Knudson School of Law Profile

The University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law was established in 1901. Approved since 1923, the Law School is accredited by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-988-6738. It has also been a member of the Association of American Law Schools since 1907. The Law School combines a practical curriculum with a uniquely personal and engaging learning environment. With strong job placement rates and affordable tuition, students maximize their return on investment.

Employment Statistics

We strive to provide accurate and reliable employment information to our prospective students, with the goal in mind of advancing your career. Our Career Services Office works with students from day one to provide career advice, guidance, internship/externship opportunities and job placement after graduation.

Class of 2023

Employment Summary for 2023 Graduates

Class of 2022

Employment Summary for 2022 Graduates

Class of 2021

Employment Summary for 2021 Graduates 

Class of 2020

Employment Summary for 2020 Graduates 

Class of 2019

Employment Summary for 2019 Graduates 

Class of 2018

Employment Summary for 2018 Graduates 

Bar Passage Rates

USD Law First-Time Bar Passage Data for February and July 2023
Jurisdiction Takers Passers USD Pass % State Pass % for ABA-Approved Law Schools
South Dakota 38 29 76.32%


8 Remaining Jurisdictions17 8 47.06% 78.28%

Bar Passage Rates - First Time Bar Passage (2023) and Ultimate Bar Passage Rates (2021).

Required ABA Disclosures

This site brings together in one place the consumer information policies of particular relevance to the American Bar Association Standard 509 developed by the Standards Review Committee of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

Required Courses

The J.D. curriculum during the first year of law school is comprised of 32 required credit hours. Three courses are required in the upper-division curriculum, as well as courses in two elective areas, a writing requirement and a third-year bar preparation course. Finally, students round out the degree by choosing among a range of elective courses. In order to earn a J.D., you must complete all academic requirements and earn a total of 90 credit hours.

First-Year Curriculum

During the 1L year, you will be introduced to the common law, procedure, legal research and writing, and a short overview course which exposes you to key theoretical concepts which will inform much of the learning you will experience during the first year.

View First-Year Required Courses

Upper-Divison Required Courses

You must enroll in Constitutional Law, Evidence and Professional Responsibility during the 2L year. Thereafter, you must complete at least one code course from the list of approved courses, earn a minimum of six experiential learning credits, complete your upper-division writing requirement and enroll in the 3L bar preparation course.

View Upper-Division Required Courses

Course Listings 

Course Listings 2019-2020

Course Listings 2020-2021

Course Listings 2021-2022

Course Listings 2022-2023

Course Listings 2023-2024

Course Descriptions

View Law Course Descriptions

Transfer Applicants

Candidates wishing to transfer from another accredited law school must follow the procedure for regular applicants. In addition, you must provide transcripts showing the grades of all law coursework attempted and a letter from the dean of your previous law school attesting that you are in good academic standing and eligible to re-enroll.

Submit Transcripts

Submit Letter of Recommendation

You must also request an official copy of the CAS report to be sent to the USD Knudson School of Law Office of Admissions from the LSAC. Photocopies will not be accepted. Electronic requests for reports may be made here.

Credit for courses taken at an ABA-approved law school in which you earned a grade of C (or the numerical equivalent) or better usually will transfer, but those grades will not be calculated into your cumulative grade point average at the USD Knudson School of Law. Determination of transfer credit acceptance is made by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. For more information about transferring, please consult the Academic Rules and Student Policies.

To be eligible for a Juris Doctor, you must complete at least 50 semester hours of work in residence.

For further information, contact the office of admissions at or 605-677-6358.

Visiting Students

If you want to attend the USD Knudson School of Law as a visiting student, you must complete an online application via LSAC and provide a letter from the dean of your law school, certifying that you are in good academic standing and eligible to re-enroll. You must have the permission of your dean to enroll in any classes offered at the USD Knudson School of Law and may enroll only in those courses that have received prior approval.

Dean's letters may be sent to:

USD Knudson School of Law
Office of Admissions
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069

For further information, contact the Office of Admissions at or 605-677-6358.