Applications Now Open for 2024-25 ISBA Rural Practice Fellowship Program

The ISBA’s Rural Practice Initiative Committee created the Rural Practice Fellowship Program in 2020 to increase access to attorneys in rural areas of Illinois. The aim of the Program is to connect rural and small-town attorneys and law firms looking to hire summer law clerks and full-time associates with law students and attorneys interested in practicing law in rural communities in Illinois.

As of 2020, data showed that more than half of Illinois counties have less than 0.7 lawyers in private practice per 1,000 residents. Thirty-five Illinois counties have ten or fewer attorneys total in private practice, and 13 counties have five or fewer attorneys total in private practice.

The ISBA Standing Committee on the Rural Practice Initiative offers the Rural Practice Fellowship to address the issue.

The Summer Clerk portion of the Program connects law students with rural practitioners to give them experience working in rural communities before they leave law school. Summer Law Clerk Fellows receive a $5,000 stipend, mentoring, support, and training.

The Associate portion of the Program places attorneys as associates with rural practitioners where they serve both paying and pro bono clients. Associate Fellows receive a $10,000 stipend to be paid $5,000 at the beginning of the fellowship and $5,000 to be paid after the first year of the fellowship, mentoring, support, and training.

The deadline for both potential fellows and rural law firms to apply is February 2, 2024.

Learn more about the programs and apply

Email with questions.

Posted on November 17, 2023 by Celeste Antoinette Niemann

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