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School of Law Bar Passage Rates Rise to 82 Percent

School of Law Bar Exam Passage Rates Rise The first-time passage rate for USD School of Law graduates rose to 82 percent.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The first-time passage rate on the South Dakota Bar Examination for University of South Dakota School of Law graduates rose to 82 percent based on the results from the July exam.

“We want to congratulate our recent graduates who saw their hard work and preparation the past three years pay off,” said Tom Geu, dean of the law school. “We know they will represent the USD School of Law well."

This is the second consecutive exam in which bar passage rates have risen, after the overall results from the February exam showed a first-time passage rate of 70 percent.

Geu credited the improvement to the addition of a required bar examination course and an effort by faculty to develop new curriculum practices.

“We are pleased to see the bar passage rate trending upwards,” Geu said. “It validates the many changes we’ve made in recent years.”


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