Skip to main content

National Law Journal cites USD School of Law for grads in government, public interest occupations

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota School of Law is one of the top law schools in the nation when it comes to placing graduates in public interest and government jobs.

According to the National Law Journal, the USD School of Law ranks fifth in the United States for grads in public interest or government jobs, one spot ahead of the Georgetown University Law Center and right behind City University of New York School of Law.

“One of the core missions of the law school is to assure a pool of high-quality graduates to fill necessary and essential public service positions in South Dakota at an affordable price,” said Tom Geu, interim dean of the USD School of Law. “The rankings suggest the law school is successfully fulfilling that mission.”

The National Law Journal rankings are based on the 20 law schools that sent the highest percentage of their 2012 graduating class into either government jobs, such as prosecutors, or public interest jobs, such as public defenders or nonprofit attorneys. According to data released by the National Law Journal, a little more than 26 percent (26.3) of 2012 USD School of Law graduates entered the workforce in government or public interest positions. The College of William and Mary’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law ranked first at 34.3 percent followed by George Washington University School of Law at 32.5 percent.

The complete National Law Journal list is available online at


USD’s 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, 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