No Country For Old Lawyers: Rural U.S. Faces A Legal Desert – Law360

By Jack Karp

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Although about 20 percent of Americans live in rural areas, only 2 percent of lawyers practice there, according to research by Lisa Pruitt, the Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law at University of California, Davis School of Law.

“Basically, the rural profession is in most places aging really quickly, and young lawyers are, by and large, not interested in going to replace them,” Pruitt says.

Faced with that trend, bar associations, law schools and others have begun experimenting with programs aimed at luring young attorneys to the heartland and making it more financially feasible for them, including through loan forgiveness, to set up shop in communities where residents’ options for filing a lawsuit or even drawing up a will might otherwise be painfully slim.

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