Should I stay in the Pennsylvania Bar?

One out to the readership:

In 1993, I passed the Pennsylvania Bar examination, to be a lawyer in Pennsylvania.

I haven’t lived in Pennsylvania since December 1994.

Here’s how it goes: every three years you must be “active” as a lawyer in Pennsylvania. This simply means that you have to pay a considerable amount of money (like $175) and be on “active status” for one year. Then, you can choose inactive status (for the other two years).

Otherwise, your bar membership lapses and you have to petition the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to ever be a lawyer there again.

So, is it worth it? I am already a lawyer in my home state of New Jersey.

Isn’t Pennsylvania just squeezing me for money? Here I am, in Japan.

I really don’t know what to do. Consistent readers of my blog know that I have a low opinion of the Pennsylvania bench. And here I am, giving money to the Pennsylvania Bar.

The flipside is some of my family now lives in Pennsylvania.

As a born-and-bred New Jerseyite, maybe I am supposed to have a lower opinion of Pennsylvania. But maybe it really does suck, regardless.

I can’t be sure.

Do I go through the hoops, or no?

2 thoughts on “Should I stay in the Pennsylvania Bar?

  1. I suppose it would depend on whether you ever plan to live in and/or make a living as a lawyer in Pennsylvania.

    What does being “active” actually entail? Is it like jury duty and they call you up and say you have to work as a public defender for a couple of cases? I doubt it but what do I know? That is why I am asking.

    One way to look at it is $US175 works out to be about JPY 16 500 or so which isn’t a whole lot spread out over a 3 year period. I guess it will depend on what you would get out of it and whether how insurmountable your animosity towards Pennsylvania bench is.

  2. Chuckers, that nails it, doesn’t it? It’s paying money for a thing not because I worked so hard to earn it, but rather what value it would have in the future.

    I wouldn’t describe it as “insurmountable animosity” as much as shameful embarrassment. The smell of incompetence that comes out of some corners of the bench.

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