NALSA Panel on”Water Protectors” and Dakota Access Pipeline

The USD School of Law Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) and Environmental Law Society (ELS) will host a panel discussion on water rights of indigenous peoples, and information regarding the highly controversial Dakota Access  Pipeline. The event will take place Feb. 22nd at 12pm in the Law School Court Room. The event is open to the public and all students are encouraged to attend.

Guest speakers will include:

  • Frank Pommersheim, USD Professor of Law
  • Myanna Dellinger, USD Associate Professor of Law
  • Sean Kammer, USD Associate Professor of Law
  • Harold Frazier, Chairman of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
  • Dion Kills Back, Senior Attorney at Rosette, LLP

A meet and greet with refreshments will take place after the event.

If you a person with a disability and and need a special accommodation to fully participate, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389.





Morgan Nelson (2L) Receives National ABA Student Award

Five outstanding individuals were recently recognized by the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association for hard work, dedication, passion and enthusiasm displayed on the Law Student Division board. The awards given were the


Morgan Nelson, Silver Key Award Recipient

Star of the Division awards, the Silver Key award and the Gold Key award. These highly sought awards were bestowed upon individual’s who have dedicated a year of service towards the betterment of the ABA and the law profession as a whole.

The USD School of Law is pleased to announce and congratulate Morgan Nelson (2L) in receiving the Silver Key Award for her high degree of service, dedication, and leadership to the Law Student Division of the ABA. 

Nelson completed her term as 8th Circuit Governor this past semester, and was recently appointed to Chairwoman of the Caucus Governance Committee. Of her many accomplishments as Governor, her favorite was the passing of the governance restructuring, of which she was active in lobbying other members to pass the act at the National Assembly.

USD Hosts Regional Client Counseling Tournament

The University of South Dakota School of Law was chosen as a host school for an ABA regional Client Counseling Tournament for neighboring law schools. During the tournament, competitors conduct an initial interview with a person playing the role of the client and then address both the client’s legal and non-legal needs. These participants are judged on various aspects of client counseling: building attorney-client relationship, building rapport, determining client goals, and considering applicable law and options that may be available to the client.

Competing at the USD School of Law American Bar Association Regional ADR Tournament include:

  • Drake University Law School

  • University of Nebraska College of Law

  • Washburn University School of Law

Regional volunteer judges with past ADR experience will advance only one team to Nationals. Each team is provided with a consultation memorandum that includes information that a secretary would likely receive from a client in preparation for a meeting. The teams then have 45 minutes to conduct their interview.

The winning team will advance to the National Client Counseling Competition to be held on March 17th in Norman, Oklahoma, at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Dean’s List: Fall 2016

Congratulations to the following students for making the Dean’s List for the Fall 2016 semester:

Third Year Law Students

Bloom, Elliot J.
Brost, Ashley R.
Cockburn, Maggie K
Erickson, Joseph B.
Haberstick, Carl F.
Redd, Ryan W.
Schulte, Mallory K.

Second Year Law Students

Bangasser, Jordyn
Hodson, Laura E.
Hoffman, Brigid C.
Luther, Kay E.
Maxwell, Kelly M.
Michlitsch, Jennifer M.
Nethken, Branden R.

The Dean’s List is issued each semester. This list is composed of those law students, other than first semester, first year law students, who are registered for twelve or more law school hours, ten of which will be given a numerical grade, and either 1) have for that semester achieved a grade point average of 85.00 or better; or 2) are in the top ten percent of their class for that semester, whichever group is smaller.  The list is not based on cumulative grade point average; it is based on semester grade point average.

Recent Graduate Presents at Trendigital 2017 Conference

Ashley Blake recently lectured on the growing trends in cyber law at the Trendigital Summit conference this last week in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Her presentation, “Cyber Law and Your Business: Internet Law Essentials Your Business Needs to Know” is available online for anyone who missed the Trendigital Summit 2017.

The presentation included several cases where employees were fired for comments they made about their employers on social media. In many of her examples the employer was found to be in the wrong for the termination and had to reinstate the employee with back pay. Blake also warned that employers should consult with a cyber law attorney prior to disciplining the employee because of the post.

Blake is an associate attorney at Davenport Evans in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She graduated from Harvard University and the University of South Dakota School of Law (2016). She practices in the areas of estate planning and trust administration, trust companies, business, employment, and cyber law.

