VERMILLION, S.D. -- Four graduates of The University of South Dakota School of Law were recently appointed to high-level legal positions in state government, while a fifth awaits U.S. Senate confirmation of his presidential nomination as a federal judge in South Dakota.
Gov. Mike Rounds appointed Larry Long, the state’s attorney general and a 1972 graduate of the Law School, to a judgeship in the state’s Second Judicial District in Sioux Falls for Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties. U.S. Attorney Martin (Marty) Jackley, a 1995 Law School graduate, was appointed by Rounds to become the new attorney general. Both appointments are effective Sept. 4. The governor also appointed Robin Jacobson Houwman, a 1996 Law School graduate, to the bench in the Second Judicial Circuit. She has been serving as an assistant U.S. attorney in Sioux Falls. Earlier in the year, Rounds appointed Second Circuit Judge Glen Severson, USD Law 1975, of Sioux Falls, to the state Supreme Court. Rounds appointed Mary P. Thorstenson, a 1988 Law School graduate, to serve as a judge in the state’s Seventh Judicial District in Rapid City, which includes Pennington, Custer, Shannon and Fall River Counties. Thorstenson has been serving as the attorney advisor in the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Hearings and Appeals in Rapid City.
In June, President Barack Obama nominated Jeffrey Viken, a 1977 graduate of USD School of Law, to a federal judgeship in South Dakota. The nomination is awaiting U.S. Senate approval. Viken has served as the Federal Public Defender in Rapid City for North and South Dakota since 2003. He had also served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the federal District of South Dakota from 1977 to 1981, and at one time served as acting U.S. attorney.