The State Bar of South Dakota was founded in 1931 through an act of the state’s legislature. It is headquartered in Pierre and consists of over 2700 lawyers. Out of that number, approximately 800 are lawyers who practice out-of-state.
Membership to the state bar in this state is mandatory, making it an integrated or unified state bar. Lawyers who wish to practice law in South Dakota must first be admitted to the bar. Membership dues start at $100 for new members.
One of the primary functions that the State Bar of South Dakota has is to provide Continued Legal Education or CLE credits for licensed attorneys in the state. Lawyers are required to take CLE credits each year to keep their licenses current and also to satisfy part of the criteria for belonging to the state bar. Information for CLE courses is available on the state bar’s website. This information includes where and how the courses are offered and any costs associated with them.
The state bar also helps lawyers establish and maintain successful practices. In particular, it encourage members to operate practices in rural areas so people living away from major urban areas have access to legal services.
Lawyers who have not yet joined a firm or have no desire to run their own practice can use the career center on the state bar’s website to find positions that are open for attorneys throughout the state. They can find out what law firms are hiring or what government entities are looking for attorneys to fill their ranks.
Because practicing law can be stressful, lawyers who are members of the state bar also have access to wellness programs. These programs include services for physical and mental health. These services are designed to keep lawyers healthy and also to prevent career burnout.
The public also is invited to use the website for the State Bar of South Dakota. On the website, people can find an attorney to represent them. The site lists lawyers according to their legal specialties as well as in what cities they practice. They can also use the website to find out information about the state’s court system or to lodge complaints about attorneys they have retained.
To contact the state bar, people can utilize its social networking accounts on Facebook and Twitter. The mailing address for the State Bar of South Dakota is 222 East Capitol Avenue #3, Pierre, 57501.