A new placement program at Northern Kentucky University’s Chase College of Law will place graduates in rural, underserved areas in the state to increase access to legal aid for rural communities, according to a recent story in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Nationwide, many rural communities lack lawyers. As of last year, only 2 percent of small law offices were in rural areas, according to an article in The New York Times. That article highlighted South Dakota’s efforts to attract rural lawyers by offering an annual subsidy to those who live and work in rural parts of the state. Several law schools in Iowa and Nebraska have created internship programs that place students in rural law firms. In Nebraska, the state’s bar association launched an initiative in 2013 that encourages law students to take jobs in rural areas. The initiative emphasizes potential benefits of working at a rural firm, including more job opportunities and faster promotion rates. Although rural law firms may not pay as much as urban law firms, the cost of living is often much lower.
The Northern Kentucky program will provide “individualized career counseling and personalized networking support” to interested graduates, according to a press release.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rural Education blog.