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USD Law School graduates top US News judicial clerkships rankings

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Which law schools’ graduates are setting the bar when it comes to judicial clerkships? According to rankings compiled by U.S. News & World Report, the University of South Dakota School of Law is one of the best in the country for 2011 graduates who are working at judicial clerkships with federal, state and local judges.

State and Local Judicial Clerkship Rankings released by U.S. News show that the USD School of Law is fifth nationally as 27 percent of 2011 graduates are employed with state and local judicial clerkships. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey-Camden, tops the law school list with 39 percent of its 2011 J.D. grads employed as state and local judicial clerks.

“Judicial clerkships are highly coveted by law school graduates and often serve as a conduit between law school and the practice of law,” said Tom Geu, dean of the USD School of Law. “Judges at any level, whether it's federal, state or locally, will tell you that law clerks play an integral part in the legal process.”

The Information released by U.S. News points out that a judicial clerkship at the state or local level is often a catalyst for a highly successful legal career as it provides law school graduates with an opportunity to hone research and writing skills as well as exposure to wide-ranging legal issues.

“A clerkship offers a unique experience for graduates to learn the judicial process from a different perspective. It is also an opportunity to see lawyers work and help the graduate decide where to further their legal career,” added Geu.

For more information about the rankings or to see the list, please visit: Additional information about the USD School of Law is also available 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.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News