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Top Law Schools in South Dakota

February 22, 2024
3 min read


Reviewed by:

David Merson

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 2/22/24

If you’re looking for the best South Dakota law schools, this article can get you started.

In the heartland of America, where the vast expanse of prairie meets the sky, lies a state with a rich tapestry of legal education: South Dakota. 

Despite its relatively small size compared to other states, South Dakota boasts a formidable array of institutions dedicated to shaping the legal minds of tomorrow. Aspiring lawyers seeking a blend of rigorous academics, practical experience, and a supportive community need look no further than the esteemed law schools nestled within the borders of this Midwestern gem. 

In this article, we embark on a journey to uncover the best law schools in South Dakota, examining their unique offerings, esteemed faculties, and the opportunities they present for those eager to embark on a career in law within this dynamic region. From the serene landscapes of the Black Hills to the bustling cityscapes of Sioux Falls, South Dakota's law schools stand as beacons of legal excellence in the heart of the Great Plains.

Top Law Schools In South Dakota

While there is only one law school in South Dakota, Knudson, this institution still offers prospective legal students both from within the state and without a thorough legal education. 

Aspiring legal scholars and prospective students can utilize this chart as a valuable resource in navigating their educational journey. From rankings to acceptance rates, LSAT scores to GPAs, this concise yet informative overview provides a snapshot of the essential factors that define each institution's academic prowess and admission criteria. 

Law School U.S. News Ranking Acceptance Rate Median LSAT Median GPA
University of South Dakota (Knudson) #122 67.5% 151 3.39

While there is only one law school in South Dakota, it offers local students ample opportunity to study closer to home with a welcoming acceptance rate of 67.5%.

University of South Dakota (Knudson)

Law School U.S. News Ranking Acceptance Rate Median LSAT Median GPA Bar Passage Rate
University of South Dakota (Knudson) #122 67.5% 151 3.39 72.2%

Nestled in the heart of the Great Plains, the University of South Dakota (USD) stands as a beacon of academic excellence and a hub for legal education. 

With a rich history dating back to its founding in 1862, USD has continually evolved to meet the changing needs of its students and the community at large. One of its most prominent offerings is its esteemed law program, which has earned a reputation for producing top-notch legal professionals.

USD School of Law has a legacy that spans over a century, providing students with a comprehensive and rigorous legal education. Accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), USD Law offers a JD (Juris Doctor) program that prepares students for the challenges of modern legal practice.

At the core of USD Law's success is its faculty—a diverse group of legal scholars, practitioners, and experts who are dedicated to shaping the next generation of lawyers. These professors bring a wealth of experience to the classroom, blending theory with real-world practice to provide students with a well-rounded education.

USD Law's curriculum is designed to be both challenging and flexible, allowing students to tailor their studies to their interests and career goals. From foundational courses in constitutional law and contracts to specialized electives in environmental law and intellectual property, students have the opportunity to explore a wide range of legal topics.

How to Find More Law Schools Near South Dakota

If you are looking for other law schools near South Dakota, you can use our free tool to filter out top law schools that fit your criteria.


Here are a few common questions on the best South Dakota law schools.

1. How Many Law Schools in South Dakota?

There is one law school in South Dakota, which is the University of South Dakota School of Law, located in Vermillion, South Dakota.

2. Which Law School Is Most Prestigious in South Dakota?

As the only law school in South Dakota, the University of South Dakota School of Law is the most prestigious institution in the state. 

3. Are There Any Part-Time or Evening Law School Programs in South Dakota?

The University of South Dakota School of Law primarily offers full-time programs. However, students may have the option to pursue flexible scheduling or online courses depending on the availability of such offerings at the university. 

Final Thoughts

The University of South Dakota School of Law stands as a shining example of legal education excellence within the state. With its distinguished faculty, comprehensive curriculum, ample experiential learning opportunities, and supportive community, USD Law provides students with the foundation they need to succeed in the legal profession. 

USD Law serves as a vital resource for the state's legal community. Whether students aspire to practice law locally or globally, USD Law equips them with the knowledge, skills, and connections necessary to make a lasting impact in the legal field.

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