Membership on the South Dakota Law Review is often regarded as one of the highest honors achievable in law school. Students involved in the South Dakota Law Review develop their research and writing skills while earning academic credit. A student board of editors is responsible for all editorial work on each volume of the journal.
Each year, the incoming editorial board invites first- and second-year law students to become a South Dakota Law Review member by completing a case note as part of the annual "write-on" competition. A case note is a scholarly article that generally analyzes a single case. The position advanced in a case note often aligns itself with a majority, concurring, or dissenting opinion of the specific case. The materials for the write-on competition become available after the end of the fall semester and are due at the beginning of the spring semester. Any first- or second-year student can participate in the write-on competition. Those who compete in the write-on then apply to the board and undergo an interview process before being selected. Additionally, the South Dakota Law Review invites the first-year students in the top ten percent of their class to become a part of the journal’s staff; this is often called "grading-on."
Once students are selected to become a part of the South Dakota Law Review, they become staff writers. The main job of staff writers is to "cite-check." Cite-checking involves checking the accuracy of the text and footnotes of articles selected for publication in the South Dakota Law Review and ensuring compliance with the newest edition of The Bluebook and the South Dakota Style Guide. Staff writers must also complete a writing requirement by submitting an article they have written that is of publishable quality. Staff writers are guided through the writing process by a current editorial board member who serves as a direct editor. After submitting their article to the editorial board, a staff writer can be considered for an editorial position on the South Dakota Law Review.