The Law School is a member of Equal Justice Works, formerly the National Association of Public Interest Law (NAPIL). Through its membership, law students at the University of South Dakota are eligible for summer internships and fellowships upon graduation from law school. Several opportunities exist in South Dakota on the Indian reservations and elsewhere in the United States.
Students who have completed their first year of Law School may apply to participate in the Summer Federal Judicial Externship program. The students, under the supervision of the judge’s law clerk, are involved in all aspects of chambers activity. Activities include legal research and writing, courtroom observation and exposure to chambers procedure. The students earn six credit hours for the nine weeks of externship placement.
Innocence Project of South Dakota is a non-profit organization in which law students actively participate. IPSD’s primary objective is to assist South Dakota inmates who have cognizable claims of actual innocence. The IPSD investigates inmate claims of unjust and wrongful incarceration and seeks to reopen cases with persuasive and provable claims of actual innocence. The students work under the advice and supervision of two law professors.
The R.D. Hurd Volunteer Law School Society is a program designed to give second-and third-year law students an opportunity to provide pro bono legal services to low income persons. The students interview clients, perform research, prepare documents and in some instances make court appearances. Students are assigned as supervisor a Legal Services attorney who offers assistance to the student throughout the case.
The Veteran's Legal Assistance Group will provide legal assistance for Vets in the VA system. The volunteers will operate under the supervision of the Clay County Veteran's Service Officer.
Law Students in VITA prepare income taxes for students and low income people at no charge.