VERMILLION — The University of South Dakota School of Law welcomed 73 first-year students for their first week of orientation classes Aug. 6.

"We are tremendously excited to welcome this class to the practice of law," said Tom Geu, dean of the law school. "These individuals will contribute to our state on so many levels as our future attorneys, judges and entrepreneurs."

The class size increased by 22 percent from the previous year. The median LSAT score of students also rose 3 points, which is the highest median LSAT since 2010. The diversity of the entering class is up from 3 percent to 14 percent.

"The USD School of Law is an attractive option. It is affordable, ranks highly in placing graduates in prestigious clerkships and has a talented and diverse group of faculty," said Liz Taggart, director of admission at the law school. "The law school also enjoys a close relationship with the state’s bar membership, providing our students with scholarships and many learning and networking opportunities."

Through generous contributions from its alumni, the law school offered 11 full-tuition scholarships this year. It also routinely ranks as one of the nation’s most affordable law schools.

The law students start their first day of official classes Aug. 10 after attending an orientation week that included lectures from faculty, a swearing-in ceremony presided by South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson, a visit from Reed Rasmussen, president of the South Dakota State Bar Association, and a variety of presentations from alumni and practicing attorneys from various parts of South Dakota on how to be successful as an attorney.

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