Join Us

The South Dakota Paralegal Association invites you to join us in our goals to give to our communities, grow in legal education, and mentor to students in our field. How do we do this? By working together! 

Membership - To join, please complete the membership application, which you can download from the button below. You can make your application payment on the Store page, or you can pay with a check. Please see the application for instructions on where to mail your application and check payment.

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Member of the Year 2022-2023

Jessi N. Stucke, ACP, CEDS

Jessi is now a two-time recipient of the South Dakota Paralegal Association’s Member of the Year Award, having received it previously for 2017-2018:

I have worked with Jessi serving in many different capacities in our years with the SDPA.  It seems that any role Jessi takes on, whether it be as just a committee member, committee chair, and during her term as President, she executes her duties flawlessly and strives to keep members engaged and SDPA moving forward as a whole.  Jessi can always be counted on to have great insight into any topic that pops up and is always willing to go the extra mile!  Jessi embodies the core goals of SDPA and deserves the Member of the Year award for her efforts and dedication.

~ Autumn Nelson, ACP, Past President 2022-2023

Jessi Stucke, ACP, CEDS, was born in Sioux Falls, SD, and was raised in Sheldon, IA, Sioux Falls, and Aberdeen, SD.  After graduating from Aberdeen’s Central High School, she attended the University of Minnesota–Minneapolis and later received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD).  She returned to Aberdeen in 2005 and was the 2011 recipient of the Dale Stein Award upon graduation from Leadership Aberdeen, a program of the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce.

Jessi joined Richardson, Wyly, Wise, Sauck & Hieb in 2014 and works primarily with Jack H. Hieb.  She joined SDPA in 2016 and became a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) the same year.  She became a Certified Paralegal (CP) in 2016 and became an Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) in 2021, specializing in Trial Practice.  She obtained a second ACP credential in 2023, specializing in E-Discovery.  She also serves as a Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS) through the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), a subsidiary of BARBRI.

Jessi has volunteered extensively for SDPA over the years, including serving as our current President, and served previously as President for 2021-2022.  She received national recognition from NALA in 2023 as a recipient of an Affiliate Award.  The award recognizes members of affiliated associations for their contributions to the goals and programs of their NALA Affiliated Association.

Jessi and her husband, Chris, have a son, a daughter.  Away from the office, she enjoys curling, trapshooting, archery, and gaming.

Congratulations, Jessi, and THANK YOU!

Prior Recipients of Member of the Year Award

2021-22 - Rebekah Mattern
2020-21 - Courtney Vanden Berg, CP
2019-20 - Clara Kiley, CP
2018-19 - Autumn Nelson, ACP
2017-18 - Jessi Stucke, ACP, CEDS
2016-17 - Chris Lillo, ACP
2015-16 - Cindy Smeins, ACP
2014-15 - Jessica Huyck, ACP

2013-14 - Karen Armstrong, PP, PLS
2012-13 - Jackie Hoefener, CP
2011-12 - Jennifer Frederick, CP
2010-11 - Michael Bultema
2009-10 - Valerie Winegar, CP
2008-09 - Vicki Blake, ACP

2007-08 - Cindy Smeins, ACP
2006-07 - Tammy Ackerman, CP
2005-06 - Terri Braun, CP
2004-05 - Deana Olson, CP
2003-04 - Karen Anderson
2002-03 - Rhonda Rentz, CP

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Why Join?

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CP Reimbursement

SDPA encourages members to take NALA's Certified Paralegal (CP) exam as part of their professional development. SDPA offers one reimbursement each year for the exam fee (currently $250) to active members who take and pass the CP exam.

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ACP Reimbursement

SDPA assists members who obtain NALA's Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) credential as part of their continued professional development. SDPA offers two reimbursements each year for the course fee (currently up to $300) to active members who successfully complete the specialty course of their choice.

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Student Scholarship

SDPA encourages paralegal students to apply for this scholarship of $500 toward tuition. The winner is announced each year at the annual meeting in June!

Applications are due May 1 each year.

SDPA Study Group

What are your career goals?

Have you thought about becoming a NALA Certified Paralegal?

The Professional Development Committee leads study groups for SDPA members who are planning to take the NALA Certified Paralegal exam. If you are interested in joining this study group or would like additional information, contact the Professional Development Committee.

Also, please contact us if you would like to post a notice of a study group in your area! We are always looking for new ways to advance in paralegal studies! 

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