$2,000 New Hire Incentive

Job ID: 25357
Agency: Unified Judicial System, Supreme Court
Location: Pierre
Salary: $82,684.80 - $86,819.04 annually, depending on experience
Closing date: Open Until Filled

For more information on the Unified Judicial System, please visit

The Mission of the South Dakota Unified Judicial System is to provide Justice for All.

Our employees are our most valuable resource and crucial to accomplishing our mission. We seek talented and motivated individuals to be the face of the court system and help ensure that the Court and all the people that come before it receives the highest level of service. Our dedicated staff work to enhance community safety and ensure victim's rights while treating all individuals with dignity and respect.

The Unified Judicial System offers a comprehensive benefits package consisting of 10-12 paid holidays every year, extensive sick and vacation leave, paid family leave, military training leave, health, and flexible benefits, regular working hours, continuing education opportunities, retirement benefits, a great working environment, and more.

Position Purpose:
This position provides extensive legal research, analysis, and advice to the Supreme Court on matters arising before them in regard to various procedural and substantive contexts including appeals, motions, original proceedings, proceedings for special relief, and certain administrative matters.

Duties may include:
  • screening appeals for jurisdictional error to ensure timeliness of appeals and that the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over appeals;
  • reviewing pro se submissions to determine appropriate procedures when documents are procedurally inappropriate or unclear as to grounds or authority for relief;
  • providing assistance to the Chief Justice, Justices, Circuit Judges, and Court Clerks by providing legal research and analysis regarding legal matters;
  • reviewing petitions to the Supreme Court for certificates of probable cause in habeas corpus actions and recommending their grant or denial to the Court;
  • drafting research memoranda and court opinions in death penalty cases, per curiam cases, pro se cases, and abuse and neglect cases to ensure application of pertinent legal authorities and standards to cases involved;
  • drafting research memoranda and court opinions in expedited appeals and in original and special proceedings on issues which may affect the state as a whole or in disputes drawing particular public opinion;
  • assisting in preparations for the bar examination and
  • proctoring;
  • performing other work as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:
Graduation from an accredited law school and membership in the State Bar of South Dakota (or successful completion of the first South Dakota bar examination following employment with the Supreme Court). Experience is not necessary but is highly preferred.

Successful completion of a criminal background investigation is required for employment.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Knowledge of:
  • the law and South Dakota law;
  • functions of the Court;
  • court and judicial systems;
  • appellate rules of practice and procedure.

Skill in:
  • use of the law library and other legal research resources and software;
  • use of computer resources;
  • legal writing, editing, and proofreading.

Ability to:
  • interpret and apply legal principles to appellate jurisdictional and substantive legal issues;
  • conduct necessary legal research;
  • review facts and legal issues in appellate cases each month and recommend the necessity of oral argument or disposition through written briefs and record;
  • identify related or common legal issues in a set of cases;
  • formulate and draft legal memoranda in a clear, concise, and coherent manner;
  • present and communicate complex topics effectively in oral consultations with supervisory and decision-making authorities;
  • analyze rule proposals and draft amendments and rules.

The State of South Dakota, Unified Judicial System does not sponsor work visas for new or existing employees. All persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and complete an Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9. The Unified Judicial System as an employer will be using E-Verify to complete employment eligibility verification upon hire.

You may view our benefits information at

Apply at:
Unified Judicial System
500 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Phone: 605.773.4884
"An Equal Opportunity Employer"