Document Type


Subject Area

General Law Division


This Article explores how law schools can better educate students about the possibilities and opportunities presented by rural practice and prepare them with the skills to succeed. An aging population and dwindling availability of jobs increases the need for practitioners in rural areas. While new graduates may be willing to pursue rural law practice, employers and graduates frequently note graduates are not prepared for the skill-based practice of law. Many students reflect that law school remains too theoretical to be pragmatically helpful in their first jobs, particularly given the unique nuances and challenges of rural law practice. Recent graduates report practical skills training had the strongest positive impact in preparing them for the practice of law. Growing beyond the old law school model of “thinking like a lawyer” is crucial in creating learning opportunities for law students to cultivate necessary practice skills and develop professional identities. Grappling with complex and novel situations while demonstrating creative thinking is critical to success in rural practice. This Article examines the utility of more practical training in law school, specifically in preparing students who aim to become rural practitioners.




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