photo of Moot Court

Alternative Dispute Resolution Board

The USD Law Alternative Dispute Resolution Board provides its members practical legal experience competing in four types of interscholastic competitions: Negotiation, Arbitration, Mediation, and Client Counseling. With the vast majority of civil cases settling out of court, the ADR Board provides students the opportunity to gain highly relevant experience and develop interpersonal skills as they compete against top-performing law schools across the country. Board members also earn academic credits for their competition activities.

The board is comprised of 12 outstanding students, six 2Ls and six 3Ls. In the 2017-2018 year, the board had all three of its Client Counseling teams qualify for semi-finals at the regional competition in Omaha, NE, with one team finishing as finalists in the top three. One of the board’s Negotiation teams also finished as a regional finalist, qualifying for the National Competition and placing in the Top 10 at the ABA National Negotiation Competition in Chicago, IL.

The ADR Board also hosts intraschool competitions for 1Ls each semester: Negotiation in the fall, and Client Counseling in the spring. These competitions allow 1Ls to gain experiential learning and refine their skills in front of some of the state’s most prominent attorneys. To be eligible for membership, all interested first-year law students must participate in at least one of ADR intraschool competitions.

China Program

The summer law program in China provides six credit hours in comparative law topics ranging from property, environmental law and antitrust to civil procedure. You will study for four weeks at two different Chinese law universities alongside Chinese law students. Faculty from the School of Law and the University of Montana School of Law co-teach courses with respected Chinese law professors. Financial aid is available and many students choose to spend additional time in China traveling and learning more about Chinese language, culture and food.

Moot Court

As a member of the South Dakota Moot Court Board, you'll refine your skills in appellate brief writing and oral advocacy. We offer this opportunity to outstanding second- and third-year students. You'll compete against top-performing law students at tournaments around the country.

Recent teams have placed in the top four in the nation at the prestigious New York City Bar tournament and won the regional American Bar Association moot court competition.

To be eligible for membership, all interested first-year law students must participate in the School of Law's annual Sam Masten Intramural Moot Court Competition. The competition culminates with a final round before a distinguished panel, usually composed of South Dakota Supreme Court justices.

View Moot Court Team Accomplishments


Alaska Tax Practicum

The tax practice and skills course gives you the opportunity to represent hard-to-reach, low-income rural residents in communities throughout Alaska, joining over 150 program contributors and more than 80 volunteers. You will provide direct legal assistance in individual and business tax law to nearly 130 native communities across 10 regions in Alaska.

The practicum is two credit hours and counts toward completion of the experiential learning requirement for graduation.

Indigent Defense Practicum

This practicum allows students to represent low-income criminal defendants while learning litigation, negotiation, advocacy skills and appeals processes. You will work side-by-side with the Minnehaha County Public Defender and the Public Advocate's offices as a defense litigation attorney. You will conduct interviews and assist in representing clients through several phases of the criminal justice process, including appeals work. In addition, you may have the opportunity to learn about and participate in applications for writs of habeas corpus and parole revocation proceedings.

This practicum is two credits and counts toward completion of the experiential learning requirement for graduation.