South Dakota Law Professors & South Dakota Law Student Admission

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16-16-7.6 through 16-16-7.7 are the rules that governs and allows limited admission for professors teaching at South Dakota’s law schools. With the full support of the Dean of the law school, faculty members at the law school can apply to practice law in South Dakota as an active member of the South Dakota bar without ever having to take the South Dakota bar exam. Certified clinical professors also have the ability to practice in court as long as it is to supervise an approved law school clinical program.

For law professors to be eligible under Rule 1.8, they must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a juris doctor from a law school that is ABA approved.
  • Be licensed in another jurisdiction
  • Pay all applicable bar fees and costs

In addition the admitted law professor must adhere to the following:

  • Limit practice as indicated by the university
  • Can not be compensated for more than 8 hours a week during the calendar year
  • Make certainty Dean advises the state bar which professors are admitted to the practice of law

Law Students

Law students are able to practice law in South Dakota courts on a limited basis. South Dakota law students admission certification requires students to meet the following:

  • Show good character and legal competence
  • Certify in writing that they understand the South Dakota rules of professional conduct
  • Certify in writing that they understand the South Dakota Supreme Court rules
  • Be apart of a clinical law practice program at the University of South Dakota Law School
  • Can not receive any compensation for their representation, but they may be compensated if they are in employment of legal aid bureaus, attorneys, public defender organizations or by the state.

South Dakota Law Student Admission: Limited Practice

South Dakota law student admission or ability to practice law depends on a few things. However, in general, South Dakota law student admission toward a limited basis, enables them to participate in the following activities. This list is not all-encompassing but touches on the most common issues the legal student can engage in or represent a client on:

  • Civil Matters of the local courts (with clients consent)
  • Criminal Matters, misdemeanor in nature in the local courts (with clients consent).
  • In both above matters the supervising attorney must be present except in municipal, magistrate or justice courts.
  • Law students can however practice the following outside of the general supervisor o a supervising attorney
    • Prepare motions, briefs pleadings, and other legal documents, as long as they are signed by the supervising attorney
    • Assist indigent individuals and inmates who request information in regards to post conviction assistance