Saturday, October 4, 2014

Third Tier Dung Pit: University of South Dakota School of Law

Tuition: South Dakota residents in their first year of law school will be charged $13,904 in tuition and fees – for 2014-2015. Out-of-state, first year USD law students will be faced with an annual price tag of $29,518 – for the 2014-2015 academic year. Yes, what a great bargain, huh?!?! However, this commode does offer Minnesota reciprocity for those who are not smart enough to gain admission to the University of Minnesota. This rate – for first year students – is listed as $20,785.

Total Cost of Attendance: According to this document, this public trash pit asserts that room, board, books, travel and personal expenses will add another $14,364 to the tab – for single students living off-campus. This brings the total estimate to $43,882 for non-resident, full-time victims. In-state lemmings will “only” face an overall budget of $28,139.

Keep in mind that all ABA-accredited toilets base living costs on a calendar year. Actual students will incur expenses over the full 12 months. As such, we will prorate the following items: room, board, travel and miscellaneous costs. Doing so, we reach a more accurate, total COA of $31,189 for in-state USD law students – and $46,803 for out of state JD students. Do you still feel that this school is affordable?

Ranking: Based on the scheme from US “News” & World Report, the UniversiTTTy of SouTTTh Dakota Sewer of Law is rated as the 145th greatest, most sensational and magnificent law school in the country. Yes, it barely avoided the fourth tier. At least, it is the highest-ranked law school in the entire state! Plus, it doesn’t share the overall ranking with other commodes.

Published Employment Placement Statistics: Let’s take a look at the dung heap’s Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates. There were 71 members of this cohort. Of this total, 62 found work within nine months of graduation. Two stooges decided to pursue another advanced degree, and 7 others were unemployed and seeking. This translates to a “placement” rate of 87.3 percent, i.e. 62/71.

By the way, three JDs from this class were put in university or law school funded positions. Of course, the pigs would never do this in order to artificially inflate their placement rate, right?!?! Under the Employment Type section, you will note that only 26 members of this cohort landed law firm posts. One desperate soul opened a solo practice, while 21 found jobs in offices of 2-10 attorneys. Only one damn person was hired by a firm of 251-500 lawyers. Do you still like your odds, genius?!?!

Pathetic-Ass Numbers for the Class of 2012:

Number of graduates: 76 
Salaries reported: 29 (38% of the graduates) 
Private Practice salaries reported: 3 
Government salaries reported: 9
Judicial Clerkship salaries reported: 14 
Business salaries reported: 0 
Public Interest Salaries reported: 3" [Emphasis mine]

Could you imagine if less than 2/5 of an approved medical school’s recent grads reported their salaries to their institution?! Seeing that this is the case with the USD Sewer of Law, the income numbers listed for this cohort should be given no credence.

Average Law Student Indebtedness: USN&WR lists the average law student indebtedness - for those members of the UniversiTTTy of SouTTTh Dakota Law Class of 2013 who incurred debt for law school - as $54,352. Then again, 95% of this garbage heap’s 2013 cohort took on such toxic debt. Remember that this figure does not include undergraduate debt – and also does not take accrued interest into account, while the student is enrolled. This is the second-lowest, published figure among all toilets listed. However, this is still a significant sum – especially considering student debt from undergrad and the lack of decent-paying jobs available.

The Commode’s Pathetic Profile:

Completed applications: 273 
Standard admission: 216 
Admitted through Law Screening or PLSI: 4 
Total Admitted: 220 
 Full-time matriculants: 66 
Flex-time matriculants: 3 

Percentiles for the 212 FT standard admits – LSAT and UGPA 

75th 153; 3.56 
Median 150; 3.24 
25th 146; 2.97” [Emphasis mine]

This pile of excrement accepted 80.1 percent of its applicants! Check out the “quality” of its prospective students. That is embarrassing! Skid row prostitutes have a higher decline rate. Apparently, the swine don’t mind feeding off dolts who scored 146 on the LSAT and obtained a garbage, undergraduate GPA. 

Conclusion: Avoid this pile of waste. The only possible exceptions are the following: (1) you live in the state and you do not mind working as a small town lawyer or in the DA’s office; (2) your family is paying for your TTT “legal education”; or (c) you are connected, and you plan to do run for office someday. Otherwise, do not even consider this filthy stench pit.  After all, YOU will not be served well, by taking on an additional $60K-$100K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt.


