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Clerkships to address rural lawyer shortage

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) - A partnership of the North Dakota state courts, the bar association and the University of North Dakota law school is looking to address a shortage of lawyers in rural counties with clerkships for law students.

Judge Gail Hagerty wrote the program proposal for the courts and Legislature, which funded stipends for three clerkships this summer.

Hagerty says the goal was to make law students and young people beginning their practice aware of all the benefits of working in rural communities.

Tony Weiler, executive director of the North Dakota State Bar Association, said retiring rural attorneys used to have one or two coming up behind them. Now when they retire, there might not be one for miles.

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