Sioux Falls law firm begins pro bono racial justice practice

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 11:09 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Sioux Falls office of a nationally known law firm says it is preparing to represent minority interests in our community in court...for free.

Ballard Spahr has 650 attorneys nationwide; 13 of whom work in Sioux Falls. All of them are part of a new initiative launched because of what the firm says is happening in society right now.

We've seen the images on television for months now: the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The protests that have followed not only in Minneapolis but in cities all across the nation. A call for racial justice and societal equality.

"The real issue we can help with is a voice. providing a voice to those that feel like they don't have one." Amy Arndt is the Office Managing Partner with Ballard Spahr in Sioux Falls. Over the last several weeks the law firm has been zeroing on what it is they feel they should be doing at this moment in time. It's that idea of providing those who don't feel like they have a voice...with a voice..that they kept coming back to. "The recent horrible events that have happened have put a new focus on that."

With that in find, Ballard Spahr has now launched a specific racial justice and equality initiative in hopes of evening the playing field for those feel like the odds may be against them. Either because of racism or a lack of contacts to help their community excel or a general lack of access to lawyers because the finances may not be there.

Kiira Weber is an attorney with Ballard Spahr: “I think it’s important for us as attorneys tor realize that we are in a position of privilege and offering the services and the skills that we have free of charge to help effect change is really important.”

Offering this kind of legal access pro bono is what Kiira and Amy feel should be happening with both saying this moment in time is not the time to stand on the sidelines and watch.

"We've been able to reach out to the community and provide such a big impact on an area that really needs some focus particularly in light of recent events." said Arndt.

If you have a case you think may qualify under the Racial Justice and Equality Initiative you can contact Ballard Spahr by calling 605-978-5200.

In the name of transparency, Ballard Spahr does represent Dakota News Now and its journalists on legal issues.

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