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South Dakota’s Bar Exam To Cover Indian Law


For the first time in state history, people wishing to become lawyers in South Dakota will have to be educated on the basics of American Indian law.

A state Supreme Court rule that goes into effect in July requires the State Bar exam to include an essay question on the relationship of Indian laws to state and federal laws.

“In South Dakota today, one cannot enter and engage in the practice of law without knowledge of Indian Law,” said Chief Justice David Gilbertson. “A client who seeks professional legal advice from an attorney should be confident the attorney is familiar with this increasingly important area of the law.”

The question on the Bar exam will focus on basic principles of federal Indian law, including such things as civil rights, child welfare and gambling regulations.

South Dakota is the third state to add Indian law to the Bar exam.

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