The University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


The JD Program

As the premier South Dakota law school, we uniquely prepare our students to practice law all over the country. Ranked as a national leader in judicial clerkships, the USD Knudson School of Law ensures that you don't just graduate with a first-class education, but prepared for a lifelong law career. We make our JD degree affordable, meaning you're getting a world-class education from a leading, flagship university while paying only a fraction of the tuition cost you might pay at other schools.

 

Learn more about the JD program at USD Knudson School of Law

Experiential Learning

USD Knudson School of Law offers opportunities to tailor your education through externships, clinics/practicums, and pro bono work. 

Externships

To complete an externship with USD Law, you will work with our Director of Experiential Learning to be paired with a practitioner in your area of interest. This for-credit internship will occur during the summer or an academic semester and help provide practical training to coincide with your curriculum. 

Clinics/Practicums

Federal Tax Clinic

WORKS Clinic

Criminal Defense Clinic

Criminal Prosecution Clinic

Innocence Project

Tribal Wills Clinic 

First Year Judicial Program

Pro Bono

R.D. Hurd Volunteer Law School Society

Veterans Legal Education Group

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Teen Court

Student Life

Student Organizations

USD Knudson School of Law offers over 25 student organizations for students to get involved in throughout their time at USD Law. From hosting annual symposiums, bringing speakers to campus, to attending conferences, there is something for everyone! 

South Dakota Law Review

The South Dakota Law Review is a journal of critical commentary on current legal issues with a state, national and international circulation. Published three times per year, the Law Review contains articles by leading members of the legal profession, as well as student notes and comments. Students involved in the Law Review develop their research and writing skills while earning academic credit. A student board of editors is responsible for all editorial work, and students are selected for board membership during their second year on the basis of their writing, leadership and dedication to the success of the Law Review.

Moot Court

As a member of the South Dakota Moot Court Board, you'll refine your skills in appellate brief writing and oral advocacy. We offer this opportunity to outstanding second- and third-year students. You'll compete against top-performing law students at tournaments around the country.

Recent teams have placed in the top four in the nation at the prestigious New York City Bar tournament and won the regional American Bar Association moot court competition.

To be eligible for membership, all interested first-year law students must participate in the School of Law's annual Sam Masten Intramural Moot Court Competition. The competition culminates with a final round before a distinguished panel, usually composed of South Dakota Supreme Court justices.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

The USD Law Alternative Dispute Resolution Board provides its members practical legal experience competing in four types of interscholastic competitions: Negotiation, Arbitration, Mediation, and Client Counseling. With the vast majority of civil cases settling out of court, the ADR Board provides students the opportunity to gain highly relevant experience and develop interpersonal skills as they compete against top-performing law schools across the country. Board members also earn academic credits for their competition activities.

The board is comprised of 12 outstanding students, six 2Ls and six 3Ls. In the 2017-2018 year, the board had all three of its Client Counseling teams qualify for semi-finals at the regional competition in Omaha, NE, with one team finishing as finalists in the top three. One of the board’s Negotiation teams also finished as a regional finalist, qualifying for the National Competition and placing in the Top 10 at the ABA National Negotiation Competition in Chicago, IL.

The ADR Board also hosts intraschool competitions for 1Ls each semester: Negotiation in the fall, and Client Counseling in the spring. These competitions allow 1Ls to gain experiential learning and refine their skills in front of some of the state’s most prominent attorneys. To be eligible for membership, all interested first-year law students must participate in at least one of ADR intraschool competitions.

Trial Team

As a law student, you'll have opportunities to hone your courtroom presentation skills through our nationally recognized trial team. You'll compete with students from other law schools around the nation and earn credit by participating in tournaments. Our trial team is a popular choice for students seeking courtroom experience - more than 42 percent of our graduating third-year students competed in at least one national trial competition in 2017-2018.

Our trial team has been selected to compete at the prestigious National Criminal Trial Advocacy Invitational Competition, one of the best trial advocacy programs in the nation that only invites the top trial teams in the country.

Career Placement and Bar Passage

Bar Passage:

  • 2018 Ultimate Bar Passage: 80.60%
  • 2020 Average First-Time Bar Pass Rate: 75.5%

Career Placement:

  • Class of 2020: 90% at 10 months after graduation

Internship Placement (Summer 2021):

  • Class of 2022: 85%
  • Class of 2023: 71%

Judicial Clerkships: Average 20% of class placed in judicial clerkships for the last 5 years. 

Learn more about career placement and bar passage at USD Knudson School of Law

Tuition and Aid

Expense Cost
Tuition
$11,736.00
Fees
$5,058.00
Expected Cost of Attendance
$16,794.00

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at South Dakota:

3.22 to 3.75

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at South Dakota:

146 to 155

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at South Dakota:

3.22 to 3.75

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at South Dakota:

146 to 155

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at South Dakota:

3.22 to 3.75

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at South Dakota:

146 to 155

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

414 E. Clark,
Vermillion, SD 57069-2390,
United States
Phone: 605.658.3505
Email: law@usd.edu