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University of South Dakota School of Law

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University of South Dakota School of Law
Established 1901
School type Public
Dean Barry Vickrey
Location Vermillion, SD, US
Enrollment 250
Faculty 12 (See List)
Annual tuition
Outlines 0 (See List)
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University of South Dakota School of Law is located in Vermillion, SD

The 'University of South Dakota School of Law (USD Law) is the law school of the University of South Dakota and the only law school in the state of South Dakota. It is located on the USD campus in Vermillion in the southeastern part of the state, near the Missouri River and the Iowa and Nebraska borders. USD Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.


The student/faculty ratio is 16 to 1. The faculty consists of 11 professors, three associate professors, and three assistant professors.

The class entering in Fall 2010 consisted of 75 students, out of the 220 offered admission and 449 who applied. They came from 46 colleges and 14 states. Fifty-eight percent were South Dakota residents, 42% were female, and 9% minorities. The 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile LSAT scores and GPAs for the class were 150/153/156 and 3.18/3.44/3.73 respectively.[1]


The McKusick Law Library is the law library at USD. It is a three-story building that is open 24 hours a day and is equipped for wired and wireless network connectivity. The library is staffed by six professional staff members, including one holder of a J.D. and two holders of a Master of Library Science as well as one clerical staffer. The library also has 40 computer workstations, including a computer lab with 15 personal computers.

School's educational offeringss includes a particularly strong American Indian Law Program. Nationally-recognized professors direct a unique and extensive curriculum with a concentration in the study of American Indian Law. Internship and externship experiences both within and outside Indian Country further enhance the classroom experience. Ninety semester hours are required for the JD degree, and the first-year curriculum is required of all students.

The small, professional community at USD Law ensures student opportunities for individual attention by professors and staff. There are nine programs with other USD graduate departments to provide Joint-Degree Programs with the Law School. The placement opportunities for third-year law students are excellent in South Dakota, the surrounding areas, and throughout the United States. The Law School works closely with Access To Justice, the South Dakota Bar's pro bono office, as well as the Elder Law Program, legal services offices in the area, the South Dakota Innocence Project, and an in-house AmeriCorps attorney to provide pro bono experiences for students assisting people with their legal needs. USD School of Law offers an extraordinary experience in legal education at a remarkably reasonable tuition rate for both residents and nonresidents.

Notable alumni

  • Tim Johnson (J.D., 1975), U.S. Senator from South Dakota, 1997-present.
  • Joe Robbie (J.D., 1946), Former owner of the Miami Dolphins 1966-1990