Friday, September 10, 2010

Rural practice as the answer to legal job woes?

Debra Cassens Weiss reports in today's ABA Journal online under the headline, "Why New Lawyers Should Consider Rural Practice." An excerpt from her story follows:

New lawyers having trouble with their job search may want to consider practice in rural America, where they are more likely to see the inside of a courtroom and less likely to be saddled with a big mortgage payment.

She quotes from a post to the Lawyerist blog by Eric Cooperstein, a Minneapolis lawyer, whose conversation with a practitioner a few hours outside the Twin Cities got him thinking about the upsides of rural practice. That practitioner mentions the difficulty firms have finding lawyers willing to live and work in rural places, and she predicted that "about half the lawyers in her quarter of the state were likely to retire in the next 10 years." Cooperstein lists other benefits to small-town practice.

First off, there is plenty of work to do ... . All those farms you pass as you drive that two-lane road into the country? That farmland is worth several thousand dollars an acre in many areas. Those farm families need estate plans, contracts, and business advice ... The folk in small towns sometimes get divorced, commit the occasional DWI, and get in car accidents. They need local lawyers.

Here's a related podcast about lawyers who are fresh out of law school starting solo practices.

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