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Do you pine for a simpler life away from the hustle and bustle of the city? Are you still buried in law school loans? Well, as has been suggested before, taking up practice in a rural area might be for you. Also, you may be in luck if the state of Wisconsin passes a new bill that would offer to help repay law school loans for lawyers that take up rural practice there.
The new bill promises to provide up to $20,000 per year toward student loan debt for Wisconsin lawyers that practice in counties with less than 25,000 residents and accept court-appointed cases. Notably, Wisconsin is not the only rural state to consider offering lawyers incentives to practice there in rural areas, and a few already do.
Before you grease up the wheels and saddle up your wagon to head West, or East, or whatever direction you need to go to hit rural Wisconsin, know that those court-appointed cases you have to take only pay $40 per hour. And, you're expected to maintain a presence in a rural county, or conduct the majority of your practice there. Also, let's not forget that pesky problem of getting admitted to practice if you're crossing state lines.
As noted by the ABA, often these court appointed cases can take attorneys hours out of their way just to meet with clients due to extended travel time in rural areas. Basically, city lawyers will be giving up waiting in gridlock for driving longer distances, likely for less money.
If you're suffering from an oversaturated urban job market, escaping to a rural part of your state, or even another state, might be the key to finding gainful employment. And while the rural jobs may not pay as much, there may be more than enough work to go around, as well as a much lower cost of living, which will stretch that lower salary further. Not only are private sector jobs available in rural areas, but public sector jobs, which may qualify for loan forgiveness, exist there as well.
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