17 August 2009
This was an interesting program. It is available in podcast if you are so inclined and technologically capable. Otherwise, you can just access the transcript and read what was said. Just go to the Law Report section on the ABC or follow this link.
The title of the program is a clever play on the fact that droughts tend to wreak the greatest havoc in rural areas, so it seems will a shortage of lawyers wreak a greater havoc in rural areas than in the larger urban areas.
A recent survey shows that the number of lawyers practicing in rural areas is declining fast and is set to decline even faster still in the coming years. Some 71% of the legal practitioners that are currently practicing in a number of areas believe that there are not enough lawyers to service their communities and that they feel the problem is only going to get worse.
It was interesting to see that what was really being lost from these communities was the pro bono work that local lawyers do for no other reason than it is of benefit to the community. It seems that young lawyers just cannot see a future in practicing law in rural areas, and they are always keen to return to the city or large urban areas.
The Law Council of Australia is currently running an initiative in an attempt to address this problem. You can find an article here.
Maybe I will have to complete my College of Law exams and go bush.