You are invited to participate in a research study. The purpose of this study is to determine whether free or reduced fee legal services programs are meeting the greatest need across the State of South Dakota in an effective and efficient manner. Participants in this study will help the Legal Service Task force (created by the Chief Justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court) make decisions and/or recommendations for future services to be provided to low to moderate-income South Dakota residents. Although your participation is strictly voluntary, we hope that you will participate and help shape the type and manner of legal services to be provided in the future!
We obtained your name and address from public records or from legal services programs in the state or we have invited you to complete the survey anonymously on-line. Should you choose to complete the survey on-line, all survey responses that we receive will be treated confidentially and stored on a secure server. However, given that the surveys can be completed from any computer (i.e., personal, work), we are unable to guarantee the security of the computer on which you choose to enter your responses. We want you to be aware that certain "key logging" software programs exist that can be used to track or capture data that you enter and/or websites that you visit.
We are inviting you to be a part of this study because you may have worked with low to moderate-income people who may have had the need for legal help but could not afford to hire a lawyer. We want to know what you think the most critical legal needs are in South Dakota based on your knowledge and experience so we can do a better job serving those people.
If you participate, we would like you to complete the attached survey. If you choose not to participate, simply do not complete the survey. There is no need to notify us that you do not want to participate. You may also choose not to answer every question on the survey if you prefer not to answer some of the questions or do not know the answer(s).
We will keep the information you provide confidential and we do not ask for your name on the survey, however, federal regulatory agencies and the University of South Dakota Institutional Review Board (a committee that reviews and approves research studies) may inspect and copy records pertaining to this research. Your responses will be anonymous, however, depending on answers as to your job title and the county you indicate you work in, it may be possible to determine your identity. It is not important to us who you are in this survey, only the information you choose to share with us is important.
There are no known risks from being in this study, and you will not benefit personally. However, we hope that others may benefit in the future from what we learn as a result of this study. Your participation in this research study is completely voluntary. Ifyou decide not to be in this study, or if you stop participating at any time, you will not be penalized or lose any benefits for which you are otherwise entitled.
If you have any questions, concerns or complaints, now or later, you may contact me at the number below. Please also contact me if you know of anyone in need of legal assistance but cannot afford to pay a lawyer. If you have any specific suggestions on how to provide free or reduced fee legal services to South Dakota residents, please tell us on the survey form in the space provided. If you have any questions about your rights as a human subject, complaints, concerns or wish to talk to someone who is independent of the research, contact the Office for Human Subjects Protections at (605) 677-6184. Thank you for your time.
Cheryl B. Hanna, Director Access to Justice, Inc.
PO Box 495
Rapid City, SD 57709