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USD Law Trial Teams Compete Across Country

Photo of the 2019 USD School of Law Trial Team The USD School of Law trial team has been successful at several national competitions this spring.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota School of Law’s national trial team garnered success at recent competitions across the country.

“Trial team is the most real-world simulated learning experience a student can have outside a clinic,” said Laura Rose, assistant professor at the USD School of Law and trial team coach. “Our goal is to prepare our students to be able to walk into any courtroom in the country and be successful.”

In the spring semester, 27 USD law students attended trial competitions all over the United States. In February, students attended the Texas Young Lawyers’ National Trial Competition where the team of Justin Reininger, Tucker Volesky, and Brandon Booth reached the top four of the tournament and missed qualifying to the national tournament by only two points.

In March, the team of Meaghan Janousek, Clay Crozier, Aidan Goetzinger and Whitney Denning reached the semi-final round of the American Association for Justice’s Student Trial Advocacy Regional Competition in Denver, Colorado.

“Competing on the trial team gives our students a head start,” said Rose. “In a very compressed timeline–usually just six weeks–students learn and argue difficult and complex cases that would generally take months or even years of preparation in real practice.”

The USD School of Law educates most of the state’s lawyers and judges, filling spots in private law firms and in public legal practice. Along with being a best value school, USD Law is routinely ranked highly in state and local clerkship placements.


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