“We are excited to welcome our biggest class in more than a decade,” said Neil Fulton, J.D., dean of the Knudson School of Law. “It’s also exciting that we’ve been able to say that in three of the last four years. We’ve increased class size while also increasing entering credentials, proving that we can get better and bigger at the same time.

“Students from across the country see the great value of a USD law education,” the dean continued. “Increased class size and credentials is also a testament to the excellent work of our admissions team, Katey Ulrich and Kaitlyn Frier.”

Fifty-seven incoming first-year law students are South Dakota natives, while 33 are coming to USD from out of state. Other states represented in the Class of 2026 include Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas and Tennessee.

The Class of 2026 includes some standout stories, including a mother, son and daughter trio pursuing law school together, a student who is an active equestrian competitor with the United State Dressage Federation, and two students who were admitted through the Northern State University Honors Law Opportunity Program. Another student graduated from high school with 89 credits toward his bachelor’s degree and graduated early, so he is starting his journey at the law school at just 19 years old.

Class of 2026 by the numbers:

  • 50% nontraditional students
  • 17.8% first-generation students
  • 54% male students, 46% female
  • 8.9% active or former military
  • 11% students of color
  • LSAT 25th percentile: 148
  • LSAT 75th percentile: 154
  • GPA 25th percentile: 3.18
  • GPA 75th percentile: 3.73

“For 90 members of the Class of 2026, the future starts now,” said Fulton.

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