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  • October 10, 2018

    Practicing in a Rural Community Does Not Mean Practicing Rural Law Exclusively

    There are many positive commonalities among lawyers in a solo practice, whether they are in a rural or urban setting. Christopher Shattuck discusses a few resources to help you boost your practice no matter your location.

    Christopher C. Shattuck

    An Invitation

    Solos and small firms are unique, and should celebrate that uniqueness, yes, but as the Solo/Small Firm & General Practice Section chair-elect and a member of the section board for several years, I am struck most by the positive commonalities I continue to find with my solo colleagues, regardless of practice area, locale of business, or even approach to client representation. This holds true whether the solo/small firm is in a big city, or the only shingle hung within 100 miles.

    Christopher Shattuck’s recent article in Wisconsin LawyerTM magazine articulates these positive commonalities well. It reminds us that good and personal client service, commitment to continuing legal education, and professional ethical practices are hallmarks of quality lawyers everywhere – and anywhere.

    Christopher’s introduction to his article is our “rural” blog – and the article is a great resource for encouraging our continued efforts to connect and support each other in strengthening the practice and profile of the legal profession.

    –  Kate Knowlton, chair-elect of the Solo/Small Firm & General Practice Section

    Resources and Rural Practice

    While conducting interviews for the article, Going Rural: Insights from Park Falls to Monroe, attorney Todd W. Schluesche provided the title for this blog post.

    Christopher Shattuck Christopher C. Shattuck, Univ. of La Verne College of Law 2009 and M.B.A. U.W.-Oshkosh 2015, is manager of Practice411TM the State Bar of Wisconsin’s law practice assistance program, in Madison.

    The quote addresses an assumption – that attorneys practicing law in rural communities face only rural law issues. To the contrary, rural practice attorneys face the same challenges city attorneys face, except they have a smaller pool of potential clients to generate business, and tend to feel isolated from their fellow attorneys.

    Fortunately, there are several resources lawyers from any location can use to help their practices and increase their interactions with colleagues:

    • The upcoming Wisconsin Solo & Small Firm Conference, Oct. 25-28, 2018, at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells, provides attorneys with the opportunity to network and learn from other attorneys.

    • The State Bar’s Solo/Small Firm & General Practice Section and interact with attorneys on their elist. The conference and the section provide several opportunities to interact with colleagues located throughout the state.

    • the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Lawyer-to-Lawyer Directory. Often, lawyers need to bounce questions off other attorneys, but do not have the luxury of walking down the hallway to ask their questions. If the elists are not a viable solution for asking questions, lawyers can utilize the directory to search for attorneys by location and practice area.

    And take a look at my article, which features rural lawyers talking about how they succeed in practice. They provide practical advice about the practice of law in rural counties and share their perspectives on the benefits, challenges, and experiences they’ve faced.

    In addition, there are several sections, resources, and programs available through the State Bar of Wisconsin that can assist you with your goal of practicing in a rural community.

    Rural communities need attorneys and if you are contemplating rural practice, sign up for the State Bar’s Greater Wisconsin Initiative Bus Tour. While this year’s tour just took place, check back for information about the 2019 tour.


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    Solo/Small Firm & General Practice Blog is published by the Solo/Small Firm & General Practice Section and the State Bar of Wisconsin; blog posts are written by section members. To contribute to this blog, contact Nancy Trueblood and review Author Submission Guidelines. Learn more about the Solo/Small Firm & General Practice Section or become a member.

    Disclaimer: Views presented in blog posts are those of the blog post authors, not necessarily those of the Section or the State Bar of Wisconsin. Due to the rapidly changing nature of law and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the State Bar of Wisconsin makes no warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy or completeness of this content.

    © 2024 State Bar of Wisconsin, P.O. Box 7158, Madison, WI 53707-7158.

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