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USD Law ADR Board Continues Successful Season

Law Alternate Dispute Resolution Board team The USD School of Law ADR Board found success at a recent competition in Virginia.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota School of Law Alternative Dispute Resolution Board continued to build on its successful season at a recent environmental law negotiation competition in Virginia.

Board members Olivia Siglin, Johnathan Stien, Lori Rensink and Joseph Mattson competed at the University of Richmond’s School of Law Environmental Law Negotiation Competition. Siglin and Stien reached the quarterfinal round of the tournament.

“These competitions are extremely practical and can help students become the best future attorneys they can be,” said Siglin, a third year law student. “The skills that ADR board members learn in these competitions are useful every single day in practice.”

To prepare for an ADR competition, board members spend about 30-40 hours reviewing the fact patterns assigned by the tournament with coaches and researching potential issues. Other board members help those competing by playing the other side in practice simulations.

“Whenever our board members succeed, it is thanks to the work that they put in, but also thanks to the other board members who draft the facts, play the other parties in practices and make it seem as real as possible,” Siglin said.

In addition to working with USD faculty, ADR board alumni and State Bar ADR committee members attend practice sessions and provide feedback.

This academic year, ADR board member Cody Miller placed second at the Houston Mediator Competition this fall, and the arbitration team of Ryan Anderson, Alex Braun, Candice Gullickson and Olivia Siglin placed third at the ABA Region Arbitration Competition in Orange, California. Additionally, ADR board members Paige Petersen, Garrett Keegan, Whitney Denning, Austin Schaefer, Lori Rensink and Johnathan Stien competed at the regional negotiation competition in Missoula, Montana, this fall, and all teams performed well and finished in the top ten teams in the region. Board members are also competing in client counseling, mediation and a sports law negotiation competition this spring.


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