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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Program 'Incubates' New Lawyers and Rural Montanans

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Wednesday, May 24, 2023   

The Montana Legal Services Association has started a program to help young attorneys get started on a path to success - becoming community leaders, run socially conscious law firms, and maintain sustainable businesses.

The Rural Incubator Program for Lawyers creates a way for new attorneys to start their careers by helping connect them to rural clients with pro-bono and reduced-rate services.

Gillian Ellison, the incubator program coordinator, said it helps underserved people in Montana - while also giving lawyers a leg up on networking and kick-starting, or incubating, their careers.

"It's looking at the problem from both ways," said Ellison, "trying to get more attorneys in the rural places and also trying to facilitate the growth of new businesses that serve low-to moderate-income Montanans."

Montana Tribal members also stand to benefit from the rural lawyer incubator program, which requires the attorneys to perform 25 pro bono hours and 225 reduced rate service hours in exchange for training and assistance with business and client development.

Ellison said while the incubator program is especially helpful to underserved Montanans and members of the state's Indigenous tribes, it is also especially useful to lawyers who are just starting out and need the help that comes from more experienced attorneys - which can be difficult to get.

"Especially in a place like Montana where things are so spread out to have networking capacity because the networking and the mentoring is invaluable to a new attorney," said Ellison, "especially if you're not going to be working in a - or getting hired on to work in - a firm. "

The program also makes some tuition reimbursement assistance available for some lawyers who participate.




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