The headline reads “Legal industry struggles push lawyers to small-town firms”, and the article opens with the doom and gloom – many small town clients have to drive over 100 miles one way to see an attorney, NALP reports a 27% drop in big city law firm jobs since 2009, new lawyers are graduating with heavy debt loads and low employment rates.
On the plus side, there are law schools and bar associations out there developing programs to connect new lawyers and law students with small towns. This particular article gives a tip of the hat to the programs being developed by the Kansas Bar Association, the University of Kansas Law School, and Washburn University Law School. Seems that the lawyers who are taking advantage of these programs are finding both employment and career satisfaction practicing law beyond suburbia’s sprawl.
While there may not be a stampede of new lawyers heading to the sticks, it does look like the trickle is starting to become a stream.
One thought on “Not Surprised”
I had a meeting with a University of Illinois College of Law fundraiser yesterday and she said the university is talking up the rural downstate opportunities to students in a way they definitely were NOT when I was in school 5 years ago. She said they realize they lost ground by not restocking the pool of U of I alums in the rural communities and funneling most grads to Chicago.
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