  1. Not too many applications to the nation's 145th ranked law school.

  2. I'm not defending this law school but the in-state tuition of almost $14k a year should be what all law schools charge for in-state and out-of-state and not this $40-50k a year. Although it will be tough to pay off the student loans at $14k a year plus interest, at least it will be possible. When tuition is triple that or more it becomes a runaway train that even underemployment makes it decades-long debt.

  3. God bless you for this, Nando. Do not trust any of the information or statistics USD Law publishes.

    They have an indentured servitude program in South Dakota where if you agree to work in a rural county, the state will pay you a ridiculously small sum of money. Two problems with this program (among many):

    1. These counties are sparsely populated.
    2. The few people that live there have no money.

    Three of the four poorest counties in America are in South Dakota. Undoubtedly, very low-income people need legal services, but if you are carrying debt, there is no way you will be able to help them; you will struggle to provide for yourself. This program doesn't help the underserved in South Dakota OR recent law school grads. The whole things is a sick joke.

    1. The whole thing is a sick joke. (typo)

    2. Yes it is. IIRC the amount is like 16k per year. Im sure that will be enough for an indebted law school grad to live and run a practice in rural SD. Would be interesting to know if they have had any takers.

  4. "Winning!"

    Actually, it would've been more winning if this post was "first!" but that's okay.

    Here's the *main* problem, aside from (lol!) a ranking of 145th: The average debt of 50-something-k *looks* manageable - and there's the trap.

    A few brief years of unemployment coupled with ongoing underemployment. You never touch the principal, etc. And, before you know it, that debt has ballooned to past mid-six figures.

    It appears at first glance to be on the more affordable side of law schools, but it is not. It's simply a slower, longer burn to the inevitable: Debt Serfdom.

    How much debt is too much?

    Let me put it like this: How many people can pay off $10 grand in one year without a problem?

    There's your answer.

  5. This toilet certainly does not escape the fourth tier. That tier starts around position 20 or 25 and continues all the way down.

    Old Guy

  6. This school doesn't like a huuuuge scam like most of the other ABA shitholes. But taking on $60k in more debt is a big deal any way you slice it.

  7. This is a more survivable scam compared to other law schools; kind of like a roofing and driveway huckster screwing you over vs. investing all your money with Bernie Madoff.

  8. Wait until the ABA approves another law school in SD.

  9. On the positive side, there were only 71 grads from that one class.



    According to South Dakota's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 60.6% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation. South Dakota's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 15.5%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.


    The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at South Dakota for the 2013-2014 academic year is $28,139 for residents and $42,665 for nonresidents. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $108,600 for residents or $172,544 for nonresidents." [Internal citations removed]

    Yes, those are extremely impressive employment placement numbers, correct?!?! It speaks volumes that in a graduating class of only 71 member, only "60.6% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation."

    "South Dakota Law School Admissions

    South Dakota Law School is considered a Somewhat Competitive law school, which accepts only 67% of its applicants. Comparatively, South [Dakota] is Significantly Lower than the average cost for law school."

    Could you imagine ONE damn accredited U.S. medical, dental or veterinary school admitting 2/3 of its applicants – and being described as “somewhat competitive”?!?! Hell, street-corner hookers with club feet and bad acne have a higher decline rate than this festering commode.

    Look at the numbers for the USD Sewer of Law Class of 2018 – from this site:

    “Applications: 326
    Offers: 216 (66.26%)
    Matriculated: 62 (19%)

    25th percentile GPA: 3.01
    Median GPA: 3.28
    75th percentile GPA: 3.68

    25th percentile LSAT: 146
    Median LSAT: 149
    75th percentile GPA: 153”

    Keep in mind that many of these undergrad GPAs are gained from majoring in soft areas, such as Political “Science,” History, Philosophy, etc. That is not really a great achievement. Frankly, winning a grade school chess tournament, when you were a kid, is a bigger feat. The published figures for LSAT results is pathetic. The pigs are admitting people who scored a 146 on their exams!

