Joshua Houy

The Project

Eighty-five percent of the cases referred to us are family law cases. Too often, these cases involve those, including children, who have been physically or sexually abused. Our service area includes the entire State of South Dakota. Personally, I handle cases in the Rapid City, South Dakota area. In this area, we have a large percentage of people who live below the poverty line and have been subject to domestic and/or sexual abuse.

The Inspiration

The Project

My project has three objectives: recruitment of pro bono attorneys, coordination of pro bono projects at the University of South Dakota School of Law and provision of direct legal services. We currently have 10 projects at the law school covering the following areas of law; human rights, family law, Indian law, tax, public defense, veterans rights, elder law, environmental law and domestic violence. My caseload consists primarily of family law cases.

The Inspiration

The Project

Access to Justice exists to: (1) Enhance and expand civil legal assistance to low-income persons in South Dakota; and (2) Increase awareness of and support for civil legal services.

Media

The Inspiration

The Project

The bulk of my project involves assisting low income clients in a variety of legal issues from family to consumer law. Since the majority of Dakota Plains Legal Service's clients are Native American, I spend a great deal of my time dealing with Indian Law. The remainder of my time is split between working with law students at the University of South Dakota School of Law and representing criminal defendants in tribal court.

The Inspiration

The Project

The first part of my job is fulfillment of a contract between the South Dakota Supreme Court and the State Bar, whereby I travel to twenty courthouses twice a year to give free presentations to the public about appearing pro se in court. The second part is to increase the number of attorneys registered with Access to Justice who will accept pro bono cases. I hope to help develop new strategies and approaches to attract pro bono attorneys and to increase pro bono legal services in South Dakota. The third part is to provide direct legal representation to financially eligible clients.

The Inspiration