Bucks Writs - Summer 2019 - 27

"The Times They
Are A-Changin"

1

By Ronald L. Stockham

and cell phone technology which does not need to be
restated here. Besides, sleep deprived lawyers suffering
from stress or insomnia can fall asleep reading the hundreds
of pages of Bucks County Courts & The Bucks County Bar
Association - A History from William Penn to 2003 after
they have finished reading their thousands of unread emails,
tweets, text messages, social media, and other multitasking distractions.

On November 18, 1968, at a special bar admissions session
before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held in the majestic
Supreme Courtroom in City Hall, Philadelphia, we newly
admitted, apprehensive lawyers could not have anticipated
the fast pace of the many changes in the practice of law
that we would see over the next 50 years.
When I now walk by the Court House on my way to the
new Justice Center, I reminisce about how times have
changed. So, when past BCBA President Jessica Pritchard
invited me to write something for the Writs about changes
over the years, I accepted without reservation the challenge
to write this article.

Therefore, I will focus on the end of an era for lawyers
from 1968 through 1974, plus or minus, a time which was
significantly different from subsequent years. Changes in the
practice of law since then are obvious to the reader and do
not need to be re-stated here in tedious detail.

SCOPE OF ARTICLE. Unapologetically, this article is
somewhat autobiographical because it is based almost
entirely upon my recollections and experience in practicing
in Lower Bucks County and as former assistant district
attorney under part-time DAs, Ward Clark and then Kenneth
Biehn ("Biehn").

We had only two female lawyers in the 1968
Bucks County Bar, Kathryn Renzulli and
Harriet Mims.

My first draft of this article was many pages longer than
this final version. I originally had planned on preparing a
timeline beginning in 1968 and listing significant changes
in the rules, ethical practices, technological differences
leading to the digital age, the advent of social media, and
on and on. That proved to be totally impracticable and may
have tempted my editor to delete my "war stories." Senior
lawyers love to tell "war stories" which improve with age,
unlike their tellers.

DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES. Unlike today, most law
students and lawyers were mostly Caucasian males. My full
time, day Temple Law Class of 1968 of about 80 students,
more or less, included only one female student, who was
called on every day in every class. This reduced the chance
of the rest of us being called on by our all-white male
professors who behaved like the proverbial Harvard Law
professor Charles Kingsfield in The Paper Chase. This is in
stark contrast to the statistics of the entering Temple Law
Class of 2018 which consisted of 33% students of color,
54% women, 78% who worked between college and law
school, 6 serving in or with the military, and students from
29 states and counties. The present day bars reflect these
statistics. We had only two female lawyers in the 1968
Bucks County Bar, Kathryn Renzulli and Harriet Mims. Mims
spent most of her time doing title searches in the Recorder
of Deeds Office. The 1968 all-Caucasian male Bucks County
Court consisted of a mere seven judges.

In any event, today's lawyers who grew up with computers
are very familiar with the ever-changing computer
technology, word-processing, legal software programs,

For the most part, law school graduates
entering the legal profession had little or no
student loan debt.
27

SUMMER 2019



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