FEATURE ARTICLE URBAN CHOOSING THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED: Reversing the rural lawyer exodus. By Gary P. Toohey. Precedent Winter 2014

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1 FEATURE ARTICLE RU R A L URBAN CHOOSING THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED: Reversing the rural lawyer exodus By Gary P. Toohey 6

2 For 78-year-old Abigail, life is a constant challenge. Deaf since birth, she nevertheless carved out a good life in a soundless world. But she suffered a stroke last year that has severely limited her mobility. Now, with other medical issues beginning to affect her overall health, she believes the time is right to ensure that her children and grandchildren are well provided-for. Abigail would like to talk to a lawyer, but the nearest attorney who practices probate law is located some 85 miles away in an adjoining county. With her health issues and the cold of winter, she has no way to access the legal assistance she wants. Abigail isn t a real person, but she very well could be. The challenges involved in finding legal help in many rural Missouri counties are very real and those challenges aren t just limited to the elderly and special needs individuals. As attorney Beverly Jones of Tarkio, in the far northwest corner of Missouri, wrote: Rural for me is a town of 1,800 people and a county of 7,100. Even if you put my county and the contiguous county to the south together, you will only get about 11,000 [population]. But we also only have seven attorneys based in the two-county area: two judges and two prosecuting attorneys (one in each county), one attorney who practices primarily criminal defense, one who is 99 years old and still in the office six days a week, and me a general who does mostly family law, real estate, and banking/creditor law. 1 Rural Americans are increasingly without lawyers even as law school graduates are increasingly without jobs. Just [two] percent of small law practices are in rural areas, where nearly one-fifth of the country lives. 2 In the past two years, only about 55 percent of law school graduates, many with large student loans to repay, have found full-time jobs as lawyers. 3 The rural areas biggest selling point is jobs, which have been hard for law graduates to land in recent years due to a nationwide glut of lawyers and a slump in the legal industry since the 2008 financial crisis. 4 The irony of this situation a desperate need for more lawyers in some sections of rural America at the same time many new law school Rural Americans are increasingly without lawyers even as law school graduates are increasingly without jobs. FEATURE ARTICLE graduates are unable to find employment is not lost on legal observers. In some areas we probably do have an oversupply of lawyers, but in others we have a chronic undersupply, and that problem is getting worse, said David B. Wilkins, who directs a program on the legal profession at Harvard Law School. In the 1970s, lawyers spent about half their time serving individuals and half on corporations. By the 1990s, it was two-thirds for corporations. So there has been a skewing toward urban business practice and neglect of many other legal needs. 5 This growing problem prompted the American Bar Association in 2012 to urge federal, state, territorial, tribal and local governments to support efforts to address the decline in the number of lawyers practicing in rural areas and to address access to justice issues for residents in rural America. The same resolution also called on state and territorial bar associations to develop programs to increase the number of lawyers practicing in rural areas and which address access to justice issues. 6 The ramifications of the rural lawyer shortage first became evident in South Dakota, where distances between towns are great. Yet the issues raised there are popping up in locations around the country including the Midwest. The demographics of the legal profession and urban migration in South Dakota reflect the wider trend seen across the country. In small, rural communities the aging of the profession is pronounced, with the average age of lawyers serving those communities climbing. The troubling aspect of the demographic data for small communities in rural areas is more apparent when combined with the national trend among young lawyers who prefer an urban-based practice in significant numbers. 7 Another factor inhibiting migration to small towns is a growing reluctance among long-time practitioners to make a graceful exit and turn over their practices to younger lawyers. Driven by economic concerns and the fear of a future that doesn t include identifying oneself as a lawyer, the oldest members of the baby-boom generation are putting the brakes on plans to leave the office. 8 As the remainder of the huge population of Baby Boomer lawyers reach and surpass traditional retirement age, 7