    1. It is harder to get a job at Walmart than to get into USD Law. (I speak from personal experience; I've done both.)

      A law degree from USD is only marketable in South Dakota (and maybe parts of Iowa and Nebraska). Think you want to practice law in South Dakota? The state bar there is very small and tight-knit. If you think there is justice in the state of South Dakota, research the plight of the Native Americans that live there. That'll change your mind.

      Oh yeah, USD School of Law does some stuff to help Native Americans, when they're not too busy having fashion shows, watching John Grisham movies, and throwing parties at RED Steakhouse. They truly care.

  11. Maybe you can go to USD law and represent the offended Indian tribes in their suit against the Washington Redskins.

    1. It is a racial slur.

      Native Americans make up a large percentage of the population in South Dakota.

    2. Fuck these fucking crybaby Native Americans.

      Daniel Snyder (owner of the Redskins) just needs to shell out a couple million bucks to the various tribes to make this suit go away. The fuckers just want the money to open up more casinos and tax free smoke shops. You can be sure those Indian casinos take bets on Redskins games. Like the law schools (and most aspects of this country), it's all about the fucking money.

    3. A more appropriate name would be the Washington Treaty-Breakers.

  12. There is extreme poverty in the state of South Dakota. A list of the counties with the lowest per capita income in the U.S. can be found at:

    If law schools cared about justice, surely the only law school in the state of South Dakota would want to help fix this, right?

    Law schools do not care about social justice. Law schools do not care about any type of justice. Law schools care about making money, and if that means they must impoverish their own students in order to achieve that goal, so be it. Don't go to USD or any other law school.

  13. The most famous lawyers in South Dakota are:

  14. Across the spectrum of the law school scam, this school isn't near the worst; the problem is that there are zero biglaw jobs in SD and probably only a handful of midlaw firms, so the earnings ceiling is very low. If a student or his family could afford to pay a substantial chunk of the in-state tuition out of pocket, it wouldn't be a bad deal if you want to work as a solo or at a small firm.

    And Nando, you suggested a DA office job - remember there are no biglaw and very few mid-law jobs in the state. State government jobs are likely very high up on the list of desirable lawyer jobs, and there are probably what, maybe 50-100 ADAs in the entire state? New grads aren't getting those jobs.Maybe the brightest one or two kids in each graduating class at best.


    Back on March 25, 2013, Elie Mystal wrote an entry entitled “State Comes Up With Quasi-Indentured Servant Plan For 16 Law Students.” Take a look at the following segment, from that piece:

    “South Dakota has an innovative plan that I’m pretty sure is basically legal. From TaxProf Blog:

    On Thursday, South Dakota enacted HB 1069, which provides funding to repay law school tuition to 16 attorneys who agree to work for five years in rural counties in the state. Qualifying attorneys will receive annual payments over the five years of 90% of the resident tuition and fees at the University of South Dakota School of Law on July 1, 2013.

    See, it’s not indentured servitude. South Dakota is offering to repay student loans so long as the attorneys work in rural South Dakota. That’s totally different than loaning the students the money and then forcing them to work in backwoods South Dakota in order to repay the debt. Phew!

    Now that we’ve gotten around that little technicality, would you be excited or bummed to be a functionally indentured servant to your law school debts?

    I’d argue that a ton of lawyers are already working as de facto indentured servants under working conditions far worse than a rural county in South Dakota. What, you think all of these people want to work 100 hours a week in midtown or lower Manhattan grinding through boxes of documents, checklists, and doing other menial tasks?”

    Who the hell wouldn’t want to partake in this program, right?!?! Plus, if funds run short, you can be certain that this will not last long. Can anyone here imagine lazy-ass pig "law professors" engaging in such "work" - for this price?!?!

  16. They're only taking advantage of in state rubes. I don't see many idiots from outside of South Dakota going here. Does anyone else?

  17. Hello again! I'm the West Virginia University College of Law grad and successful bar exam taker in two states (and current full-time taxi driver), who just got my very first issue of "WVULaw" Magazine.

