There’s a push for young lawyers to practice in rural America

The Instagram page of John Paul Svec has three photos. In the first two, from seven years ago, he’s a high school kid holding a bow and a rifle. That third photo, from six years later, shows what might keep him in a small town. It’s his letter of acceptance to the University of Nebraska College of Law.

The snapshot of Nebraska mirrors that of the nation. A recent American Bar study found the country’s biggest counties typically have a dozen or more lawyers for every 1,000 residents. But nearly half of America’s counties – typically the most rural and remote – have fewer than one for every 1,000.

Richard Moberly is the dean at the University of Nebraska College of Law. When his state saw a lack of rural doctors, the medical college developed a rural training track to set up students in areas of need.

“About 60% of those students ended up going back to those communities. So, we’re hoping for the same,” Moberly said. “A lot of the older attorneys, especially, have worked with the people in that community for a generation and know that, if no one can step in to their shoes, those people are really going to lose out on the services that lawyers provide.”

“Here in Wahoo, I believe there are three offices. Ours is the largest,” Svec said.

Wahoo may be a small town, but it’s actually among the better-off towns in Nebraska. It has about 40 lawyers in the county. In the next county over, where Svec grew up, there are five.

“You could have someone come in and let’s say they need estate planning and then, ‘Oh, hey, I also have this.’ You know, completely different issue,” Svec said, “It’s good that Nebraska has started a program like this.

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Finding Your Unique Place in Law Practice is a Reflective Journey

Some lawyers know from the start of their careers exactly who they are and what kind of practice they want to build.

Early on, they create a practice that reflects that self-understanding, and thrive. But for others, finding purpose and place within the law is a longer and more complex journey.

Opaque Beginnings

Before they start to practice law, very few would-be lawyers have access to a wide network of attorneys. Most lack visibility to the many practice areas and career paths in the legal industry.

That leaves many new attorneys, especially those without ties to the legal community, vulnerable to making uninformed early decisions about the legal career they want to develop.

To fill that void, it’s easy to default to the most obvious choices. One might believe there are limited options—private practice or government practice, litigation or transactional, partner track or solo practitioner.

Law school and media reinforce these false dichotomies and the limited menu. The traditional law firm model does this, as well, by placing newly minted associates into specified practice groups before new lawyers gain significant experience in a particular area of law.

External forces, like the economy, the business cycle, or a heavy debt load, also may also limit viable career choices for early-career lawyers.

The end result is that some will find themselves in a practice area or industry segment that doesn’t quite fit their skills and goals.

Add the feeling of being misplaced to the pressure of a notoriously stressful profession, and it’s easy to see why some lawyers find themselves unhappy, burnt out, or battling the demons of depression and substance abuse that plague the legal profession.

So, what’s a misplaced lawyer to do?

Go Deep

Finding place and purpose within the law begins with introspection. That requires defining what

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Ukraine Bar Association opens to foreign members | News

The Ukrainian Bar Association (UBA) has opened its membership to foreign lawyers to raise new sources of income to support its work following Russia’s invasion.

By paying an annual €200 (£171) fee, the association says UK lawyers, and others, can apply to become international participants. International members will receive regular updates in English on UBA activities and documents, including those related to legal actions undertaken in support of Ukraine’s efforts to find legal redress against Russia, as well as access to information in sourcing referral work to Ukrainian lawyers and opportunities to find partners in Ukraine.

This could include work on establishing a special tribunal on crimes of aggression against Ukraine, collecting information for local lawyers on accommodation and job opportunities for Ukrainian lawyers abroad, and assists with submissions to the European Court of Human Rights and other institutions.

Membership would also allow free access to any UBA international conferences, and the opportunity to hold events and consult with UBA committees. It would also enable international lawyers to choose to cover membership fees for Ukrainian lawyers affected by the war, including those who had left the country as refugees, enabling the UBA to admit Ukrainian lawyers free of charge for the next membership year.

The UBA’s chief operating officer, Viktoriia Krasnova, said: ‘By joining UBA and paying an annual fee. International participants will enable us to continue our mission, which is to resist the aggression against Ukraine on the legal front.’

Krasnova said that the war has had a severe impact on the association, as ‘membership fees, conferences and partner contributions from law firms which used to form the UBA’s budget, now all ceased to exist’. The UBA, she said, ‘has decided to adjust to this new reality, and to transform not only its objectives, now focused

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Legal 500 US Recognizes 52 Wiley Lawyers and Seven Practice Areas Nationally: Wiley

Press Release

Washington, DC — In its 2022 edition, The Legal 500 US recognizes 52 Wiley lawyers across seven practices as among the best in the country. The firm’s Government Contracts Practice, and its Telecom, Media & Technology (TMT) Practice for Regulatory work, have earned the prestigious top-tier ranking. The TMT Practice is also ranked nationwide for its Transactional work. In addition, the firm’s Insurance, International Trade, Issues and Appeals, and White Collar Defense & Government Investigations practices are ranked nationwide.

Government Contracts Practice co-chair Paul F. Khoury was recognized in the “Hall of Fame” for Government Contracts.

Four Wiley attorneys are named “Leading Lawyers”:

Five Wiley attorneys are named “Next Generation Lawyers”:

The following attorneys are also recognized as “Recommended” in their respective practice areas:

The Legal 500 US directory aims to provide independent, unbiased commentary on the leading law firms and lawyers in the most important legal marketplaces in the world. The research for the editorial sections is based on the combined opinions of the many lawyers interviewed, commentary from corporate clients, and analysis of deals and contentious issues.

To see the complete 2022 rankings, please click here.

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