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USD School of Law Ranks Top Ten in Clerkships

Photo of Court Room. The University of South Dakota School of Law ranked in the top ten law schools in the country for placement in state and local clerkships.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota School of Law was recently ranked in the top ten law schools in the country for placement in state and local clerkships according to a report by the legal industry publication,

“With nearly a quarter of the Class of 2016 earning state or federal clerkships, it says a lot about the caliber of our students and our program’s ability to develop our students’ writing and analytical skills,” said Devra Sigle Hermosilla, Director of Career Services at the School of Law.

The USD School of Law was ranked ninth with 20.69 percent of the most recent graduating class going into clerkships.

“Graduates not only receive an opportunity to perform a public service but also have a chance to hone their legal writing, research and analytical skills. Very importantly, they learn how to think like a judge,” said Hermosilla. “This helps the clerks go on to become better attorneys, highly sought after by prestigious firms and agencies.

The legal blog, Above The Law, explained the importance of this ranking.

“It’s not only the strength of your application that matters for securing a state clerkship. Attending a law school with high placement rates for state and local clerkships can be very helpful too, as it reflects past graduates’ reputation with judges, and the law school’s pull within the local community.”

The USD School of Law was recently ranked third in least indebted graduates and remains a best value law school, educating most of the state’s lawyers and judges, filling spots in private law firms and in public legal practice.


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 84 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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News