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Rural Practice Committee

Why You Should Participate

The committee had many members who had hired an associate, and all were aware of associates who had been hired by attorneys in smaller communities. They had all heard or experienced the horror stories from colleagues about hiring one, two or even three associates, investing $40,000 to $60,000 and a couple of years of training in each, and then having them leave about the time they could begin bringing revenue into the firm. To add insult to injury, the associates often left "toxic” files for the lawyer to clean up.  

The summer clerkship program eliminates most of these problems. Here’s why:

The commitment is for the summer only, with the number of weeks determined by mutual agreement between the attorney and the student. At the end, the attorney and student part ways. If the match was a good one and the student was a 1L, there is an opportunity to have him or her come back the next summer. There’s also the possibility the student may continue providing some services to the attorney during the school year.  

The match gives you an opportunity to evaluate the student without the pressure of hiring him or her in a permanent relationship as would be the case with an associate. It also gives the student an opportunity to evaluate you and the community and small towns in general.  

The investment is a fraction of that made in an associate, and part of the investment can be recouped by billing some of the clerk’s time.

The Iowa State Bar Association • 625 East Court Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50309
Ph. (515) 243-3179 • Fax (515) 243-2511