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.