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USD Knudson School of Law Ranked No. 134 in U.S. News & World Report's Best Law Schools List

Knudson School of Law Seal The USD Knudson School of Law was ranked No. 134 on the U.S. News & World Report's "Best Law Schools" list for 2022, rising seven spots from last year.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law was ranked No. 134 on the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Law Schools” list for 2022, rising seven spots from last year.

The law school was also notably ranked No. 2 on graduate indebtedness, a placement indicator new in the report’s 2022 edition.

“Although rankings cannot tell the full story of any law school, it is gratifying to be recognized as one of the highest ranked and lowest cost law schools in the region,” said Neil Fulton, dean of the law school. “It confirms that we give students an excellent yet affordable education. That is important.”

U.S. News & World Report collected data from law schools for 20 indicators used in the overall rankings and 13 law school specialty rankings. Trial advocacy is one of those specialty rankings, in which the Knudson School of Law scored in the top 90.

"The trial advocacy ranking is the result of the excellence, service and leadership of every member of the USD Knudson School of Law community,” said Laura Rose, J.D., assistant professor of law and Trial Team head coach. “We are building a legacy founded on the tireless dedication of our students, the incredible generosity of our alumni and the unending support from faculty, staff and members of the South Dakota State Bar. It is thrilling to receive this recognition from the national community for the work we have done thus far, and I am excited for what the future holds for our program."

The publication’s “Best Law Schools” rankings evaluate institutions on their successful placement of graduates, their faculty resources, the academic achievements of entering students, and opinions by law schools, lawyers and judges on overall program quality. The rankings measure 193 law schools that are fully accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). The 2022 edition included new placement indicators on graduate indebtedness and a fully revamped approach to measuring library resources.


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