USD Law Professor and Student Each Win Top Honors at National Fraternity's Meeting

Professor Roger Baron received Delta Theta Phi’s “Most Outstanding Professor in the Nation” award. USD Law student Abby Leach also received the “Most Outstanding Law Student in the Nation Award.”

The announcement was made Aug. 1 in Washington, D.C., at the legal fraternity’s 59th Biennial Convention.

Kyle Jensen, current dean of the USD Law Delta Theta Phi organization, and Katie Jorgensen, the immediate past dean, nominated Baron and Abby Leach for the awards. “We chose Professor Baron not only because of his career accomplishments but also his desire to be a great professor to his students,” said Jensen. “We chose Abby because of her commitment to academics while being involved with various organizations.”

The USD Chapter of Delta Theta Phi, called the Harlan-McKusick Senate, was founded in 1904, making it the second-oldest chapter in the country. It has approximately 120 current active members. DTP has partnered with the USD sports law group to raise money for the United Way and holds multiple social events and networking opportunities throughout the year. Members also have the opportunity to submit a note to The Adelphia Law Journal, the only authoritatively recognized law review from a law fraternity. The national organization has more than 136,000 members.


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 205 undergraduate and 73 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.

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Michael Ewald
USD News