Rural Law Opportunities Program

The Rural Law Opportunities Program (RLOP) aims to ensure all Nebraskans have access to legal representation by encouraging the practice of law in the state’s rural communities. Through the program, students from certain Nebraska areas will study at one of three Nebraska State Colleges or Universities, obtain their legal education at Nebraska Law and then practice in rural areas throughout the state. RLOP was established through a partnership between the University of Nebraska College of Law and Chadron State College, the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Wayne State College.

The Need

The need for attorneys in rural Nebraska is greater than ever. Currently in Nebraska, 11 of the state's 93 counties, including McPherson, Arthur, Blaine and Hayes, have no attorneys. The shortage of attorneys in these rural Nebraska areas means that people may have to drive hundreds of miles for legal assistance. Communities not only lack lawyers and judges, but also important leaders for schools, community organizations and businesses.

The Program

RLOPs are available at Chadron State College, the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Wayne State College. RLOP students will receive scholarships to fund their undergraduate education and will begin to develop their relationship with Nebraska Law as early as their freshman year in college. Participants will be required to maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA at their undergraduate institution to remain in the program. RLOP students who satisfy this GPA requirement, obtain a minimum LSAT score and meet other minor law school application criteria will be automatically accepted to the University of Nebraska College of Law.

As RLOP participants, students will visit Nebraska Law for guest lectures, special court proceedings, observation of classes and networking activities. Nebraska Law administrators and admissions representatives will also visit the campuses of participating schools at least once an academic year to meet with students one on one. Between their junior and senior years, RLOP students will have the opportunity to participate in rural Nebraska internships. 

The Schools

Undergraduate admissions requirements will vary by institution. All RLOP students must have an interest in practicing law in a rural Nebraska community and meet certain residency requirements.

For specific school requirements and to apply, visit one of the pages below.

RLOP in the News