3 this scenario could result in even fewer opportunities for younger lawyers interested in taking over existing practices in rural areas. In a 2011 interview, Missouri Chief Disciplinary Counsel Alan Pratzel explained a common scenario: We are facing a number of attorneys who are reaching the age of retirement and simply don t have succession plans in place that would allow for an ordered transition of their law practice. Regardless of how that attorney leaves the practice whether it s going to inactive status, sudden disability, death, or under a disciplinary order we are faced a number of times each year with lawyers who simply leave the practice under any of these circumstances and don t have a plan in place. 9 THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF RURAL PRACTICE Even for law students born and raised in rural areas, the lure of the big city and its perceived advantages is strong. The shortage of lawyers [in rural areas] largely boils down to demographics: Educated young people raised in the region are fleeing for the cultural and financial opportunities of larger cities, both in their own states and farther afield. 10 Susan Lutton, executive director of Mid-Missouri Legal Services, helps students from the University of Missouri School of Law gain experience and earn credit hours by supplementing the agency s existing staff and cadre of volunteer attorneys. She knows that few of them even those from rural areas will return there when they graduate. I think it s hard for a law student who tries to go back to a rural area, she explained. There are so few attorneys there that there are no lawyers who can mentor them. You re putting your license on the line, and it s very hard work just to get up to speed in a small town. You ve got to know so much about so many areas, and there are so few people there to mentor you and often they re your adversary, so it s not appropriate. 11 One person who bucked that trend is Judge Karl De- Marce, who returned to his hometown of Memphis, located in Scotland County along the Iowa border. When I was in law school, I had it set in my mind that when I graduated, I wanted to come back here to practice law, if at all possible, he said. I remember vividly how many of my classmates and professors thought I was nuts. While acknowledging the extent of the problem There are more attorneys retiring in rural counties than new attorneys coming in Judge DeMarce said there are many opportunities for new or young lawyers in rural areas. 12 The cost of living, the pace of living and the variety of practice, to name a few, said Marianne B. Culhane, dean of the law school at Creighton University. Plus, no long commutes. In a small town, a client is almost certainly someone known to the lawyer. The chance to help a friend often brings a sense of satisfaction missing in a more urban setting. There are many reasons why people choose to live in rural communities but I suspect that it is often for the community they find there, said a practitioner in rural Colorado. 13 In addition, because there are often so few of them, rural lawyers are almost never at a loss for work. I practice in a very rural community and find that I have an abundance of work in the past [five] years I have yet to have a time when I did not have sufficient work to pay the bills, wrote Tarkio attorney Jones. I read once that to be able to survive, you needed to have at least 500 people for every attorney, she added. Even counting the judges (who cannot be in private practice), you have more than 1,500 people per attorney here. On the other hand, she said, [i]t is an hour drive to the nearest Starbucks, Dillard s, K-Mart, or to a restaurant that serves something more than broasted chicken and biscuits and gravy. 14 Indeed, small-town life has its challenges. Cultural attractions may be few. When compared to big-city legal practice, rural practice can offer fewer intellectual challenges. If you re not from a small town, or already know that you want that environment, there might not be a whole lot to recommend it, said University of Iowa law student Kelsey Hollingshead. But for many students, the largest impediment to a small-town legal career is the debt they carry from law school, according to Allan Vestal, dean of the law school at Drake. Small firms in small towns just don t have the same kind of pay structures that larger firms in larger cities do, he said. Salaries at firms in big cities can start around $160,000. But in Midwest small towns, salaries tend to start in the low- to mid-five figures. 15 [Rural areas] could be losing out on some really talented, amazing individuals who just aren t able to do this 8

4 because of student loans, said Alicia Johnson, managing attorney of the St. Joseph office of Legal Aid of Western Missouri. 16 WAY OUT WEST Although concerns about the number of lawyers in rural areas of the nation know no geographic boundaries, the issue first became prominent in the sparsely-populated areas of the Old West. South Dakota A hospital will not last long without doctors, and a courthouse and judicial system without lawyers faces the same grim future, South Dakota s chief justice, David Gilbertson, said. We face the Source: Missouri Office of State Courts Administrator very real possibility of whole sections of this state being without access to legal services. Large populated areas are becoming islands of justice in a rural sea of justice denied. 17 Thomas C. Barnett, executive director of the State Bar of South Dakota, added that lawyers serve their towns not only through their professional work but also on school and community boards. He said that in contrast to an earlier era, law graduates seemed increasingly drawn to urban life for the better shopping and dining as well as job opportunities for their spouses. 18 Indeed, 65 percent of South Dakota s lawyers live in four urban areas. Nowhere is the problem more evident than in Bennett County, South Dakota situated between Indian reservations on the Nebraska border where lawyer Fredric Cozad retired last year after 64 years of property litigation, school board disputes, tax cases and homicides with no one to take his place. When he hung out his shingle he was one of half a dozen lawyers [in the town of Martin]. Now there is not a working attorney for 120 miles. 19 Martin s mayor, Gayle Kocer, noted that landowners in the area need lawyers for deeds, will, sales and disputes. We need lawyers. Our state attorney drives down from Rapid City. It s crazy. We haven t had a full-time city attorney in years. For any legal issues, we have to look out of town. 20 What we have is an allocation of lawyer problem where we need to recruit lawyers to rural America, to the Main Street rural towns that are are the cross-section of South Dakota, said Patrick Goetzinger, a former president of the South Dakota Bar Association. In an attempt to address this situation, in 2013 the South Dakota legislature passed a law that offers attorneys an annual subsidy to live and work in rural areas. Known as the Rural Lawyer Recruitment Bill, the law requires a fiveyear commitment from the applicant and sets up a pilot program of up to 16 participants. They will receive an annual subsidy of $12,000, [or] 90 percent of the cost of a year at the University of South Dakota Law School. 21 This compares with a 40-year-old federal program, the National Health Service Corps, which offers [medical personnel] up to $60,000 in tax-free loan repayment for two years of service in underserved area and up to $140,000 for five years of service. The program consists of nearly 10,000 medical, 9

