South Dakota offers several ways for attorneys to obtain admittance into the state bar to practice law. As an out of state attorney (Nebraska), I was relieved to see that South Dakota offers reciprocity, meaning that because I am licensed in Nebraska, I can apply to be a member of the South Dakota Bar Association. SD Codified L § 16-16-12.1 (2021). Additionally, because I am employed by East River Legal Services, I can apply for a conditional license to practice law while my reciprocity application is being processed. SD Codified L § 16-16-17.1 (2021). Out of state license applicants have significant documentation required including a background check, proof of graduation from a law school, certification of admission to practice in the other state, disciplinary checks, a copy of the rule that allows South Dakota attorneys to waive into the other state, and my favorite requirement, a copy of the applicant’s law school application. SD Codified L § 16-16-12.2 (2021). I’ve found the document collection easier than I expected. As I made calls to request documents, I was assured that staff works on these kinds of requests all the time.
I’ve been an attorney in Nebraska for twenty-five years. I thought practicing law in another state would be difficult to figure out or would require that I sit for the Bar Examination again (something that I was not interested in doing!). When I saw the job posting for the position of Executive Director at East River Legal Services in Sioux Falls, the job was exactly what I was looking for, but I worried about the requirement that I needed to be licensed to practice law in the State of South Dakota. I was pleased to see that I had the option to waive into South Dakota based on my license in Nebraska and my job at East River Legal Services. I’m excited to be in Sioux Falls at a satisfying and challenging position for an organization I have quickly come to care about very much. East River Legal Services believes that being poor or at risk does not make you less, that equal access to our courts is an essential part of justice, and equal justice is a universal right. Sounds like a good place to work, right?
East River Legal Services is currently seeking to hire highly motivated attorneys interested in working with low-income individuals to provide them equal access to justice. We strive in our office to work as a team and fulfill the needs of our clients. If you are an attorney from a state that offers reciprocity to South Dakota attorneys, consider applying to work with our legal team. We’ll help you with the license application process!
Our office is currently seeking to hire highly motivated attorneys interested in working with low-income individuals and provide them with equal access to Justice. We strive in our office to work as a team and fulfill the needs of our clients.