"I enjoy the diversity of rural practice and appreciate the opportunity to serve a diverse clientele," said Liz Steptoe, who recently affiliated with the Sovell Law Office.
A 2015 graduate of Miller High School, Steptoe earned a BS in History from the University of South Dakota in 2019, and graduated the USD law school in December 2020.
"The last year of my undergraduate program was dual credit so my first-year law courses counted towards my undergraduate degree as well as my Juris Doctorate degree," said Steptoe by way of explaining her accelerated graduation. "I've had a busy two years, I received Bachelor of Science in History in May 2019, my Juris Doctorate in December of 2020, started a family with my husband on our family farm, and joined Sovell Law Office full-time."
Through the Rural Attorney Recruitment Program (RARP), Steptoe is already familiar with the work done in the Sovell Law Office. She served an internship in Sovell's office in 2019, and is currently working for the cities of Onida and Highmore and counties of Sully and Hyde through the RARP. Developed by the Unified Judicial System and the State Bar of South Dakota, the RARP program provides qualifying attorneys an incentive payment in return for five years of practice in an eligible rural area. Additionally, the RARP helps rural areas that need access to local attorneys and assists attorneys in locating in rural settings. South Dakota recognized that the presence of a lawyer in small towns and communities could help to revitalize those communities for generations to come.
"It's been going very well so far," said Steptoe. "My transition to Sovell Law Office has been seamless; everything has been going very well. I enjoy the atmosphere of a small town and look forward to getting more familiar with the communities of Onida and Highmore."
Steptoe will be in Sovell's Onida office on Mondays and on other days as needed, and will be in the Highmore office Tuesday-Friday.
Growing up, Steptoe was involved in fine arts at Miller High School. She played the trumpet in band and jazz band and was a chorus member. "My maiden name is Welk, and I'm related to Lawrence Welk," said Steptoe of her claim to fame. She served as treasurer of both student council and her graduating class. She revealed her heart for service as the chair of the backpack buddies program in Miller and continued doing a similar program at USD.
As the financial vice president for the National Honor Society of Collegiate Scholarship and the sorority she joined at USD, Steptoe continued serving in the treasurer role. She also took on a planning role as Vice President of Events for the honor society and Community Service Chair working on the sorority's philanthropic focus, 'Autism Speaks.'
Steptoe started her family when she married her high school sweetheart Trent Steptoe, and makes her home on their farm near Ree Heights. They have a five month old son.
In her free time Steptoe remains connected to the members of her extended family who all live nearby. Her two youngest brothers are still in high school, so she finds herself attending their sporting events as well. She says that she also enjoys camping.