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School of Law recognized as 2011 'Best Value' by national magazine

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota School of Law is one of 60 law schools in the nation named to The National Jurist list of “Best Value” law schools of 2011.

The magazine’s ranking takes into account in-state tuition, debt and the percent of graduates employed nine months after graduation, in addition to bar passage. The list, which was released earlier this week, is dominated by public schools and it’s the fifth time since 2004 that the magazine has honored law schools for providing a good value.

Criteria used to identify the "Best Value" law schools, according to the magazine, were based on a two year average for both bar pass rate and percent of students employed, and it did not automatically exclude schools that did not meet the bar pass standard or a tuition or employment standard.

"The School of Law is doing its best to provide students a legal education with an emphasis on value," said Thomas Geu, dean of the USD School of Law. "And being listed as best value evidences that emphasis. It’s also a tribute to our faculty and their commitment to ensuring that our students have an opportunity to excel in the classroom and courtroom, preparing them for a successful career after college."

The complete list of “Best Value” law schools and additional information about the rankings can be found at


USD’s Knudson School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News