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National publication ranks USD School of Law 'Best Value'

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 value, according to The National Jurist, which ranks the USD School of Law No. 5 on its Top 20 list of “Best Value Law Schools.”

In addition to bar passage, the magazine’s rankings take into account in-state tuition, debt and the percent of graduates employed nine months after getting their degree. The top 20 list is featured in the October issue of the magazine and is dominated by public law schools, including the top five schools on the list. It’s the sixth time since 2004 that The National Jurist, a magazine published for law students, has honored law schools for providing a good value.

“Being ranked as a ‘best value’ is further evidence that our faculty and administration is committed to ensuring that our students are receiving an affordable and reputable legal education that will prepare them for a successful career after law school,” said Thomas Geu, dean of the USD School of Law.

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. A complete listing 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