What is the Rural Law Initiative?
Legal services are often hard to find for people in rural communities. An overwhelming percentage of New York attorneys locate in urban areas, leaving rural counties without convenient access to legal help. In response, the Government Law Center formed the Rural Law Initiative.
The Rural Law Initiative is a pilot program, funded in part by a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, bringing legal assistance to small and start-up businesses in rural Upstate New York. Under the Rural Law Initiative, the Government Law Center will offer free legal education and assistance to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and farms. Our satellite offices are located in Herkimer, Otsego, Schoharie, and Sullivan counties.
What services can the Rural Law Initiative provide?
The Rural Law Initiative can help constituents in the following areas:
- Business formation and operation
- Environmental law and policy
- Land use law and policy
- Estate planning education
- Financial literacy
- New York regulations and licensing
- Federal and state incentives for new small businesses
- Agricultural issues
What services cannot be provided by the Rural Law Initiative?
Although the Rural Law Initiative can help with a limited scope of services, we cannot represent a participant in a legal matter before a court or other tribunal. Where necessary, the Rural Law Initiative will connect business owners with local practitioners to represent the businesses in a more comprehensive capacity.
Participation and Eligibility.
If you are interested in participating in the Rural Law Initiative please fill out our intake survey. Because the Rural Law Initiative is a federally funded program, not all business may be eligible to participate in the program. The Government Law Center will reach out to those participants who do not meet eligibility standards to guide them to other free or low cost legal resources.
For reporting purposes, we may ask participants to respond to surveys measuring the effectiveness of the program..