Kansas Supreme Court justice tackles state’s severe shortage of rural attorneys

Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Marla Luckert created the committee Thursday with an executive order. Luckert said the lack of attorneys constituted a crisis, damaging the lives of rural residents.

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State News

December 2, 2022 - 5:39 PM

Chief Justice Marla Luckert said the lack of attorneys in rural Kansas areas was at a crisis point. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA —  Eighty percent of all active Kansas attorneys live in six urban counties, leaving Kansas rural communities struggling to find legal help. The newly created Rural Justice Initiative Committee plans to tackle the issue, with the goal of attracting attorneys to practices in rural areas.

In Kansas, there’s a ratio of two attorneys per 535 residents in urban areas, and a ration of one attorney per 808 residents in rural areas, according to the Kansas Judicial Branch. Wichita and Hodgeman counties have no attorneys at all, and five other rural counties have only one practicing attorney in the area. Eleven rural counties in the state have only two practicing attorneys in the area.

Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Marla Luckert created the committee Thursday with an executive order. Luckert said the lack of attorneys constituted a crisis, damaging the lives of rural residents.

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