5 dental and mental health professionals serving 10.4 million people, almost half in rural communities. 22 The financial disparity between the federal program for medical professionals and the South Dakota initiative for lawyers leads many to question the viability of the state effort. Writing in The New Republic magazine, University of New Hampshire School of Law Professor Leah Plunkett described the South Dakota program as [a] worthy endeavor, but it s difficult to imagine that the program will do much to get the oversupply of lawyers on Wall Street to migrate to Main Street. The annual stipend for South Dakota s program is less than a month s salary for a first-year Big Law associate in New York. And, of course, as others have discussed, today s young lawyers who might otherwise be intrigued by doing Little Law on the Prairie frequently face financial debt that is insurmountable on all but a Big Law salary. 23 North Dakota Not surprisingly, North Dakota also sparely populated outside of urban areas shares many of the same problems as its neighbor to the south. In fact, 21 counties in the state have fewer than four attorneys, with four counties having no lawyers and eight counties having only one each. In such a scenario, access to justice is problematic and a lawyer s retirement can have far-reaching consequences. 24 Some North Dakota towns have taken matters into their own hands by directly recruiting attorneys. Meanwhile, the North Dakota Bar Association in partnership with the state courts and the University of North Dakota Law School is working to make law students and young lawyers aware of the benefits and opportunities that are available in small towns and rural areas. Using funding provided by the North Dakota Legislature, this partnership created three summer clerkships designed to allow law students to work for judges in counties with less than 15,000 people. While this is still just a pilot program, the program hopes to expand and provide not only clerkships, but externships with State s Attorneys and private practitioners. 25 There are real legal needs out there: more oil and gas law, an increasing amount of probate matters, more crimes to deal with, and more need for family law, said a North Dakota judge. Right now, without immediate access to legal services, it s very difficult for people, and it can increase costs. We also need more attorneys to do indigent defense work, we need more prosecutors and we need more new practitioners. 26 Idaho While Idaho s lawyer shortage is insignificant compared with the situation in South Dakota, the fact is that some We really worry about accessibility to justice. Without that, how can we say that our justice system is fair and equitable? Alicia Johnson Idaho counties have only one attorney or none. The National Legal Aid and Defender Association said in a 2010 report that county defense attorneys, many hired on contract while maintaining their own practices, carried as much as three or four times the caseload they should have under national standards. 27 The state capital and largest city, Boise, has 13 percent of Idaho s 1.6 million residents, but 47 percent of its 3,356 practicing attorneys. 28 The result is the situation facing Tim Fleming, who for nearly three years served as the prosecutor for both Gem and Boise counties. He was Gem County s prosecutor when his counterpart in Boise County became a judge in But Boise County s community of 7,000 didn t have enough lawyers interested in the job, so it turned to Fleming. The 50- and 60-hour weeks prepared him for his current role, running one of the handful of law firms in Emmett, a city of 6,500 with almost as many orchards nearby as practicing lawyers. 29 AND EAST, SOUTH AND NORTH [T]his is not a problem facing only rural states. This is a problem facing rural areas within all states. 30 Indeed, even the southern and southwestern areas of America recipients of the booming migration of people and businesses to warmer, sunnier climes are experiencing problems in this regard. In Mississippi, nearly half 48 percent of all the state s lawyers are in the Jackson metro area. 31 In Texas, a huge state, 83 percent of the state s attorneys work in the Houston, Dallas, Austin or 10

6 San Antonio metropolitan areas percent of Georgia s lawyers are in the Atlanta area percent of Arizona s lawyers are in Maricopa and Pima counties. 34 CLOSER TO HOME The situation facing rural areas in Idaho and the Dakotas has begun to make inroads into the Midwest, with several states expressing concern about the dwindling legal resources available to their citizens. Iowa South Dakota s lawyer subsidy plan has drawn considerable interest in Iowa, where the 33 counties with the smallest populations, among 99 overall, contain fewer than 4 percent of the state s lawyers. Garner, Iowa lawyer Philip L. Garland, chairman of the Iowa State Bar Association s rural practice committee, sent information about the South Dakota program to state legislators. He added that 30 years ago there were a dozen lawyers in his area. Now, he said, there are seven none of them young. And in 2012, the Iowa State Bar Association began encouraging law students to spend summers in rural areas in the hopes that they might put down roots. 35 That effort, done in cooperation with the law schools at the University of Iowa, Drake University and Creighton University, places students in summer internships and permanent jobs in small Iowa cities and small towns in the state s sparsely populated northern counties. 36 Nebraska In the Cornhusker State, the Nebraska State Bar Association reports that many counties lack sufficient numbers of lawyers to adequately serve the needs of the state s client base. Currently 12 counties have no lawyers, the end result being that clients are traveling 200+ miles in order to access legal services. The unintended consequence of this situation is that these clients are not only taking the dollars they would spend on lawyers out of [their] county, they are taking the dollars they would spend on other things as well. 37 Howard Olsen, a former president of the Nebraska State Bar Association, said, Twenty years ago, Chadron had 10 lawyers; Alliance had a dozen. Now, they each just have two or three. He added that people who used to find a lawyer across the street may now drive 50, 60, sometimes 100 miles to find one. 38 In response, the state bar created an initiative to encourage law students to consider a rural law career pointing out things like the accelerated career advancement (average time to partner in a rural firm: 4-5 years), and the availability of a challenging workload. The program includes tours of small towns and, in its inaugural year, connected at least 2-3 graduates with jobs. 39 Likewise, the University of Nebraska s law school has created a special program of study for its students focused on practicing solo or in small firms after they graduate. The job market is good for lawyers in the western and more rural parts of Nebraska..., said Susan Poser, dean of the law school at the University of Nebraska. We re trying to make students more aware of those opportunities. 40 Kansas In response to concerns such as those in Nebraska, Iowa and other Midwestern states, the University of Kansas School of Law and the Kansas Bar Association in 2012 launched a rural and solo practice program that teaches students the basics of each. 41 In addition to hosting a career fair and speakers panels on campus, the program also transports interested law students to smaller towns in the state to meet local lawyers and discuss rural practice. WHAT ABOUT MISSOURI? With more than 6 million people, Missouri s population dwarfs that of North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, Nebraska, and Kansas. But the Show-Me State also has three major urban areas with high concentrations of both population and lawyers. Indeed, these three urban areas (composed of the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, St. Charles County, Jackson County, Clay County, Platte County, and Greene County) have a total population of 3,185, percent of the total population of the state. 42 Add in the Boone County/Cole County metropolitan area in the middle of the state where a substantial percentage of the lawyer population works for the State of Missouri and that percentage climbs to 57 percent of the state population concentrated in these urban areas. But what about the lawyer population? Figures from The Missouri Bar indicate that 83 percent of Missouri s lawyers are concentrated in these urban areas. Indeed, there are 5.8 lawyers for every 1,000 people in the urban areas identified above. (See Missouri by the Numbers, on page 16). When one eliminates these urban centers from consideration, just more than 4,000 lawyers are left to address the legal needs of 2.5 million people in the state s rural areas. That equals 1.57 lawyers per 1,000 people. 11

