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ISBA Rural Practice Committee

"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 established.  

You can help by hiring a student for the summer. Contact Phil Garland, committee chair by e-mail at, or by mail at 200 State Street, P.O. Box 134, Garner, IA 50438-0134.


Attorney Resources

Student Resources


Philip L. Garland
Committee Member
Ashley Bennett
Committee Member
Shawna Ditsworth
Committee Member
Timothy R. Kenyon
Committee Member
Rick L. Lynch
Committee Member
Michael P. Murphy
Committee Member
Kay E. Oskvig
Committee Member
Joshua J. Reicks
Committee Member
Artemio M. Santiago
Committee Member
Martha A. Sibbel
Committee Member
Amy J. Skogerson
Committee Member
William D. Thomas
Committee Member
Randall B. Willman
Committee Member
Jennifer E. Zwagerman
Steve Boeckman
Dwight L. Dinkla

The Iowa State Bar Association • 625 East Court Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50309
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