Discussions Over Moving USD’s Law School to Sioux Falls Begin
VERMILLION, S.D.- 59 students started law school today at the University of South Dakota. However, the future of where their law school will be is up in the air. Earlier today, a task force held its first meeting discussing the possibility of the state’s only law school moving to Sioux Falls.
It was a morning and afternoon filled with writing and listening from members of the University of South Dakota’s Law School and members of the community. The topic of discussion was the future of where the state’s only law school would be located. The university announced the formation of the task force back in May after seeing fewer students passing the bar exam and also being one of many law universities facing enrollment drops. Right now, the task force has one goal.
“So we are going to have to spend a fair amount of time getting information, so we can feel comfortable that whatever our decision, we have a lot of conviction behind our recommendation,” says Law School Task Force Chair, Representative Mark Mickelson.
Chair of the Task Force, Representative Mark Mickelson, says they don’t know whether moving the law school would help with enrollment or bar passage rates, but he does know Sioux Falls would bring opportunities for law students.
“The reasons for considering this: we are long ways from saying what a recommendation should be, would be that there would be more opportunities for students to go part time. They could have a job and go to school,” says Representative Mickelson.
Morgan Nelson is the President of the Student Bar Association. She says students have mixed emotions on where the school should be, but in the end, it comes down to what’s best for the university.
“As any student, I would like to see the school remain sustainable and continue to produce quality attorneys for our market in South Dakota,” says President of the Student Bar Association Morgan Nelson.
However, not everyone is on board with the school moving. Representative Nancy Rasmussen represents Clay and Turner counties. She says the move would take away the number of the people coming into Vermillion and hopes the task force considers the effect.
“I am for the law school staying here in Vermillion, I think it would be a big loss for the community, as well as all of South Dakota,” says Representative Nancy Rasmussen.
As for now, the task force says the meetings must go on.
“It’s an uncomfortable topic for a lot of people, but listen, difficult decisions doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider them,” says Representative Mickelson.
The task force plans to have another meeting on September 6th in Sioux Falls.