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Task Force Tackles Rural Justice Gap

AN INNOVATIVE SURVEY OF RURAL NEW YORK LAWYERS has quantified an impending crisis: clients in need and too few attorneys, many of whom are nearing retirement.

“Market forces are not going to solve this,” said Government Law Center and Rural Law Initiative staff attorney Taier Perlman. Perlman authored a report that documents a number of legal trends in rural areas and illustrates the critical public service rural practitioners offer their communities. In July, the New York State Bar Association announced a task force—of which Perlman is co-chair—to investigate and address the challenges detailed in the report.

“Ultimately, based on the data, these access-to-justice gaps are only going to get worse, which is why the Rural Justice Task Force is so essential,” Perlman said.

The Government Law Center’s Rural Law Initiative gathered the data in partnership with the University at Albany, supported by funding from SUNY Cobleskill.

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