Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Rural law practices can be a nice change

Few people usually complain about a lack of lawyers, but some parts of rural America may be facing just that. In recently talking to a small-town Minnesota lawyer, Eric Cooperstein of was struck by two statements in the conversation: "One was a complaint about how difficult it is to attract new lawyers to join law firms in rural areas," Cooperstein writes. "The other was the lawyer’s prediction that in the next ten years, half the lawyers in her quarter of the state were going to retire from the practice of law."

"That prediction probably is not unique to Minnesota," Cooperstein writes. "New lawyers unable to find a job in a major American city may want to broaden their job searches beyond their local beltways." Cooperstein notes there is plenty of work to go around in small towns. Small town law firms may appeal to lawyers who aren't sure in what area they want to specialize, as most are general practices. "The cost of housing may be less than half of what you would find in a major city," Cooperstein writes. "Your mortgage could be so small that even with your law school debt you would have less overall debt than you would have living in the city."

Cooperstein notes there are drawbacks to practicing in rural areas because small towns lack many big city amenities. "Quite frankly, rural lawyers probably do not want you to just show up for two or three years and then back your bags and go back to the city," Cooperstein writes. "But there is always the possibility that once you get out to the country, you might like it and stay." (Read more)

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