According to an article recently published in the ABA Journal, many lawyers avoid small towns for reasons ranging from cultural preferences to social life to the economic reality that salaries tend to be higher in metropolitan areas.
In 2014, South Dakota rolled out a richly funded rural initiative. That program offers stipends of around $13,288 a year for five years, for a total of $66,440, to attorneys who commit to spending five years practicing in a rural county. Half of the funding comes from the state, 15% from the state bar, and 35% from the county where the attorney works.
Pat Goetzinger, past president of the State Bar of South Dakota, a current member of the ABA Board of Governors, and founder of Project Rural Practice in South Dakota, which led to the Rural Attorney Recruitment Program, was interviewed for the article. For the full article, please find it at the ABA Journal’s link below.
Patrick G. Goetzinger
Pat is a partner with Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore, LLP, where he leads the firm's Business and Estate Planning Group and serves on the Executive Committee. He practices in the areas of Business and Estate Planning with a focus on family-run businesses, affluent individuals, business transactions, and real property law.