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The Government Law Center at Albany Law School released today a report presenting the findings of a survey of more than 900 rural lawyers in upstate New York. The survey was undertaken by the Government Law Center's Rural Law Initiative in partnership with the Center for Human Services Research at the University at Albany and SUNY Cobleskill's Institute for Rural Vitality.
While the shortage of legal services in rural communities is generally known, there is limited data on the extent and nature of the problem. This report aims to quantify the shortage of legal services in New York's rural counties. The data contained in the report will inform the work of policy makers, advocates, and bar associations. Additionally, attorneys can use it to determine market trends to build or expand their practices.
The report is organized around three key issues identified in the survey: what rural practices are like; the nature of access-to-justice gaps in rural communities; and how rural practice and systemic burdens impact efficient delivery of legal services in rural New York counties.
The major findings include:
As the access-to-justice gap continues to grow in rural communities, the Government Law Center has produced this report to highlight this issue and inspire creative multi-stakeholder solutions. Additionally, this report implicitly spotlights the admirable public service of current rural attorneys who support their communities and clients under tremendous challenges.
Read the Report: Rural Law Practice in New York State
For more information about the report, contact Taier Perlman at
About the Rural Law Initiative
The Government Law Center's Rural Law Initiative (RLI) 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 offers free legal education and assistance to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and farms in select counties of the state. RLI satellite offices are located in Herkimer, Otsego, Schoharie, and Sullivan counties. The Rural Law Initiative also offers a Resource Site offering legal information and education to rurally-based entrepreneurs, farmers, and owners of other businesses. Follow the Rural Law Initiative on
Twitter or visit
About the Government Law Center
Founded in 1978, the Government Law Center at Albany Law School provides nonpartisan legal research and analysis that state and local governments need to better serve their communities. By bringing together a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers, students, scholars, and community partners, the Government Law Center prepares students for careers as skilled and leading attorneys in public service while informing nationwide conversations on government and the law. Follow the Government Law Center on
here to receive the Center's monthly email updates. Visit