“Throughout my life, I’ve witnessed instances where individuals faced injustices or struggled to navigate life without proper support and resources,” said Kline. “These experiences ignited a passion for advocating on behalf of others and striving to bring about positive change in their lives. Becoming a lawyer gives me an opportunity to change peoples’ lives and contribute to building a more just and equitable society.”

Originally from Huron, South Dakota, Kline earned her undergraduate degree in business economics before enrolling at the USD Knudson School of Law. Wanting to stay and practice in her home state, Kline chose USD’s law school for its affordability and locality in South Dakota.

A graduate with interests in family law, employment law and criminal defense, Kline is set to make a difference in South Dakota. Kline graduated with her J.D. this spring, and after passing the bar, she plans to work at Goosmann Law Firm, a women-owned law firm in Sioux Falls.

“I think the most valuable skill you can bring into your career is the ability to listen to people,” said Kline. “As lawyers we are interacting with people who are dealing with the most difficult and emotional time in their life. Sometimes all people need is someone to listen to them. Listening, understanding, and supporting my clients is a skill I hope to take with me into my practice.”

We asked Kline about her time at the USD Knudson School of Law and what she learned, and this is what she had to say.

The Knudson School of Law strives to embody and promote a community of excellence, service and leadership. How do you practice these values?

Service, excellence and leadership go hand in hand; you cannot have one without the others. I embody this by giving back to my community. Whether through volunteering at food banks and the Salvation Army or completing pro bono services through the WORKS Clinic, I actively seek out opportunities that better myself and the community.

What was the most important lesson you learned in law school?

Life is all about the people you surround yourself with. At USD, I have made some of the most beautiful friendships that I will have for a lifetime.

What is your favorite thing about Vermillion?

All the community events! I love going to trivia at Dakota Brick House every Tuesday, and Bingo at XIX Brewing Company on Monday nights. For a small town, there are a lot of community events.

Who models excellence, service and leadership in your life?

My mother Kristin Kline models this to a T. She is the chief executive officer of the Huron Area Center for Independence (CFI). The CFI is a community support provider in east-central South Dakota. They assist the needs of individuals with disabilities in a way that promotes choice and encourages independence. My mother sits on different boards within the community, and she always strives to bring a positive impact on those around her. She is a strong leader and has made a difference in so many lives.

What advice would you give to someone considering law school?

Go for it. Even if it seems unattainable, you should go for it. Even if you are a first-generation student and have no idea what you are doing, you will learn along the way. The friends I have made in law school have been some of the best people I have ever met, and if I didn’t go to law school, I wouldn’t have them in my life.

Who or what makes a good lawyer?

Someone who is empathetic and has commitment and drive to serve others to make a positive impact.

Press Contact
Hanna DeLange
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