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 NeedThe need for attorneys in rural Nebraska is greater than ever. Currently in Nebraska, 12 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.
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.
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
University of Nebraska launches program encouraging more attorneys in state’s rural areas
The Rural Law Opportunities Program is modeled after a similar program established in 1990 for Nebraskans interested in rural health care …
How to Lure Lawyers to Small Town USA? Start There
National Law Journal
Nebraska is hoping to solve its declining rural lawyer problem by targeting aspiring lawyers who are from the country and offering them a free ...
Lacking lawyers, Plains states try new rural staffing tacks
The Washington Post
In Wheeler County, Nebraska, if you want a divorce, attorneys who can help you are ...
With Attorney Shortage, Rural Areas In Search Of Lawyers
Lyle Koenig of the Nebraska Bar Association has helped develop the Rural Law Opportunities Program, a new scholarship program for rural …
UNK program working to ease lawyer shortage in rural areas of Nebraska
Wayne State College and Chadron State College also have partnered with the College of Law to offer the Rural Law Opportunities Program.
Rural states working to recruit law school grads back to the country
Koenig has helped develop the Rural Law Opportunities Program (RLOP), a new effort to recruit country lawyers. Each year, 15 scholarships …
New law opportunities program modeled after RHOP
Rapid City Journal
The Rural Law Opportunities Program (RLOP) for Chadron State College and Wayne State College was approved during the Nebraska State …
New program encourages lawyers to practice in rural Nebraska Law
Sioux City Journal
Tammy Evetovich, dean of Wayne State College’s School of Natural and Social Sciences, said the new Rural Law Opportunities Program …
New program hopes to increase lawyers in rural Nebraska Law
To counter this, UNL, alongside three other colleges, have set up the Rural Law Opportunities Program. As a part of the program, Wayne State …
State Bar Paving Way for Rural Lawyers
The Daily record
However, beyond the state’s metropolitan areas, the options are fewer. In nearly a dozen counties there are no attorneys. Zero. And that is a problem. ...
Shelton senior enrolled in the Rural Law Opportunities Program
Shelton Bulldog senior Megan Tofflemire plans a big future practicing law in a rural area.
Rural access the focus of trips to Chadron
The Chadron Record
Chadron was a stop on two tours of the state by officials representing various state agencies and organizations earlier this month.
Wanted: Lawyers for Rural America
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Law schools find recruiting attorneys to rural America is a tough sell.