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

Although about 20 percent of Americans live in rural areas, only 2 percent of lawyers practice there.

Feature (NATIONAL)

Cara Bayles, Jack Karp
January 27, 2019

Tags: Access to Justice, Rural

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services Corporation (LSC)


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.

If they don’t succeed, some anticipate a not-too-distant future in which many people living in rural communities, especially those with limited resources, will have no access to legal help at all.