Becoming a Rural Lawyer: A Personal Guide to Establishing a Small Town Practice, authored by Bruce Cameron and available in the Career Development Office, is a book that offers advice about establishing and operating a firm in a small town. The resource is broken up into four sections, and each one discusses a different aspect of the law firm formation process before concluding with a question-and-answer style collection of firsthand accounts from small town practitioners.
The first section of the book discusses general issues associated with relocating to a small town. There is an initial discussion of the criteria typically constituting a small town accompanied by a debunking of myths surrounding life and law practice in rural areas. This section also includes a collection of issues that law students who are considering small town practice should think about while still in school and advice for developing a plan before actually moving to a small town.
The second section is devoted to the moving process itself. The section begins with a discussion of a comprehensive list of factors to be considered before relocating to a small town. This discussion is followed by recommendations to help the reader determine whether small town life and practice are suitable for him or her and how to adjust to small town life if moving from a larger city.
In the third section, the author engages in a discourse on daily life practicing law in a small town. This section offers a description of the typical kinds of clients and cases a small town attorney may handle, the likelihood of being able to specialize in a certain area of the law, interacting with local judges and court staff, and the unique challenge of marketing, advertising, and growing a small town practice.
The fourth section consists primarily of practical advice for starting a small town practice. First, the author weighs the pros and cons of purchasing an existing small town practice over starting one’s own. Then, he offers guidance on how to form a business plan, manage a bank account, keep books, operate a website, and acquire office space and equipment.
Overall, this resource is recommended for anyone considering practicing law in a rural area because, without getting bogged down in detail, it provides a wide-ranging analysis of unique issues that might otherwise be overlooked.