7 Compounding the situation is the fact that many of the state s rural counties have greater-than-average proportions of low-income residents, meaning many people with legal needs simply can t afford legal assistance. Twenty-nine counties in the state (including the urban area of the City of St. Louis) have poverty rates greater than 20 percent, with eight jurisdictions having 25 percent or greater of their populations in poverty. A 2009 report by the Office of State Courts Administrator noted that sociodemographic indicators suggest that rural circuits will continue to experience a decline in population. This trend is further aggravated by lower family incomes in more rural areas. Families will be less likely to move to such areas if the income earning potential is less. 43 The Missouri judiciary has taken note of these issues, noting on its website that forty counties in Missouri have 10 or fewer licensed attorneys. THE IMPACT ON THE JUSTICE SYSTEM The main street attorney in rural America is an endangered species, wrote the president of the South Dakota State Bar Association. The small number of rural lawyers in relation to the unmet need for legal services is shocking. The impact of losing rural lawyers on the economic viability of rural communities and the delivery of justice to residents in these areas is potentially devastating. Economic Concerns The economic impact of a shrinking rural lawyer population is evidenced in ways both large and small. For communities without lawyers, or with one about to retire, the significance of having a local lawyer is little different than having a doctor or a dentist. For rural communities to be attractive to new residents, these services are needed. 44 One need look no further than Martin, South Dakota where the last remaining lawyer retired last year to see the resulting economic impact. On a recent day that court was in session in the town of 1,100 people, [t]he lunch place at the Martin Livestock Auction, where 1,000 head of cattle had been sold the previous day, included a table of lawyers, the ones in suits, ties and no hats. All had driven more than two hours from Rapid City and Pierre, paid by Bennett County, which also pays to transport prisoners 100 miles away because it has no functioning jail. Between sending out prisoners and bringing in lawyers and judges, we are breaking the county budget, said Rolf Kraft, chairman of the County Board of Commissioners. 45 In additional to individuals and county governments, small businesses in rural areas may also struggle to find affordable access to the legal assistance they need. The decline in the ranks of rural lawyers may mean higher legal costs for rural employers. Small-town lawyers often are general practitioners, willing to take on the defense of claims ranging from employment discrimination to family law and property law. But with the growing scarcity of lawyers in rural areas, employers outside of cities that face employment discrimination claims increasingly have no choice but to seek legal representation from large metropolitan firms with employment law specialists. These firms tend to be pricier than their small-town counterparts, which translates into higher legal costs for rural employers. 46 A report prepared for the American Bar Association by the State Bar of South Dakota suggests that concerns related to the shrinking number of rural lawyers extends beyond inconvenience: Assuring that main streets in rural America include a law practice is not an isolated Bar issue. It is not limited to access to justice. It is linked to the very survival of many key elements that define the distinctive quality of life in all of rural America. The decline of main street lawyers is directly connected to the health of the local economy, impacts shrinking governmental budgets, and is key to effective advocacy to ward off discussions about courthouse closings and county consolidation. 47 Access to Justice Although many small town practitioners do, by necessity, offer a broad range of basic legal services, others tend to concentrate in one or two areas of the law. When the number of rural lawyers begins to shrink, it can be difficult for 12

8 some clients with specific legal needs to find assistance. No one knows these challenges better than the staffs of the state s four legal aid agencies, who rely upon local attorneys to supplement the services they provide within their respective service areas. When a county with a significant population of low-income citizens has only two or three lawyers, the pool of potential volunteer attorneys shrinks dramatically. There are good lawyers everywhere in the state, said Dan Glazier, executive director of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM). There are caring lawyers throughout the state. But when you re dealing with some of these areas where the numbers are so low, we can t get volunteer lawyers in those jurisdictions. We have a few very dedicated attorneys who assist us with Legal Aid of Western Missouri s volunteer lawyer program, said Johnson. There are individuals who truly see legal aid as a component of their work as an attorney. On the other hand, the attorneys who choose to practice law in these rural areas aren t usually doing it for the big paychecks. We are very sensitive to the fact that many of these attorneys are already doing volunteer work for their clients. In addition, legal aid personnel say, many of the lawyers in rural areas practice in areas other than civil law. Keep in mind that we re talking about the civil justice system. We re not talking about the right to counsel, noted Glazier. In the civil arena, access becomes even more crucial because there isn t that constitutional underpinning that says, You re going to get a lawyer. Low-income people have a myriad of challenges, he continued, including legal ones. The point I always make with the low-income population is that a legal challenge for someone can become a spiraling cascade of disaster. If a low-income person has a bill and isn t able to pay it, then they could get a judgment against them, he explained. If they have a judgment against them, they could get their wages garnished. If their wages get garnished, they could lose their job. If they lose their job, they could lose their medical care or even their housing. Imagine losing your house in the middle of winter. 48 In most [rural] counties, you can count on one hand the number of attorneys who do civil work, agreed Lutton, of Mid-Missouri Legal Services (MMLS). We really worry about accessibility to justice, said Johnson. Without that, how can we say that our justice system is fair and equitable? When we turn someone away because they don t meet our income threshold or some other reason, we know that we are often turning away that person from any access to the justice system, because where they live it means that they can t find an attorney to assist them even if they could afford it. Conflicts One of the very attributes that make small town life so pleasant the sense of community resulting from personal interactions with a significant portion of the population also has an unproductive flip side. In small towns, it is difficult not to be concerned about impartiality and avoidance of conflicts, in an environment in which everyone knows everyone else and there is a high likelihood of social contacts involving judges, lawyers, litigants, witnesses and court personnel. 49 As Jones wrote in a blog entry: Younger and older lawyers aren t making connections. We re not developing that model as well as we can. Sarah Read I know very well all of the attorneys in my circuit and all of the judges (and their spouses, kids, nieces, nephews, grandparents ). You see your clients at church, at the grocery store, etc. There is no such thing as being anonymous. EVERYONE knows where your office is, where your home is and who your parents are. This can be a very good thing and it can be a very bad thing depending on the situation. 50 Lew Polivick, deputy director of Legal Services of Southern Missouri, works from that agency s Charleston office. From there, he supervises a staff that works to provide legal help to low-income individuals in Missouri s bootheel area. I know two or three counties in our service area where you might have two or three attorneys in the entire county, and one of them is the prosecuting attorney and one might be a judge, he said. If there is a lawsuit, there is going to be a conflict of interest problem. 51 When you limit the pool like that, you certainly expand the possibility of these additional challenges, agreed Glazier. Imagine the frustration of getting a lawyer, and getting that access, and then finding out that a conflict exists. If you have identified someone who may be able to help 13

