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Private Attorney Involvement

Dakota Plains Legal Services is thankful for the work of private attorneys who assist individuals eligible for DPLS services through our Private Attorney Involvement (PAI) program.


Each year, 12.5% of the DPLS budget is allocated toward the PAI program. DPLS uses its PAI funds to contract with private attorneys in the states of South Dakota and North Dakota to help deliver legal services to its low income clients. In 2024, private attorneys will be utilized on a contractual basis in the following areas:

  1. A private attorney has superior expertise in a specialized area of law;

  2. The staff is overloaded and not able to accept additional cases;

  3. Extra help is needed in a particular office by entering into independent contractor contract with private attorneys to provide for temporary help on LSC eligible cases;

  4. Provide more private attorney representation for clients in the Charles Mix county service area due to the great distance of that county to an existing DPLS office;

  5. Provide clients access to private attorneys;

  6. Provide private attorney representation for a limited number of bankruptcy cases;

  7. Expand professional representation in tribal court to include non-DPLS attorneys; and

  8. Provide private attorney representation when staff is not located near a client or where the client's case is venued.


Cases contracted with private attorneys will be primarily in the areas of Indian law, family law, consumer law (including a limited number of bankruptcy cases) and cases in which domestic violence is a factor.

If you are a private attorney licensed in South Dakota or North Dakota and are interested in assisting individuals through the PAI program, please contact the Director of Development & Special Projects, Jana Gray at

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