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School of Law Honors Faculty and Alumni for Exemplary Service

Lin Quah (accepting award for Professor Tom Simmons), Alex Hagen, Jason Krause and Raleigh Hansman standing together with their awards. From left to right: Lin Quah (accepting award for Professor Thomas Simmons), Alex Hagen, Jason Krause and Raleigh Hansman.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota School of Law presented awards to faculty and alumni for exemplary service to the law school.

USD law professor Thomas Simmons, B.S. '91, J.D. '98, was honored with the John Wesley Jackson Outstanding Faculty Award nominated and voted upon by students and faculty.

Simmons serves on the South Dakota State Bar's Ethics Committee, Elder Law Committee, Indian Law Committee and Lawyer's Committee on Diversity of Inclusion. He is a member of the South Dakota Bar Association's Section of Real Property Probate and Trust. Simmons is a gubernatorial appointee to the Governor's Task Force on Trust Administration Review and Reform and serves as a member and whip of the South Dakota Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

The Jackson Award was established in 1981 through a gift by Horace and Dorothy Jackson of Rapid City, South Dakota, in honor of members of the Jackson family. Selection is based on criteria demonstrating excellence in the teaching of law, including effectiveness in the classroom; efforts to improve legal education in ways that serve the needs of the profession and of South Dakota; research and writing; contributions to the profession through public service; and contributions to the academic environment of the Law School.

The 2019 Adjunct Professor of the Year Award was presented to Alex Hagen, J.D. '10, who taught business organizations. The Student Bar Association also presented awards to USD law school alumni Raleigh Hansman, J.D. '12, and Jason Krause, J.D. '12, for their service to the school.


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