In Georgia, 81 percent of the state's lawyers work in metropolitan Atlanta, while six of the 159 counties don't have any lawyers, and five have just one. In some cases, the closest attorney is 50 miles away, reports Dan Chapman for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In Clay County, in southwest Georgia, 36 percent of the 3,000 residents live below the poverty line, and no one practices law full-time in the county.
Even as rural towns go wanting for lawyers, a third of the state's 2012 law-school graduates who passed the bar exam haven't found work, and the unemployment rate for lawyers is 11.5 percent, well above the state average. Meanwhile, those in need of legal service often have to turn to free non-profit help, or go without representation. (Read more)