being disbanded. Here is the report that appeared in the Legal Intelligencer.

If the mission of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute is not carried on, the members of the Pennsylvania Bar and their clients will be the big losers.  The general opinion is that PBI could not break even because a large number of Continuing Legal Education providers are offering for-credit programs at lower cost or even free of charge.

Everyone who takes continuing legal education classes would have to acknowledge that the PBI has provided high quality programs that cover a broad range of practice topics.  The printed materials are excellent and many lawyers stock their libraries with them for reference.  While other providers put out programs of differing quality, it is fair to say that all of them together do not cover Pennsylvania practice as well as PBI.  The best and most experience lawyers in this Commonwealth have traditionally donated their time, knowledge and brain power to informing fellow members of the Bar.  This is a resource we cannot lose.

We lawyers need to fix this.  And we need to do it without delay. But how?  One way might be for county bar associations and educational institutions across the Commonwealth to jointly put together programs with the high standards of PBI.

Unless the Pennsylvania Bar Association acts decisively, whatever rushes in to fill the vacuum will probably not be as good and may ultimately become more expensive.




CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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