VERMILLION – The University of South Dakota School of Law will welcome one of the largest incoming classes of students in 10 years next Monday, Aug. 12. Eighty-seven students representing 14 states comprise the Class of 2022.
“We are excited to welcome such a strong and talented group of students to the legal profession in South Dakota,” said Liz Taggart, director of law school admissions. “We can’t wait to continue USD Law’s long tradition of excellence, service and leadership.”
The class also scored strongly on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) with both the median and 75th percentile scores improving one point from last year at 152 and 154 respectively.
“This is one of the largest classes we’ve had in quite some time,” said USD Law Professor Hannah Haksgaard. “Rural South Dakota continues to have a lawyer shortage, and having a large incoming class allows for the possibility of sending more graduates into rural practice in three years.”
The first-year students will begin with a three-day orientation where they will attend sessions on succeeding in law school, financial planning and wellness and several lectures hosted by the South Dakota Supreme Court and Unified Judicial System, South Dakota State Bar Association and South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association. Regular classes start on Friday, Aug. 16.
“It is so exciting to welcome the next generation of lawyers home to USD School of Law. They start on Monday to develop skills to lead and change our society for the better,” said Law School Dean Neil Fulton. “Our community is stronger upon their arrival and we all look forward to see what they do.”
USD’s School of Law, founded in 1901, educates most of the state’s lawyers and judges, filling spots in private law firms and in public legal practice. The USD School of Law is nationally ranked as a best value law school for quality of programs and affordable cost and judicial clerkship placement.
USD’s School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.
Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 206 undergraduate and 71 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.