USD Law Again Named to Top 20 Best Value Law Schools

The University of South Dakota School of Law is again listedcoverfall16 among the Top 20 Best Value Law Schools by Prelaw Magazine this year coming in at 13th among over 200 accredited law schools in the U.S. Previously, USD School of Law has ranked as high as 10th Best Value (2015).

The purpose of PreLaw Magazine’s Best Value Schools is to identify law schools where graduates have excellent changes of passing the bar and getting a legal job without taking on a ton of debt.The formula for calculating the Best Value Schools takes the percentage of graduates who pass the bar exam (15%), employment rate (35%), tuition (25%), cost of living (10%), and average indebtedness upon graduation (15%).

Based on the methodology, USD School of Law ranks high due to inexpensive tuition and high employment rate; annual SD resident tuition was the second lowest of the Top 20, and held employment rates consistent with the top ranked schools.

Law School Dean Tom Geu credits strong demand for USD Law’s graduates as the biggest contributing factor to this year’s ranking. “All of legal education is in a state of flux and we are no exception”, said Geu, “but the more we change to meet current challenges; the more we hope to remain the same by continuing to provide exceptional lawyers, leaders, and business entrepreneurs to South Dakota and the region.”


USD Recruitment Team to Visit LSAC Forum in Atlanta

Career Services Director Devra Hermosilla will be representing USD School of Law at the upcoming 2016 LSAC Law School Forum in Atlanta, Georgia. Prospective students are encouraged to stop by the table and learn why USD School of Law has again been listed among the Top 20 Best Value Law Schools by Prelaw Magazine.

Rankings for the Best Value Law Schools are based on employment rate, tuition, cost of living, and average indebtedness upon graduation. Bar exam pass rate is also taken into consideration.

If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about USD School of Law, contact or see her at the LSAC Forum this Friday, October 28th.


24/7 PROFESSIONAL: Avoiding Fashion and Food Faux Pas in the Legal Industry

Wednesday October 19th – 6:00-8:00pm – Al Neuharth Media Center, USD Campus

USD School of Law Career Services and the Women in Law student organization are pleased to present the 24/7PROFESSIONAL. This event is the annual Fashion Show and Etiquette Workshop to be held on October 19, 2016, from 6-8pm, at Neuharth. Department store, Younkers, will be providing the clothing for the fashion show highlighting “what to wear” during interviews, court hearings, everyday business, business casual, business social events and even the Managing Partner’s back yard BBQ. Etiquette tips will help you navigate your way through a lunch interview, client meal meetings, business events, and social events where alcohol is served.

Women in Law President Rachelle Norgberg say, “Yes, we will answer the elusive question of which fork to use. There will be contests, prizes, laughter, and some good information you may be glad to know as you enter your legal career. We hope you join us for a fun and informative evening.”

US Foreign Service to Visit USD Law

Wednesday –  10/19 –  12:45pm – Davenport Commons at USD School of Law

Come have Coffee with a Diplomat – Attend this informal “coffee and pastries” event (feel free to bring your own lunch) where you can meet with and ask questions of United States Diplomat Robert Andrew and learn about exciting J.D. related careers within the United States Department of State such as Foreign Service, Consular, Civil Service, and Department of State’s Internship program for students. Note, Mr. Andrew will also be speaking with the Military Law class on Wed 10/19 at 11am. If you wish to attend that class session, speak with Professor Ramon Ortiz.

Mr. Andrew is a Foreign Service Officer in the US Department of State and since September 2014 has been the Diplomat in Residence for the Central Region of the United States (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota).  Prior to assuming his current position, he was the Political Section Chief at the US Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden from 2011-2014.  In that capacity, he reported extensively on Sweden’s evolving relationship with NATO as well as Sweden’s leading role in the European Union’s outreach to Eastern European countries.  Prior to the posting in Sweden, Mr. Andrew served as the Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica from 2007-2010, working closely with Costa Rican authorities to help train and equip their police force to combat drug trafficking.  As the political-military officer at the US Embassy in Moscow from 2005-2007, Mr. Andrew reported on Russia’s defense and security policies.  He also served in several capacities within the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico from 2003-2005.

