University of South Dakota Law School reviews all factors relevant to an applicant's potential ability to meet the demanding academic
standards of the Juris Doctor program.
The traditional criteria, undergraduate academic performance and Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) scores, are
both employed in admission evaluations. However, there are no magic numbers. The Faculty Admissions Committee also
considers an applicant's resum, personal statement, and letters of recommendation.
Applicants should submit the following to the Office of Admissions:
completed and signed application forms
a $50 application fee
a personal statement
two (2) letters of recommendation
transcripts of all academic work (LSDAS subscription required)
We also accept applications that have been prepared using the Law School Admission Council's LSACD on the Web.
This product allows you to use your computer to efficiently fill out applications for all ABA-approved law schools.
You can print out your completed application and send it directly to University of South Dakota Law School at the address indicated, or
you can use the LSACD on the Web to electronically transmit your law school application to LSAC. LSAC will then send
both printed and electronic versions of your application to our office.
Applications submitted to LSAC for transmission to University of South Dakota Law School will be considered postmarked on the day they
are electronically submitted. Subscriptions to the LSACD on the Web are available at lsac.org.
University of South Dakota Law School requires the submission of two letters of recommendation. We prefer that these letters be from
college professors who can attest to your ability to enter a competitive professional program. If you have been out of
school for some time, letters from a work situation can be helpful. Although you are not restricted to two letters,
your file will be considered complete when two letters have been received.
Law School Tours
Tuition and Fees
Tuition Refund Policy
University of South Dakota Law School strongly recommends that your letters be submitted through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service
that serves all member schools. This service is included in your LSDAS subscription. Your letters will be copied and sent
to us along with your LSDAS Report, or as received with any update. To use this service, follow the directions for
submitting letters outlined in the 2005-2006 LSAT/LSDAS Registration and Information Book. Be sure to fill out and give
each reference a letter of recommendation form, found in the LSAT/LSDAS Registration and Information Book or on the LSAC
website at lsac.org.
Information and application forms for the LSAT and LSDAS subscription may be obtained by writing: Law School Admission
Council, P.O. Box 2000, Newtown, PA 18940, or by calling (215) 968-1001.
Applicants with a bachelor's degree from a foreign institution should register for the LSDAS subscription and submit all
official transcripts to LSAC.
Foreign educated applicants must also take the TOEFL and submit the scores to LSAC. Exceptions are allowed if the applicant
is a resident of an English speaking country or was educated at an institution where English is the primary language.
Applicants for admission must have earned (by the date of intended matriculation) a bachelor's degree or equivalent from
an accredited institution of higher learning. The Office of Admissions requires receipt of confirmation of the official
transcript confirming the bachelor's degree prior to registration.
Applicants interested in applying to the Center for Children's Rights, Center for Intellectual Property Law, and Center
for International and Comparative Law Fellowship and Legal Writing Section must complete the application process for
admission to the Juris Doctor Program and the separate application for the Centers. Only applicants who have completed
both applications will be considered for admission to the Centers.
The Admissions Committee evaluates applicants primarily on academic merit. The Committee considers a student's
year-to-year progress in college, completed courses, demonstrated ability within the major, amount of time spent in
college, and graduate work. Other factors impacting a student's study habits and time such as employment, student
organizations' memberships, etc. are taken into account.
The Committee also recognizes an applicant's maturity, capacity for self-discipline, work record, and other attributes
relevant in determining potential success in law school. For these reasons, applicants are encouraged to submit
information that would be helpful in considering their academic potential. Letters of recommendation, the personal
statement, and prior graduate school experience, if any, will be carefully considered.
The Law School is committed to providing a quality legal education to a diverse student body. Therefore, the Admissions
Committee also considers ethnicity and cultural background, age, and unusual personal circumstances.
The Admissions Committee begins the evaluation process in December for the fall semester and September for the spring
semester. The Law School does not adhere to a formal application deadline. However, priority in admission decisions will
be given to applicants who apply by March 15 for the fall semester and by October 1 for the spring semester. For those
applicants interested in receiving scholarship consideration, priority will be given to applications completed by Feb.
1 for the fall semester and by Sept. 15 for the spring semester.
Applicants seeking admission within two months of the scheduled registration date may find that the entering class is
enrolled to capacity. In this case, applicants will compete with others for the occasional vacancy created by the
withdrawal of an applicant previously admitted. Thus, it is not advisable for applicants to wait for LSAT results
before applying, as this will delay the admission decision.
