- Sept. 1 - Application opens for admission the following fall
- Jan. 1 - Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available
- February - Initial offers made for internal scholarships. Applying by Feb. 1 is recommended
- April 1 - First deposit is due*
- July 1 - Last day to apply for the current incoming class. Second deposit is due*
- August - Mandatory orientation week and beginning of classes
*Those admitted later in the admissions cycle will be provided reasonable dates by which to submit their deposits and secure their seats.
Credential Assembly Service
We participate in the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). All applicants must register with the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) and register for the CAS to apply.
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
All applicants must take the LSAT. We recommend you complete the LSAT no later than February of the year in which you wish to apply. We accept scores from the June LSAT for the same year, but the application must be submitted by July 1.
Letters of Recommendation
You must submit a minimum of two letters of recommendation. At least one recommendation must be from an academic source, such as a professor who can comment on your critical thinking, writing skills and potential for success in law school. The preferred method of submission is through the LSAC.
Official transcript(s) (in English or with translation) verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree or an equivalent degree from an institution with regional accreditation for that degree and previous graduate credit and degrees must accompany an application. Official transcripts of all academic work at the undergraduate and graduate levels are required for all students. USD School of Law shall have on file the student’s official transcripts verifying all academic credits undertaken and degree(s) conferred. USD School of Law retains the right to require credential evaluations from organizations, such as Educational Credential Evaluators/World Education Services (ECE/WES), if such an evaluation is deemed necessary.
Official transcripts must be sent directly to the University of South Dakota School of Law from the issuing institution(s). Official transcript(s) may be sent in paper or electronic format. A paper official transcript must bear the original seal and signature of the official in charge of records at that institution. An electronic official transcript must be transmitted directly between institutions using the electronic transcript service authorized by the issuing institution and acceptable to the receiving institution. A transcript delivered by the student or issued to the student is not official. Official transcripts must be received by USD School of Law by October 15th of the student’s first semester of matriculation at USD School of Law. If the official transcript is not received by that date, the student will be administratively withdrawn.
You must submit a one- to two-page personal statement with the application through the CAS. Your personal statement may contain but is not limited to the following topics:
- What has led to your interest in law school?
- What would you describe as your most significant accomplishment?
- What would make you a successful law student?
- What do you want to do with a law degree?
- How would you contribute to the law school community and legal profession?
- Describe any life experiences that have shaped you as an individual or led to your interest in law school.
- Describe challenges you've encountered and how you have overcome them.
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.