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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.

ABOUT ACCESS TO JUSTICE

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 also has a modest means (reduced fee) program. This program broadens access to legal services by providing the option for reduced-rate legal assistance to eligible applicants that do not qualify for pro bono legal assistance through Access to Justice.

Access to Justice does not accept applications for criminal matters or fee-generating cases (this includes, but is not limited to, personal injury and social security or SSI/SSDI claims). The A2J program does not provide legal assistance to incarcerated individuals.

*Current poverty guidelines

INTAKE & REFERRAL PROCESS

All applicants for A2J are screened by A2J staff for eligibility. If an applicant is determined to be eligible for legal assistance through an A2J pro bono or modest means program, A2J staff will attempt to refer the applicant to a participating licensed South Dakota attorney. The attorney will then have an opportunity to interview the applicant and make a formal decision to accept or decline the applicant’s case following the initial interview.

SD FREE LEGAL ANSWERS

SD Free Legal Answers is a secure website where lower income South Dakota residents can ask an attorney for help with a legal question. Participating attorneys will have the option to volunteer to answer a legal question on the website. *There is no guarantee that an attorney will volunteer for each question posted on the website.

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: https://sd.freelegalanswers.org/. 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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