South Dakota has started a program believed to the first of its kind that compensates lawyers much the way that similar programs do for doctors that relocate to rural areas, Cano writes. The program, funded by the state's judicial system, the South Dakota Bar Association and the counties, "offers an annual subsidy of $12,000 or 90 percent of the cost of a year at the University of South Dakota Law School to live and practice in rural communities."
Other states are following suit with programs to help draw lawyers to rural areas, Cano writes. "Nebraska next year will begin repaying loans for law school graduates who commit to serving at least three years in underserved communities in the state. The state bar also is teaming with two law schools to offer summer clerkships at rural firms. And Legal Aid of Arkansas recently received a $15,000 grant from the American Bar Association to fund fellowships for newly admitted lawyers who serve in rural areas for one year." (Read more)