10 April 2013

Jobs for Law Grads

I've posted several times about the parlous state of legal education (check here and here for some examples). Even more significant than the cost or content of legal education for many grads is simply getting a job. But here's a story about a state to the rescue, and the state of South Dakota at that.

South Dakota rural population is remarkably undeserved by lawyers; hence, the state (together with bar associations) is paying a $12,000 subsidy for lawyers who relocate to one of these areas and stays for at least five years.

I practiced law in South Dakota for three years but that was in the state's largest city, Sioux Falls. While I spent many summers in rural Pennsylvania working on the farms of various uncles, I'm not sure (in fact I'm nearly certain) that I would have found it impossible to practice law for a lifetime in a very out-of-the-way place like Martin, South Dakota.

But more to the point: law grads should consider practicing in a rural area. The value of legal skills in such a community far exceed representation of clients because the lawyer will have the opportunity to be engaged in many forms of community service. Most urban and suburban law students might balk at even considering practicing in a small, rural community but such reticence should be reconsidered.

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