New committee aiming to meet legal needs for rural Kansans

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 6:21 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Chief Justice Marla Luckert of the Kansas Judicial Branch signed an order to create the Kansas Rural Justice Initiative Committee Thursday. The goal of the committee is to examine the legal needs of rural Kansans related to a lower ratio of attorneys to population in contrast to urban areas.

According to statistics given in their news release, 43% of Kansans live in rural areas, but only 20% of Kansas attorneys live in rural communities. This leaves an attorneys to population ratio of one active attorney for every 808 residents. In contrast, Kansans in urban areas have two active attorneys for every 535 residents.

“Having access to an advising council of attorney is vital to the well-being of our rural residents and communities,” Luckert said. “The goal of this initiative is to bolster the availability of attorney services in rural Kansas. Long term, we think it means promoting the growth of the returning population of rural Kansas.”

The committee will gather their information for 18 months before presenting their findings and recommendations to the Kansas Supreme Court.