9 that client but a conflict exists, he continued, and there isn t someone to take that person s place, then that person is unrepresented. [The possibility of conflict] is always magnified when you re looking at rural areas, confirmed Johnson. It really does impact the population, Polivick stressed. They have to have a lawyer come to the courthouse from a different county, and it s going to cost more. That s a serious issue for low-income people with transportation problems. The counties that have fewer lawyers don t have public resources. Those are the people who have the least number of resources available to them. WHAT CAN BE DONE? Reversing the decline of lawyers in rural areas won t be easy, but courts, bar organizations, law schools and other interested parties are developing strategies in an attempt to stem the tide in rural areas of Missouri. Alternative Practice Methods The Missouri Judiciary website touts such recent developments as limited scope representation (LSR) as a means to increase legal services in such communities. LSR rules allow legal representation without appearing in court. With modern communication tools, an attorney in any part of the state can consult with a needy client, prepare pleadings and other documents, and instruct the client about how to proceed in court without having to travel to the court room. 52 But Columbia practitioner Sarah Read, an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri School of Law who has intensely studied the rural legal landscape, cautioned that lawyers are slow to adapt to an evolving legal structure. Lawyers tend to be traditionalists, she said. People are reluctant to try something new in the legal profession, yet it s changing all around us. I think we re evolving toward that, but it s not a very coherent or well-understood evolution. 53 Matching Human Resources Finding a convenient, low-cost way of developing networking between younger lawyers who might consider a rural practice and seasoned practitioners even those in urban settings in a mentoring relationship would seem a natural fit. But Ms. Read said that ideal remains elusive. Younger and older lawyers aren t making connections, she said. We re not developing that model as well as we can. The younger lawyers are technologically networked, but they re not necessarily in-person networked or understand the importance of personal interactions or the court system, or the questions they need to ask. Economically successful law practices are going to need two things in the evolution of legal markets: How do you match local counsel resources with larger firms? and How do you build a network of veteran lawyers? Ms. Read added that, as with the federal program that pays doctors to practice in rural areas, the medical profession provides a model for lawyers to emulate. They re doing that with hospitals, where a surgeon will help a general practitioner diagnose a situation, she explained. But we re not doing that in the legal profession. How do I tap into someone who will give me real, reliable expertise that I can build on at a reasonable fee? We ve got lawyers out there who have developed an expertise, but how can they help lawyers in 50 counties who are underserved and do it at a reasonable price? Using Technology The Internet can bring rural and urban attorneys into one community, the Missouri Courts website notes. But Ms. Read noted that this is difficult in those parts of the state where high speed Internet is scarce or otherwise not readily available. Part of meeting this problem is the infrastructure that allows for cloud-based, high speed, secure platforms, where you can use resources such as Fastcase, where you can consult with other lawyers, where you can have good videoconferencing and have it reliable. For example, we could be doing more with videoconferencing, she explained. There are, throughout the rural counties, electric co-ops all of whom are on a high speed network and often have community rooms outfitted with high speed videoconferencing. Where are there systems that are interconnected and could help us boost this type of connecting? She added that having access to a full range of technological resources can provide heretofore unavailable opportunities for younger lawyers within rural locales. The younger lawyer who has the technological skills to build a better practice can develop the income stream that allows him to buy out an older lawyer, she said. ENDNOTES 1 Solosez blog, American Bar Association, available at https://www. americanbar.org/.../solosez/quittin. 2 Audrey Dutton & Ethan Bronner, Idaho s Lawyers a Rare, and Busy, Breed, Idaho Statesman (May 8, 2013), available at 3 Ethan Bronner, No Lawyer for Miles, So One Rural State Offers Pay, N.Y. Times (April 8, 2013), available at 14

