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School of Law Excels at American Bar Association Client Counseling Competition

USD School of Law Alternative Dispute Resolution Board members together in a group photo. Members of the USD School of Law Alternative Dispute Resolution Board (ADR) performed well at the American Bar Association Client Counseling Competition last weekend, Feb. 8-9.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota School of Law Alternative Dispute Resolution Board was successful at the American Bar Association Client Counseling Competition hosted by Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas, with multiple teams reaching elimination rounds.

Second-year law students Bryton Syverson and John Nelson advanced to the final round of the competition earning second place. Shanya Burt and Andy Grocott, also second-year law students, reached the semi-final round. Second-year law students Natalie Gronlund and Erica Reber ranked eighth.

"It is really exciting to see such strong performances from our second-year ADR board members. I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication each of these students put into this competition,” said Lori Rensink, a third-year law student and president of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Board.

The teams prepared for several weeks before the tournament with the assistance of other students, faculty, alumni and trained professionals. USD Law alumna Mallory Schultz helped with practice rounds and USD Law professor Tom Simmons helped the teams prepare for different client interactions. The team was also assisted by its advisors Tyler Tigges and Marilyn Trefz.

"The ADR Board truly operates as a team when we prepare to send members to competitions,” said Rensink "Each member of the ADR Board is willing to put in the work to help another board member succeed. I know we will see more success from the ADR Board in the future.” 


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