VERMILLION, S.D. -- Graduates of the University of South Dakota School of Law incur far less debt than most other law schools: $57,170 after three years in 2015 compared with an average of $112,748, U.S. News found.
The magazine added USD to its US News Short List of those schools among 183 that were ranked because students graduate with less than $70,000 in debt, on average. USD's law school ranked second-to-last in debt load. The list is separate from the publication’s overall rankings.
“This latest list once again recognizes the value that USD law provides its students,” said Tom Geu, dean of the USD School of Law. “We continue to provide a world-class legal education while paying careful attention to cost.”
USD is ranked fifth nationally in the percentage of its students who earn judicial clerkships at combined local, state and federal levels. As South Dakota’s only law school, USD grants degrees to most of its lawyers and judges. More than 85 percent of USD’s 2015 graduates are employed at law firms, in business, government or elsewhere. And it offers nine joint degrees that give law students the chance to earn a master’s degree with their J.D. in business administration, professional accountancy, educational administration, English, history, political science, public administration, psychology and administrative studies.