10 com/2013/04/09/us/subsidy-seen-as-a-way-to-fill-a-need-for-rural-lawyers. html?_r=0. 4 Ashby Jones, New Lawyers, Seeking Jobs, Are Advised to Think Small, Wall Street Journal (June 25, 2012), available at news/articles/sb Audrey Dutton & Ethan Bronner, Idaho s Lawyers a Rare, and Busy, Breed, Idaho Statesman (May 8, 2013), available at 6 American Bar Association/State Bar of South Dakota Report to the House of Delegates (August 2012), available at aba-resolution-report/. 7 Id. 8 Kelly Green, Baby Boomers Delay Retirement, Wall Street Journal (September 28, 2008). 9 Interview with Alan Pratzel, Missouri Chief Disciplinary Counsel (October 27, 2011). 10 Ashby Jones, New Lawyers, Seeking Jobs, Are Advised to Think Small, Wall Street Journal (June 25, 2012), available at news/articles/sb Telephone interview with Susan Lutton, Executive Director, Mid- Missouri Legal Services (February 3, 2014). 12 Telephone interview with Scotland County Associate Circuit Judge Karl DeMarce (January 29, 2014). 13 Solosez blog, American Bar Association, available at https://www. americanbar.org/.../solosez/quittin. 14 Id. 15 Ashby Jones, New Lawyers, Seeking Jobs, Are Advised to Think Small, Wall Street Journal (June 25, 2012), available at news/articles/sb Telephone interview with Alicia Johnson, Managing Attorney, St. Joseph office of Legal Aid of Western Missouri (February 10, 2014). 17 American Bar Association/State Bar of South Dakota Report to the House of Delegates (August 2012), available at aba-resolution-report/. 18 Ethan Bronner, No Lawyer for Miles, So One Rural State Offers Pay, N.Y. Times (April 8, 2013), available at com/2013/04/09/us/subsidy-seen-as-a-way-to-fill-a-need-for-rural-lawyers. html? 19 Id. 20 Id. 21 Audrey Dutton & Ethan Bronner, Idaho s Country Lawyers a Rare, and Busy, Breed, N.Y. Times (May 8, 2013), available at 22 Id. 23 Leah Plunkett, The Real Way to Fix Law School: More Lawyers, The New Republic (July 24, 2013), available at com/article/114018/fixing-law-school-we-need-more-lawyers-poor-clients 24 Rural Lawyer (December 31, 2013), available at com/tag/rural-lawyer-shortage/. 25 Id. 26 Id. 27 Audrey Dutton & Ethan Bronner, Idaho s Country Lawyers a Rare, and Busy, Breed, Idaho Statesman (May 8, 2013), available at idahostatesman.com/2013/05/08/ /idahos-country-lawyers-a-rare. html. 28 Id. 29 Id. 30 Rural America s Legal Shortage, available at 31 Allen Smith, Rural Lawyer Shortage May Drive Up Legal Costs, available at 32 Id. 33 Rural America s Legal Shortage, available at 34 Id. 35 Ethan Bronner, No Lawyer for Miles, So One Rural State Offers Pay, N.Y. Times (April 8, 2013), available at com/2013/04/09/us/subsidy-seen-as-a-way-to-fill-a-need-for-rural-lawyers. html? 36 Ashby Jones, New Lawyers, Seeking Jobs, Are Advised to Think Small, Wall Street Journal (June 25, 2012), available at news/articles/sb Rural Lawyer (December 31, 2013), available at com/tag/rural-lawyer-shortage/. 38 Ashby Jones, New Lawyers, Seeking Jobs, Are Advised to Think Small, Wall Street Journal (June 25, 2012), available at news/articles/sb Rural Lawyer (December 31, 2013), available at com/tag/rural-lawyer-shortage/. 40 Ashby Jones, New Lawyers, Seeking Jobs, Are Advised to Think Small, Wall Street Journal (June 25, 2012), available at news/articles/sb Id U.S. Census, available at states/29/29001.html. 43 Gail Rehagen, Joseph Vradenburg & Anne Janku, Family Law Case Trends, Office of State Courts Administrator Fact Sheet #32 (October 2009). 44 Lawyer Shortage is Not a Joke, Omaha World-Herald (October 4, 2013), available at NEWS08/ Ethan Bronner, No Lawyer for Miles, So One Rural State Offers Pay, N.Y. Times (April 8, 2013), available at com/2013/04/09/us/subsidy-seen-as-a-way-to-fill-a-need-for-rural-lawyers. html?_r=0. 46 Allen Smith, Rural Lawyer Shortage May Drive Up Legal Costs, available at 47 American Bar Association/State Bar of South Dakota Report to the House of Delegates (August 2012), available at aba-resolution-report/. 48 Telephone interview with Dan Glazier, Executive Director, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (February 7, 2014). 49 Aimee Baehler & Barry Mahoney, Project Report: Strengthening Rural Courts, The Justice Management Institute (June 2005). 50 Solosez blog, American Bar Association, available at https://www. americanbar.org/.../solosez/quittin. 51 Telephone interview with Lew Polivick, Deputy Director, Legal Services of Southern Missouri (February 3, 2014). 52 Missouri Courts website, available at page.jsp?id= Telephone interview with Sarah Read (February 10, 2014). Gary Toohey is Director of Communications for The Missouri Bar. He may be contacted at: 15

