Northern State launching honors law program in collaboration with USD Knudson School of Law

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:01 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A new opportunity for Northern State honors students could open a door for a potential career in law. And that in return could help place those students back into jobs in South Dakota.

In collaboration with the University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law, Northern State is launching it’s Honors Law Opportunity Program, which started this spring semester. It guarantees five spots of admission to the USD School of Law for NSU honors students looking into law school.

To qualify for the position, a student must be admitted into the NSU Honors Program, and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 and an ACT score of 26 or above. A scholarship of $2,500 to the USD School of Law is also available for candidates that score a 150 or higher on the LSAT.

Northern State University Director of Graduate Studies Dr. Erin Fouberg said the collaboration between the two institutions comes out of a recognized need not only for more opportunities for students looking into law as a career, but with a hope that those students will return to northeastern South Dakota following completion of a law degree.

“It’s going to be easier for the firms around here, and the attorneys around here to hire someone who went to Northern and then went to USD law because they’re already attached to Aberdeen. So they’ll want to come back to Aberdeen and practice law here.” Fouberg said.

And it will help expand the pool of students that School of Law Dean Neil Fulton said is based off of local students across the region.

“From the law school’s perspective, really a need to find more students kind of up in that northeast part of the state, who were interested in going back home to practice law.” Fulton said.

Fouberg said it also presents a more streamlined, and simpler process of those looking into law as a career. And can help answer a lot of questions prospective students may have.

“The thought of ‘How do I graduate from college?’, is one thing. The thought of, ‘Can I go to law school? Can I afford law school? How do I do law school?’ All of those things are barriers to the student actually going to law school.” Fouberg said.

“For some students who are maybe on the fence about law school. Knowing they have guaranteed admission will make a few more think about going to law school. And so kind of boost that pool that they’re coming down from.” Fulton said.

The deadline for applications to the Honors Law Opportunity Program is March 15th.

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