Mary Ellen Dirksen

Mary Ellen Dirksen

South Dakota Employee Benefits Attorney

My Story

Mary Ellen Dirksen joined Davenport Evans as an Of Counsel attorney in 2018. She serves a wide range of clients, from small professional corporations to large businesses with numerous employees. She works with employers to design a variety of ERISA-qualified and non-qualified benefit plans, and advises on compensation planning.

Mary Ellen is active in a variety of community organizations. She served as a Board member and volunteer for the Helpline Center and as a volunteer for Compassion Childcare, Sioux Falls Christian School and Westside Christian School, as well as many other local non-profits. Mary Ellen also is a speaker and advocate for community mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

Outside of work, Mary Ellen spends time with her three daughters and her nieces and nephews. She also enjoys reading, interior design and painting, as well as traveling and watching movies and sports with her husband and children.

Position: Of Counsel
Direct: (605) 357-1214
Email: [email protected]


Professional Experience

Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, LLP 
Of Counsel: 2018 – present
Associate: 2011 – 2012 

Villanova University School of Law
Adjunct Faculty 

Pennsylvania Department of Revenue
Assistant Counsel 

Internal Revenue Service, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Philadelphia)

Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith P.C.
Associate Attorney 


Sioux Falls Seminary – Spiritual Direction Program 
(Program Participant, 2016-2017) 

Villanova University School of Law 
(LL.M., Taxation, 2007) 

University of South Dakota School of Law 
(J.D., Sterling Honors, 2004) 

University of Sioux Falls 
(B.S., with Honors, 2001)

Professional Memberships

State Bar of South Dakota
American Bar Association


Admitted to Practice (State): 
South Dakota, 2004


Scholarship Recipient: Salsbury Scholarship Award; Thomas F. Johnson Distinguished Servant Award Nominee

Protecting what you’ve built.

Phone Numbers

Driving Directions

Davenport Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, LLP

206 West 14th Street
P.O. Box 1030
Sioux Falls, SD 57101-1030