The McKusick Award is given annually to an outstanding member of the South Dakota Bar for contributions to the legal profession. The SBA selects the recipient from nominations by members of the South Dakota Bar.

“The Student Bar Association was inspired by the personal and professional accomplishments of Judge Piersol,” said Mitchell Morrison, president of the USD SBA. “He has contributed to the legal profession and the community in a variety of ways and continues to be a valuable member and contributor to the legal profession in South Dakota,” he added. ”His distinguished contributions to the legal community are exactly what the McKusick Award is intended to recognize.”

Piersol received a B.A. Degree in 1962 and a juris doctor in 1965 from USD. In law school, he was editor-in-chief of the South Dakota Law Review. He spent three years as an Army captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps trying general court martial cases. From 1968 to 1993, he was a trial lawyer with the Sioux Falls law firm of Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith. In 1993, he was appointed by President Bill Clinton, with the consent of the Senate, as a United States District Court Judge. Piersol was chief judge for the District of South Dakota from 1999 to 2006 and is currently a senior judge.

Marshall M. McKusick (1879-1950) was a professor at the USD School of Law beginning in 1902. He was named dean of the Law School in 1911 where he served for nearly five decades. The 59th Marshall M. McKusick Award, usually presented during the annual meeting of the State Bar of South Dakota, will be awarded to Piersol at a date and location to be determined as he is unable to attend the 2010 meeting.

Download a photo of Piersol.

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