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Access to Justice

MISSION: To provide equal access to justice for all citizens of South Dakota.

Looking for a Pro Bono Attorney? Complete an online application or call us at 1-855-287-3510 to start the process.

In an effort to make legal services accessible to all South Dakota citizens, the State Bar of South Dakota formed Access to Justice ("A2J").  A2J provides legal services to:

-individuals living at or below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines;
-survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking or stalking living at or below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines; and
-individuals with disabilities, the elderly and veterans who live at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.*

Access to Justice has also developed a modest means (reduced fee) program.  This program broadens access to legal services by reducing attorneys fees for eligible clients who do not qualify for A2J pro bono legal services.  The maximum retainer a participating attorney can collect for a modest means program case is $650 and the maximum hourly fee is the current state court-appointed fee rate.

Access to Justice does not accept applications for fee-generating cases (this includes, but is not limited to, personal injury and social security or SSI claims) or criminal cases.  Our program is not able to assist individuals currently incarcerated.

*Current poverty guidelines

All applicants for A2J are screened by A2J staff for eligibility.  If a case is determined to be eligible for an A2J pro bono or modest means program, A2J staff attempt to find an attorney to handle the case.  Once an attorney agrees to review the case in further detail, A2J staff refer the applicant to contact the attorney for an interview. The volunteer attorney can decline to accept the applicant as a client if the case is determined to not have merit following the interview and further review.


SD Free Legal Answers is a secure website where lower income South Dakota residents can ask an attorney for help with a legal issue.

Qualified users** post questions about civil legal problems and receive advice from volunteer attorneys. Volunteer attorneys provide information to basic legal questions without any expectation of long-term representation. It’s like a virtual walk -up legal clinic.

To see if you qualify, please visit: Click on the "Get Started" button on the main page and follow the directions as they are provided to you.

**Qualified users earn <250% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, are not incarcerated, and have less than $5,000 in total assets.

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