Upon notice of acceptance, applicants are required to pay a $150 non-refundable commitment deposit to the Law School
irregardless of scholarship awards and/or grants. Applicants admitted prior to April 1 must deposit $150 by April 15,
and applicants admitted after April 1 must deposit $150 within three weeks of acceptance. Failure to submit the deposit
will result in cancellation of acceptance and forfeiture of the seat.
In addition, all accepted applicants are required to pay a second commitment deposit of $250 by July 1. Both deposits
are credited to the matriculating semester's tuition. All deposits are non-refundable.
Interviews are not part of the admission process. The Office of Admissions will counsel applicants for general
information only. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to include all supporting documentation with the application.
Law School Tours
Applicants are encouraged to tour the Law School during the regular academic year. The visit, coordinated by the
Office of Admissions, will include a brief introduction to the admission process by an admissions counselor, along
with a visit to a class. The tour can be scheduled by contacting the Office of Admissions, (800) 808-8188, ext 123,
or email info@law.University of South Dakota.edu.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition and fees must be paid in full at the beginning of each semester. Tuition is set annually by the University of South Dakota
College Board of Trustees.
The following tuition and fee payments apply to the 2006-07 academic year:
Day Division (annual) $30,750
Evening Division (annual) $20,500
Flexible Day Division (annual) $20,500
Application fee (non-refundable) $50
Student Bar Association fee (annual) $40
A student who has successfully completed one year of study may arrange through the Business Office to make tuition
payments in installments.
Tuition Refund Policy
Refunds are available only upon written notice of discontinuance. Application for a refund must be submitted to the
Assistant Dean of Student Advising. The amount of the refund is determined by the date of receipt of the written notice
and is not dependent upon the student's attendance in class.
No refunds will be made after the end of the fourth week of the fall or spring semesters. If a student withdraws during
the first two weeks of summer session, half of the tuition will be refunded.
University of South Dakota Law School does not grant deferrals. In exceptional circumstances such as military activation or life
threatening medical emergencies, the Law School may grant deferrals. Decisions are made on an individual basis at the
discretion of the Director of Admissions.
Each year the Admissions Committee considers applications for admission from individuals with atypical circumstances
and backgrounds. Special admission applies to the following:
Applicants Who Do Not Have A Bachelor's Degree
This category is reserved for exceptional cases. To qualify for this status, an applicant must be at least 35 years old,
demonstrate a promising ability to complete the Law School curriculum successfully, and meet all other qualifications for
admission. Applicants in this category, typically, have scored in the 70th percentile or higher on the LSAT. Admission
under this category is strictly limited to a few applicants each academic year.
Applicants who do not have the required college work (60 college units) may otherwise meet the pre-legal education
requirement by taking and passing such examinations as directed by the Committee of Bar Examiners.
Applicants are required to take and achieve minimum scores on examinations administered by the College Level Examination
Program (CLEP). A score of at least 50 for the English Composition or English Composition with Essay examination
administered by CLEP is required. In addition, applicants must have a score of at least 60 on each of two of the
following tests administered by CLEP: Humanities, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and History.
Applicants must register with CLEP to take the examinations with the request that the score reports be submitted to
University of South Dakota Law School and the Office of Admissions of The State Bar of California (Code Number 7165). Prospective students
must have taken and passed all required examinations before beginning their law study.
CLEP informational brochures and registration forms are available at local colleges and universities, or by contacting:
College Level Examination Program
Gateway Place, Suite 480
San Jose, CA 95110
Applicants Who Belong to an Ethnic or Cultural Minority, and Whose Life Circumstances Have Led to Diminished Opportunity.
Applicants in this category should indicate in their personal statement the circumstances that warrant admission.
Applicants Who Have Attended Another Law School
Applicants who have previously attended another law school are eligible for admission to University of South Dakota Law School. For
applicants who are in good academic standing, unconditionally eligible for readmission at their original school,
and the original school is an ABA accredited law school, applicants may apply as a transfer student. If the original
aw school is not an ABA accredited law school, applicants can apply as a first year law student.
For applicants who have been academically disqualified or dismissed from another law school, applicants cannot apply as
a first year law student until two years from the date of disqualification has passed.
Getting accepted to has never been easier.