Request for Proposals: Statewide Legal Needs Assessment

In an effort to increase access to justice throughout the State of South Dakota, the state civil legal services programs seek an experienced program evaluator or comparably skilled professional to conduct a statewide civil legal needs assessment of the State of South Dakota and the Indian Reservations located within the state. Dakota Plains Legal Services (“DPLS”) and East River Legal Services (“ERLS”) are not-for-profit law firms and grantees of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Access to Justice, Inc. (“A2J”) is a statewide not-for-profit legal services program and its primary function is to administer the State Bar of South Dakota’s pro bono and modest means programs.

The partners have issued this Request for Proposals (RFP) from qualified companies, nonprofits, academic institutions, and independent consultants (Respondent/Contractor) to conduct a statewide needs assessment. The goal is to select the most capable contractor offering the most competitive price. To read the full Request for Proposals follow the link at the bottow of this page. 


  • RFP Release Date - November 2, 2021
  • RFP Letter of Interest (LOI) Deadline - December 1, 2021
  • RFP Questions Deadline - December 1, 2021
  • Response to Questions Provided to LOI Respondents - December 15, 2021 (See below for the Questions and Answers)
  • Proposals Due to the partner - January 15, 2022
  • Notice of Award Released (on or before) - February 15, 2022 (Click here for Notice of Award)
  • Draft Document Submitted to the partners - July 30, 2022
  • Final Documents Submitted to the partner - August 30, 2022
  • Contractor Presentation to the partners - September 15, 2022

The above-listed deadlines are an estimate. Actual deliverable deadlines will be negotiated with the Respondent/Contractor.

All final proposals and supplementary attachments must be emailed to the three individual directors of each of the partners by 5:00 p.m. Central Time on January 15, 2022 (subject line: “South Dakota Legal Needs Assessment Proposal”):,, and All three directors are to be included in the email.

Inquiries may be sent to the three individual directors of each of the partners by 5:00 p.m. Central Time (subject line: “South Dakota Legal Needs Assessment Questions”):,, and All three directors must be included in the email. A consolidated list of questions and their answers will then be posted on the South Dakota Law Help website ( Questions regarding this RFP will only be accepted by email at the email addresses provided.



Response to Questions Provided to LOI Respondents

Question: What is the proposed or estimated budget for the work described in the RFP? 

Answer:    The projected budget is between $45,000 - $85,000.


Question: Have any of the partners ever conducted or commissioned a statewide or regional legal needs assessment of a similar nature in the past? 

Answer:   No.


Question: Do any of the three partner organizations have a current strategic plan? 

Answer:    ERLS – Yes; DPLS – currently in progress; A2J – yes, A2J’s current strategic plan is encapsulated within the State Bar of South Dakota’s current strategic plan due to the fact that A2J is a non-profit legal aid organization that was created by the State Bar in 2005.


Question: Do the partners anticipate releasing a joint RFP for strategic planning following the completion of the needs assessment? 

Answer:    No.


Question: What is the name of the key point of contact for Access to Justice, Inc.? 

Answer:    Denise Langley (


Question:  In light of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, would a proposed project plan to complete all stakeholder meetings and interviews remotely via Zoom or similar web-based video conferencing solutions be acceptable and satisfy project requirements? 

Answer:    The partners agree that a majority of the stakeholder meetings and interviews can be completed via Zoom or a similar web-based video conferencing solution. However, due to South Dakota being a largely rural area, there are certain stakeholders that do not have computer and/or internet access such as senior citizens, individuals residing on reservations, and/or individuals residing in rural areas without reliable internet or cell phone access.  Accordingly, contact with these particular stakeholders may require a physical presence.


Request for Proposals: Statewide Legal Needs Assessment

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