11 Missouri by the Numbers: A County-by-County Breakdown 16

12 Adair County 25, Median household income: $33, Persons below poverty level: 24.7% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.87 Andrew County 17, Median household income: $57, Persons below poverty level: 7.5% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.7 Atchison County 5, Median household income: $46, Persons below poverty level: 10.2% 3. Number of lawyers: 7 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.27 Audrain County 25, Median household income: $41, Persons below poverty level: 16.3% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.25 Barry County 35, Median household income: $38, Persons below poverty level: 18.0% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.06 Barton County 12, Median household income: $39, Persons below poverty level: 19.4% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.97 Bates County 16, Median household income: $39, Persons below poverty level: 17.0% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.10 Benton County 18, Median household income: $33, Persons below poverty level: 18.6% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.52 Bollinger County 12, Median household income: $37, Persons below poverty level: 19.3% 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.48 Boone County 168, Median household income: $47, Persons below poverty level: 19.5% Lawyers per 1,000 people: 3.72 Buchanan County 89, Median household income: $37, Persons below poverty level: 19.3% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 19.3 Butler County 43, Median household income: $44, Persons below poverty level: 16.5% 6 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.53 Caldwell County 9, Median household income: $41, Persons below poverty level: 14.9% 3. Number of lawyers: 5 4. Lawyers per 1,000 people: 0.54 Callaway County 44, Median household income: $50, Persons below poverty level: 11.7% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 people: 0.79 Camden County 43, Median household income: $44, Persons below poverty level: 13.9% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.98 Cape Girardeau County 76, Median household income: $46, Persons below poverty level: 15.9% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 2.56 Carroll County 9, Median household income: $44, Persons below poverty level: 13.1% 3. Number of lawyers: 8 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.88 Carter County 6, Median household income: $27, Persons below poverty level: 27.2% 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.96 Cass County 100, Median household income: $60, Persons below poverty level: 8.4% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.19 Cedar County 13, Median household income: $31, Persons below poverty level: 20.2% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.87 Chariton County 7, Median household income: $40, Persons below poverty level: 15.8% 3. Number of lawyers: 9 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.17 Christian County 79, Median household income: $53, Persons below poverty level: 10.1% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.66 Clark County 6, Median household income: $40, Persons below poverty level: 16.6% 3. Number of lawyers: 5 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.72 Clay County 227, Median household income: $60, Persons below poverty level: 8.3% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 2.12 Clinton County 20, Median household income: $53, Persons below poverty level: 9.8% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.98 Cole County 76, Median household income: $55, Persons below poverty level: 11.6% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 11.2 Cooper County 17, Median household income: $45, Persons below poverty level: 17.8% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population:

13 Crawford County 24, Median household income: $55, Persons below poverty level: 11.6% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.77 Dade County 7, Median household income: $34, Persons below poverty level: 20.3% 3. Number of lawyers: 2 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.26 Dallas County 16, Median household income: $40, Persons below poverty level: 20.8% 3. Number of lawyers: 8 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.47 Daviess County 8, Median household income: $42, Persons below poverty level: 14.3% 3. Number of lawyers: 8 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.97 DeKalb County 12, Median household income: $43, Persons below poverty level: 8.3% 3. Number of lawyers: 9 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.69 Dent County 15, Median household income: $36, Persons below poverty level: 19.4% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.95 Douglas County 13, Median household income: $31, Persons below poverty level: 24.1% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.96 Dunklin County 31, Median household income: $30, Persons below poverty level: 25.5% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.45 Franklin County 101, Median household income: $48, Persons below poverty level: 12.9% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.14 Gasconade County 14, Median household income: $41, Persons below poverty level: 13.6% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.73 Gentry County 6, Median household income: $38, Persons below poverty level: 17.7% 3. Number of lawyers: 4 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.45 Greene County 280, Median household income: $41, Persons below poverty level: 17.9% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 3.45 Grundy County 10, Median household income: $37, Persons below poverty level: 12.6% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.16 Harrison County 8, Median household income: $36, Persons below poverty level: 14.1% 3. Number of lawyers: 7 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.8 Henry County 22, Median household income: $39, Persons below poverty level: 17.1% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.49 Hickory County 9, Median household income: $29, Persons below poverty level: 17.5% 3. Number of lawyers: 3 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.3 Holt County 4, Median household income: $42, Persons below poverty level: 14.7% 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.3 Howard County 10, Median household income: $42, Persons below poverty level: 16.1% 3. Number of lawyers: 9 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.89 Howell County 40, Median household income: $34, Persons below poverty level: 20.6% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.18 Iron County 10, Median household income: $33, Persons below poverty level: 25.6% 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.57 Jackson County 677, Median household income: $47, Persons below poverty level: 17.0%, Lawyers per 1,000 population: 9.25 Jasper County 115, Median household income: $39, Persons below poverty level: 18.9% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 2.06 Jefferson County 220, Median household income: $55, Persons below poverty level: 10.5% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.83 Johnson County 54, Median household income: $47, Persons below poverty level: 16.6% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.02 Knox County 4, Median household income: $32, Persons below poverty level: 22.8% 3. Number of lawyers: 7 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.71 Laclede County 35, Median household income: $39, Persons below poverty level: 18.5% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.01 Lafayette County 33, Median household income: $51, Persons below poverty level: 10.0% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population:

