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Call for Proposals for Organizational Ombuds for State Bar of South Dakota

Call for Proposals for Organizational Ombuds for State Bar of South Dakota

Request for Proposals

Call for Proposals for Organizational Ombuds for State Bar of South Dakota.

The State Bar of South Dakota is planning to provide organizational ombuds services for members and legal professionals who work with, and for, members. This proposal is to be performed on an independent contractor basis. We are looking for an experienced ombuds who will be available from August 1, 2023, through July 30, 2024. The State Bar will assess the ombuds program during the contract term with the goal of determining the effectiveness and future needs of the program.

The Ombuds selected must be able to address sexual harassment complaints involving State Bar members and others involved in the legal system. The ombuds would not be an advocate for any individual or organization and would not be an investigator on behalf of the State Bar, Disciplinary Board, or Judicial Qualifications Commission. As such, the ombuds would not make binding decisions, mandate actions, or adjudicate claims. Instead, the ombuds could provide an informal, limited, and neutral process that may be in addition to, or in lieu of, more formal processes that a person subject to sexual harassment may pursue.

Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state, and local laws. For the purposes of this proposal, “sexual harassment” is defined  (using the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines) as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example: a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 recognizes two types of sexual harassment: a) quid pro quo, and b) hostile work environment. Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle, and not-so-subtle, behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal, or visual conduct of a sexual nature.


            Minimum requirements include five years of experience as an ombuds or equivalent experience in mediation or conflict resolution; and ombuds training (completion of IOA Foundations or equivalent). Preference given to members of the International Ombudsman Association. The services can be performed in South Dakota, in person or remotely, or from locations nationwide on a remote basis.

Application Process:

            Applicants should email a cover letter and a proposal for the services to the State Bar of South Dakota Executive Director, Paul Cremer ( on or before July 5, 2023. Applicants may submit their intent to apply to Paul Cremer by June 15, 2023.

Proposal Requirements:

  • Three letters of reference from experienced ombuds practitioners or mediators.
  • Resume (if individual applicant) or organizational description (if organizational applicant).
  • A description of the prospective ombuds services to be provided and assistance in the development of the ombuds program policies and procedures.
  • A proposed cost for services, that will include the preparation of a quarterly report of aggregate data on services performed and insights to be provided to the State Bar Executive Director.

Timeline for proposals

  • RFP released by: June 1, 2023
  • (Optional) Intent to apply by: June 15, 2023
  • RFP bids due: July 5, 2023
  • Interviews: July 15, 2023, until selection

Please visit our website at to learn more about the State Bar.

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