Criminal Justice Career and Graduate Fair

Please join Criminal Justice Studies at the third annual Criminal Justice Career and Graduate Fair. This fair is open to all students and is featuring over 30 organizations including the FBI, DEA, Minneapolis Police Department, Minnehaha County Public Defender’s Office, SD Department of Social Services, South Dakota State’s Attorneys, and many more. These agencies and schools are excited to hire and recruit USD students.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 11:00 AM1:00 PM

Muenster University Center, Grand Ballroom 225

Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law Career Session on January 18@Noon

USD Law Career Services will be hosting a Career Session in Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law in the law school courtroom on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, at noon. Elsbeth Magilton, Executive Director of the Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law programs at the University of Nebraska College of Law will introduce the audience to space law and its intrinsic links to cyber and telecommunications policy and will examine different career sectors in the space and cyber realm – from private industry (launch providers, satellite manufacturers) to policy (State Department, FAA, think tanks) to national security (military, civilians within DoD, defense contractors).

J.D. Joint Degree Information Session

Wednesday, February 1st – 12 pm – School of Law, Room 102

Representatives from the Beacom School of Business will be available to answer questions from students interested in the joint JD/Master of Business Administration)and JD/Master of Professional Accountancy programs. USD School of Law offers nine joint degree programs but offer only two through the business school. The Beacom School of Business at the University of South Dakota has earned a No. 12 ranking on The Princeton Review’s new list of the top 25 online MBA programs for 2017.

The joint degree program at the School of Law requires approval from the School of Law administration, admission to the participating master’s program, and is conditioned upon a cumulative grade point average of at least 75 upon completion of the first year of law school or a subsequent semester. Students admitted to this program take courses concurrently leading to both J.D. and master’s degrees in three years. Students may receive up to nine credit hours toward the 90 credit hours required for the J.D. degree. The amount of law credit accepted in a master’s program is determined by each program. Law students may not receive law credit for more than one course each semester outside of the School of Law without permission of the associate dean.

The Master of Business Administration program is designed to meet the needs of modern businesses for broadly educated management personnel who possess a generalized point of view, adaptability to changing environments and a high degree of analytical skill.

The Master of Professional Accountancy degree is designed to provide specialized training in accounting and related fields for those who wish to prepare for a career in public accounting, industry, government service or accounting education.

More information regarding the event: mba-mpa-joint-deree-session-february-2017

Kacey Olivier (2012) Named Equity Partner at Heidepriem, Purtell & Siegel

Kasey Olivier has accomplished much in her few years since being admitted to the bar (2012) in South Dakota. In 2015, Olivier made partner at the Heidepriem, Purtell & Siegel Law, a prestigious Sioux Falls law firm. The firm recently announced that it will change its name to Heidepriem, Purtell, Siegel & Olivier, as Olivier has been made an equity partner in the firm.

Some of her other accomplishments in the four years she has been in practice include being named a top 40 under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers Association and one of the top 10 female litigators in client sanctification in the State of South Dakota. The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys has recognized Olivier as a Top Ten Female Litigator in the realm of client satisfaction. Olivier currently serves on the Board of Governors for the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association and the Admissions Committee for the University of South Dakota, School of Law. In 2016, Olivier became the Vice President of the Second Circuit Bar Association and will become President in the Spring of 2017.

Sioux Fall Woman featured Olivier’s struggles growing up in foster care system and her journey to law school. The story illustrates how Olivier overcame adversity in the unstable foster care program and transitioning into adulthood without a support network–including having to emancipate herself from foster care as a senior in high school and having to work  70 plus hours a week just to feed herself.

Olivier hasn’t let anything in her past hold her back. Read more on page 94.

Professor of Law Myanna Dellinger Completes Fulbright Specialist Grant


Associate Professor of Law Myanna Dellinger

USD School of Law Associate Professor of Law Myanna Dellinger has now completed her Fulbright Scholarship with the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), a renowned think-tank in Potsdam, Berlin ( Professor Dellinger gave presentations on the expected climate change and energy policies under the Trump administration. These presentations were attended by institute researchers as well as employees from the United States Embassy in Berlin. Professor Dellinger also conducted research for her future scholarly agenda on issues that lie at the intersection between international environmental law and business. Further, she interviewed several researchers for the Global Energy and Environmental Law Podcast; a co-production of the USD School of Law and the American Branch of the International Law Association.