14 Lawrence County 38, Median household income: $38, Persons below poverty level: 17.4% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.68 Lewis County 10, Median household income: $41, Persons below poverty level: 15.2% 3. Number of lawyers: 9 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.88 Lincoln County 53, Median household income: $53, Persons below poverty level: 13.7% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.86 Linn County 12, Median household income: $39, Persons below poverty level: 13.4% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.04 Livingston County 15, Median household income: $42, Persons below poverty level: 18.1% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 2.0 McDonald County 22, Median household income: $36, Persons below poverty level: 21.8% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.09 Macon County 15, Median household income: $37, Persons below poverty level: 14.3% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.15 Madison County 12, Median household income: $36, Persons below poverty level: 18.6% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.8 Maries County 9, Median household income: $44, Persons below poverty level: 14.3% 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.66 Marion County 28, Median household income: $42, Persons below poverty level: 15.5% 1 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 2.12 Mercer County 3, Median household income: $38, Persons below poverty level: 16.6% 3. Number of lawyers: 5 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.34 Miller County 24, Median household income: $34, Persons below poverty level: 19.3% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.44 Mississippi County 14, Median household income: $29, Persons below poverty level: 22.9% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.84 Moniteau County 15, Median household income: $49, Persons below poverty level: 11.2% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.76 Monroe County 8, Median household income: $40, Persons below poverty level: 14.2% 3. Number of lawyers: 7 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.8 Montgomery County 11, Median household income: $40, Persons below poverty level: 17.2% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.83 Morgan County 20, Median household income: $35, Persons below poverty level: 20.6% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.85 New Madrid County 18, Median household income: $35, Persons below poverty level: 21.9% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.86 Newton County 59, Median household income: $42, Persons below poverty level: 14.9% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.76 Nodaway County 23, Median household income: $37, Persons below poverty level: 27.9% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.72 Oregon County 10, Median household income: $26, Persons below poverty level: 26.1% 3. Number of lawyers: 8 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.72 Osage County 13, Median household income: $51, Persons below poverty level: 9.9% 3. Number of lawyers: 8 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.57 Ozark County 9, Median household income: $32, Persons below poverty level: 18.4% 3. Number of lawyers: 9 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.94 Pemiscot County 18, Median household income: $30, Persons below poverty level: 29.6% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.6 Perry County 19, Median household income: $45, Persons below poverty level: 12.5% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.05 Pettis County 42, Median household income: $38, Persons below poverty level: 17.2% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.23 Phelps County 44, Median household income: $41, Persons below poverty level: 18.8% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population:

15 Pike County 18, Median household income: $40, Persons below poverty level: 14.5% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.08 Platte County 92, Median household income: $67, Persons below poverty level: 7.3% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.21 Polk County 31, Median household income: $38, Persons below poverty level: 22.4% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.16 Pulaski County 53, Median household income: $47, Persons below poverty level: 14.0% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.79 Putnam County 4, Median household income: $35, Persons below poverty level: 19.4% 3. Number of lawyers: 5 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.01 Ralls County 10, Median household income: $50, Persons below poverty level: 10.4% 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.58 Randolph County 25, Median household income: $38, Persons below poverty level: 18.2% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.14 Ray County 23, Median household income: $52, Persons below poverty level: 10.5% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.74 Reynolds County 6, Median household income: $33, Persons below poverty level: 25.0% 3. Number of lawyers: 4 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.6 Ripley County 14, Median household income: $31, Persons below poverty level: 27.2% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.78 St. Charles County 368, Median household income: $71, Persons below poverty level: 5.4% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.39 St. Clair County 9, Median household income: $32, Persons below poverty level: 20.4% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.27 Ste. Genevieve County 17, Median household income: $47, Persons below poverty level: 10.7% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.79 St. Francois County 65, Median household income: $36, Persons below poverty level: 18.3% 4 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.97 St. Louis County 1,000, Median household income: $58, Persons below poverty level: 10.5% 3. Number of lawyers: 5, Lawyers per 1,000 population: 5.94 Saline County 23, Median household income: $39, Persons below poverty level: 19.1% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.64 Schuyler County 4, Median household income: $30, Persons below poverty level: 25.2% 3. Number of lawyers: 1 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.22 Scotland County 4, Median household income: $40, Persons below poverty level: 18.9% 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.23 Scott County 39, Median household income: $38, Persons below poverty level: 18.3% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.43 Shannon County 8, Median household income: $33, Persons below poverty level: 21.4% 3. Number of lawyers: 5 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.6 Shelby County 6, Median household income: $34, Persons below poverty level: 17.5% 3. Number of lawyers: 9 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.44 Stoddard County 29, Median household income: $37, Persons below poverty level: 15.6% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.17 Stone County 31, Median household income: $42, Persons below poverty level: 19.0% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.72 Sullivan County 6, Median household income: $34, Persons below poverty level: 17.6% 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.92 Taney County 52, Median household income: $40, Persons below poverty level: 17.0% 7 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 1.27 Texas County 25, Median household income: $34, Persons below poverty level: 20.5% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.46 Vernon County 20, Median household income: $28, Persons below poverty level: 21.7% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population:

16 Warren County 32, Median household income: $47, Persons below poverty level: 14.4% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.55 Washington County 25, Median household income: $34, Persons below poverty level: 23.7% 3. Number of lawyers: 8 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.32 Wayne County 13, Median household income: $30, Persons below poverty level: 22.7% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.82 Webster County 36, Median household income: $42, Persons below poverty level: 16.6% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.66 Worth County Median household income: $39, Persons below poverty level: 13.3% 4. Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.29 Wright County 18, Median household income: $29, Persons below poverty level: 26.6% 3. Number of lawyers: Lawyers per 1,000 population: 0.59 City of St. Louis 318, Median household income: $34, Persons below poverty level: 27.0% 3. Number of lawyers: 4, Lawyers per 1,000 population: 13.0 State of Missouri 6,101, Median household income: $47, Persons below poverty level: 15.0% 3. Number of lawyers: 24, Lawyers per 1,000 population: 3.97 U.S. Census Bureau 2012 estimated population by county in Missouri

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