Skip to main content

A special Law School Task Force has been formed to consider whether relocating the state's only law school would be in the best interest of the students, the university and the state of South Dakota.

There will be an opportunity for public testimony at the task force meetings. You can submit your questions or testimony in advance of the meeting to

Most Recent Meeting

Oct. 6, 2017
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
School of Law Courtroom, USD

Watch the Oct 6 task force meeting


  1. Review Pros and Cons of Moving Law School to Sioux Falls
  2. Executive Session
  3. Consultant Recommendation
  4. Committee Debate
  5. Other Matters
  6. Instruction to consultant for report
  7. Adjourn by 1 p.m.

Mickelson Law School Task Force Report

Spivey Law Task Force Presentation

Previous Meeting

Sept. 6, 2017
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
South Dakota School for the Deaf
Community Conference Room
2001 East Eighth Street
Sioux Falls, South Dakota


  1. Introduction of consultant - definition of engagement and role — Mickelson/Spivey
  2. Reviewing last meeting's conclusions — Mickelson/All
  3. Discuss factors to consider in moving the law school — Spivey
  4. Review prior consulting engagement report and answer questions — Geu
  5. Bar exam change effect on bar passage rate, Justice Gilbertson/South Dakota Bar Examiners — Fitzgerald letter/Chief
  6. Student input on law school location — Morgan Nelson and other students
  7. Number of current law school students enrolled in joint program — Law school
  8. Industry input on Sioux Falls locations
    • Banking — Glenn Herrick
    • Health care — Kim Patrick
    • Trust industry — Schmidtman
  9. Implications for less than J.D. degree programming - how common elsewhere? — All
  10. J.D. advantage component of job market — All
  11. Faculty input on relocation
  12. Review publicly funded law schools that have shut down a location, to open a new location in a different community — Emily Kerr, LRC
  13. Idaho's experience with opening a new location — Don Burnett, former dean, Idaho Law School
  14. Review historical funding support of law school (30 years)/follow up — LRC/law school
  15. Accreditation implications of a move — ABA representative
  16. Review of law school marketing activities at the request of Nate Welch — Law school
  17. Review of law school foundation state of affairs at request of Regent Jewett — Law school
  18. Open testimony
  19. Tentative conclusions about state of law school — All/Spivey
  20. Pros and cons of a move of law school to Sioux Falls — All/Spivey
  21. Next meeting to develop recommendation and write report — Spivey/Mickelson

Follow-up Questions

  1. National state bar passage rate trend over the last 10 years - compare to USD's running in the 90 percent-plus dropping to 55 percent — ABA
  2. Average LSAT score of admits at USD last 10 years — School of Law
  3. Report of size of law school foundation, efforts, etc. — School of Law
  4. Follow up of cost to Idaho of having two campuses — Idaho/Kerr
  5. We are shrinking the law school size to fit the quality of the applicants/competitive pressures, not perceived decrease for employment demand for law school graduates in South Dakota — School of Law
  6. Cost to update the current law school facility — School of Law
  7. Get the national trend in memberships in the American Bar Association and compare to the South Dakota trend — ABA
  8. Incentives of selling credit hours and unintentional disincentives created toward shorter programming/joint programming — All
  9. Expanded information on how many USD School of Law graduates take the bar, how many take the bar in another state, how many don't take the bar at all — School of Law
  10. Expanded bar data on how many new admits to the state bar annually and where they came from — State Bar

Task Force Members

  • Mark Mickelson, R-Sioux Falls (Chair)
  • Harvey Jewett, Regent Emeritus, South Dakota Board of Regents
  • Conrad Adam, Student Regent, South Dakota Board of Regents
  • John Bastian, Regent, South Dakota Board of Regents
  • David Gilbertson, Chief Justice, South Dakota Supreme Court
  • Julie Greenfield, Attorney, Gallardo Trust Company
  • Glen Herrick, EVP and CFO, Meta Financial Group
  • Christine Hutton, Professor, USD School of Law
  • Mark Meierhenry, Attorney, Meierhenry Sargent, LLP
  • Bob Morris, Attorney,  Morris Law Firm
  • Morgan Nelson, President, USD Student Bar Association
  • Jennifer Trucano, CEO, Rapid City Medical Center
  • Nate Welch, Executive Director, Vermillion Chamber & Development Corporation