Saturday, October 4, 2014

ABA Article Notes Need for Rural Attorneys

The ABA Journal reports that In rural America, there are job opportunities and a need for lawyers
This interesting article that while urban areas may be over-lawyered, there are many opportunities for new lawyers in smaller towns and rural communities.
Nearly 20 percent of Americans live in rural areas, but the New York Times says just 2 percent of small law practices are in those areas. Those still practicing law in small towns are often nearing retirement age, without anyone to take over their practices. 
And without an attorney nearby, rural residents may have to drive 100 miles or more to take care of routine matters like child custody, estate planning and taxes. For people of limited means, a long drive is a logistical hardship, requiring gas, a day away from work and sometimes an overnight stay. And census information shows that rural communities are disproportionately poor. 
All this creates a "justice gap," with legal needs going unmet because potential clients can't find a lawyer, or they can't afford the lawyers they can find. . . .
Check out this article for stories about attorneys who have built or joined rural and small town practices and for reference to state programs that assist in convincing lawyers to leave the big city behind.