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"Investing in the future of small-town practice."
The Iowa State Bar Association’s Rural
Practice Committee was formed in the summer of 2010 by then-President Frank
Carroll to address the aging population and growing decline of attorneys in
Iowa’s rural counties. Frank saw that thousands of Iowans would lose their
access to local legal services if nothing was done to reverse the decline.
After nearly a year and a half of
identifying the challenges preventing young attorneys from moving to rural
communities, the committee’s approach took a different turn when a 1L student at the
University of Iowa College of Law contacted the committee chair to request help
in finding a clerkship with a small town firm.
She advised that many of her classmates were also interested in rural
practice, and she set up a Saturday morning meeting at the College of Law. Within
a month, 15 students at the U of I, and 20 students each at Creighton
University School of Law and Drake University Law School had forwarded resumes
to the committee. The challenge then became finding rural attorneys willing to
hire a student as a clerk for the summer.
Preliminary estimates indicate that as
many or more students from the three law schools want to participate in the
rural clerkship program in the summer of 2014. View information related to the 2014 program (link below).
Participation by attorneys is critical
for the summer clerkship program to be successful and to expand. It needs to do
both to achieve the goal for which the Rural Practice Committee was
You can help by hiring a
student for the summer. Contact Phil Garland, committee chair by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or by mail at 200 State Street, P.O. Box 134, Garner, IA 50438-0134.