USD Won’t Move Law School to Sioux Falls, But Looking at “Hybrid”

South Dakota’s law school will be staying in Vermillion… sort of. At its final meeting today, USD’s Law School Task Force rejected the idea of moving the law school to Sioux Falls and instead approved a hybrid plan to develop some programs to offer in the big city to provide students with more opportunities to combine their studies with work opportunities with the Queen City’s big lawyer population.

USD should be careful about making too much of that hybrid. According to Megan Raposa, a lot of students think any requirement to do part of their three-year law program in Vermillion and another part in Sioux Falls would be chaos:

“I think that’s a terrible idea,” said Sara Little, third-year law student at USD.

Little, and most law students interviewed this week at the school agreed that wherever the school is, it should be fully in one location.

…”It would just be chaotic,” said third-year law student Kaleb Paulsen.

Morgan Nelson, a third-year law student and member of the task force, said students “resoundingly” oppose splitting the third year of the school between two towns.

“It would be detrimental to the community,” Nelson said.

Student Rachelle Norberg worries what dividing the third year would mean for class schedules. Norberg says many upper-level classes have a mix of second- and third-year students, and the logistics get complicated for professors and students alike if those classes are split 50 miles apart [Megan Raposa, “USD Law School: Students Oppose Idea of Partial Move to Sioux Falls,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2017.10.05].

I’m with the students there. Keep it simple: one law school, one campus. Learn a lesson from the failing University Centers and, instead of making a big fuss for aspiring legal eagles who aren’t willing to move more than ten minutes from Sanaa’s Restaurant, offer some online classes.


2 Responses to USD Won’t Move Law School to Sioux Falls, But Looking at “Hybrid”

  1. Roger Elgersma

    One campus is far more efficient. No good conservative South Dakotan should want anything inefficient. I thought they wanted more lawyers in rural areas. This plan is to temp the young lawyers to all go to the big city. If the law school wants young lawyers to get a little experience, they should have internships all over the state. This smells way to much like the big city trying to be to important. The young lawyers would have a far more broader education if they spent a little time in various parts of the state. The state supreme court goes to various areas to do a couple days of hearings so many people get a good chance to see them in action. I have seen them a couple of times at USF and found it educational. Keeping a graduate school, which is what a Law School is, at the University keeps higher education with higher education. The culture and atmosphere of the school is best that way.

  2. John fitzgerald

    The issue is not location it’s the failed bar exam experiment. In 2015 the bar exam cut score was raised 5 points and we disallowed the averaging of the essay and multiple choice portions of the bar exam.Only South Dakota and Kentucky don’t allow averaging. The results South Dakota bar passage rate in 2011 was 94 percent dropped to 50 percent in 2016. Only state with worse passage rate is California. It’s not a student, university, or geographic location problem it’s a failed bar exam experiment problem . There was no reason to change the bar exam.The result is a self inflicted wound.48 states allow the averaging of the bar exam test component scores for a reason.