Professor Horton Teaches “Deposition Skills” at Berkeley Law


Professor of Law Thomas Horton

USD Professor of Law & Heidepriem Trial Advocacy Fellow Thomas Horton will be teaching “Deposition Skills” for the National Institute Trial Advocacy (NITA), October 14th-16th at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (commonly referred as Berkeley Law or Boalt Hall). The purpose of NITA is to train and mentor lawyers to be competent and ethical advocates in pursuit of justice, and to develop and teach trial advocacy skills to support and promote the effective and fair administration of justice. Professor Horton regularly teaches trial and deposition skills for NITA, and additionally helped teach young South Dakota attorneys trial skills along with other members of the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Bar, as part of the South Dakota Trial Academy’s week long NITA style course at the USD School of Law this summer. For more information about the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, or how to attend one of their many skill building seminars, visit






Greg Yates (’72 Law Grad) Selected as USD Dakota Days Parade Marshal

Rapid City native Greg Yates, a 1972 graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law, will serve as parade marshal at Saturday’s USD Dakota Days homecoming parade.

Yates, who started his legal career in Rapid City, where he maintains a pilot office, also practices in Encino, California. He specializes in product liability, catastrophic injury, wrongful death and civil rights.

Yates has been selected as one of the top 100 lawyers in California since being admitted to the California Bar in 1974. He was also named California Lawyer of the Year in 1997 by California Lawyer Magazine. And he was a top 10 finalist for Consumer Attorneys of California’s trial lawyer of the year in 2003. He has been featured in Time Magazine, The New Yorker Magazine, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and has appeared on Frontline, American Journal, MSNBC and FOX News as a commentator.

In 2014, Yates was inducted into the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as lead singer for the Riveairs band in the mid-1960s.



Rural Attorney Recruitment Interview Deadline 10/7

On October 11 and 12, Director Suzanne Starr would like to meet with any students who are potentially interested in learning more about a career in South Dakota’s ground-breaking rural practice program. USD School of Law Career Services Director, Devra Hermosilla, has notified students via email and facebook about the Rural Attorney Recruitment Program (RARP). If there are any students interested in learning more about the program, please contact Devra Hermosilla immediately (

Brief Summery of the RARP:  The Unified Judicial System and the State Bar of South Dakota are committed to assuring that all citizens within the State of South Dakota have access to quality attorneys. In 2013, the South Dakota Legislature approved the Recruitment Assistance Pilot Program to address the current and projected shortage of lawyers practicing in small communities and rural areas of South Dakota. Up to 32 attorneys are now permitted to participate in the program in eligible rural counties.  Attorneys must enter into a contract with the Unified Judicial System, the State Bar and the eligible County in order to participate. Qualifying attorneys within the program will receive an incentive payment, payable in five equal annual installments, each payment equal to 90% of one year’s resident tuition and fees at the University of South Dakota School of Law, as determined on July 1, 2013.

Lavender Lecture: “Employment Discrimination” 10/6

USD Law Courtroom – 3:00 P.M. – Thursday, Oct. 6th

The University of South Dakota School of Law hosts its annual Lavender Lecture on Thursday, Oct., 6, and will feature a lawyer from an LGBT policy think tank who will speak on employment discrimination.

Adam P. Romero is senior counsel and Arnold D. Kassoy scholar of law at the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2002, he graduated from Cornell University and in 2007, he received his law degree from Yale Law School.

He successfully represented the plaintiffs in Cooper-Harris v. USA, the first case nationally to declare unconstitutional laws barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages in the veterans-benefits context. He is also co-editor of Feminist and Queer Legal Theory: Intimate Encounters, Uncomfortable Conversations (2009).

Also speaking at the Lavender Lecture will be Karen Mackey, who has served as the executive director of the Sioux City Human Rights Commission since 2004. In 2008, she was named a woman of excellence by Women Aware. Mackey is a co-founder of Siouxland Pride Alliance in Siouxland. She serves on the Iowa Department of Human Rights Board and as commission chair of the Iowa Commission on Native American Affairs.

The Lavender Lecture was inaugurated by the OUTLaws student group in 2013 as a venue to bring discussion and education to South Dakota on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues and the law. This year’s lecture is cosponsored by the OUTLaws and Women in Law student groups. The lecture begins at 3 p.m. in the USD School of Law Courtroom. Refreshments will be served afterward.