    Before tearing the magazine apart and using its pages as liner for the cage my wife and I use to put our dog in while we are away, I decided to skim over its contents. One thing that stuck out in my mind was how the West Virginia College of Law tries to polish a real big turd re: employment statistics. It reads:

    2014 WVU Law ABA Employment Statistics


    National Average
    57% - Bar Passage Required Jobs
    10.1% - J.D. Advantage Jobs

    WVU Law
    57.7% - Bar Passage Required Jobs
    19.2% - J.D. Advantage Jobs

    Who in their right mind (other than those who may have a direct financial intere$t) would brag that a little more than half of a law school's grads found employment as an attorney (pro bono, minimum wage, .....)? Hell, maybe the reading skills I utilized to fill out my taxi driver license application and exam sheet may constitute as a J.D. Advantage Job (or maybe not).

    I know that I had to know how to read and write as well, when I applied to go onto the court appointed counsel list (and got one call for a misdemeanor case in six months).

    I'll certainly share my thoughts when I compose another e-mail to (while I'm waiting on my next fare to the hospital or airport).


    Take a look at this foolish descripTTTion of the USD McCusick Law Library:

    "Start Your Search

    •Legal Links
    •Research Databases
    •Research Guides and LibGuides

    Leading Legal Research Facility

    •Students, Faculty, Practicing Bars, Four-State Area, and You
    •More than 200,000 Volumes
    •Three floors on the east end of the Law School Building
    •Collections of:
    ◦Bound Volumes
    ◦Loose-leaf Services
    ◦Audio and Visual

    Contact the Law Library

    •Circulation Desk (605) 677-3930
    •Summer 2014 hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday. Continued access for students is available on a 24/7 basis.

    • Responses to inquiries submitted to this mailbox will be made within 24 to 48 hours.

    No one gives a damn if your toilet's library has 200,000 volumes of useless trash. Hell, you can pack those leather-bound books up your ass. Plus, we live in the digital age now. What's the point of wasting so much space for treatises that no one even bothers to read or persuse?!?! I suppose the school should rename this facility as the Ronald McDonald Law Library, seeing that many of its grads are much more likely to end up flipping burgers than working in large firms.

  19. Yes, USD Law is not a shining beacon of the law. It is located in a state that is defined by its poverty, anti-usury laws, Indian discrimination, and terrible public services. That can't be argued. I attended this law school from 2005 to 2008 and now work in St. Paul, MN. I earn a good salary and think fondly of my professors and my education. Frank Pommersheim, for one, is a fantastic, renowned scholar in Indian Law, who also sits on the Rosebud Court of Appeals. The senior faculty at this school make less than $140k a year! The small faculty gives a shit about the students. Almost no one who graduates from USD expects to earn more than $150k at the peak of their careers. But then again, 80% of law school grads stay in SD, which has one of the lowest median wages in the country. It's a great place to practice law (if you don't plan on making $70k your first year). I graduated with $60k in law school debt, which strikes me as a goddamn bargain compared to the godawful tuition other schools are charging. I don't regret attended this shitty school.

    1. I agree. I value my education at USD and the professors, for the most part, do care and take pride in the legal education that the students receive.

      As I read the purpose of the blog, it advises you should not go unless you get into a top 8 law school on scholarship or you get a full scholarship to attend.

      These first two pretty much endorse the belief that only the precious few elite (and entitled) should attend law school.

      It's not Harvard or Yale, but it is more than sufficient. I make a decent living and have certainly fared better than friends who went to Creighton, Nebraska, or Iowa. This blog seems like it's written by someone who couldn't get into the shitty law school.

    2. I like USD. I don't expect to make a ton of money and just hope to practice law in South Dakota or otherwise with a manageable debt. Sounds fine to me when I read endless accounts of top 50 students not findiing employment and freaking out. At least my debt won't be completely off the charts.


    Average Law Student Indebtedness: USN&WR lists the average law student indebtedness - for those members of the Elon Univer$iTTTTy JD Class of 2013 who incurred debt for law school - as $108,290. Hell, 89% of this garbage heap’s 2013 cohort took on such toxic debt. Remember that this figure does not include undergraduate debt – and also does not take accrued interest into account, while the student is enrolled.


    Elon Law School is considered a Somewhat Competitive law school, which accepts only 56% of its applicants. Comparatively, Elon is Higher than the average cost for law school.”

    As you can see, the pile of waste admitted more than half of its applicants for this cohort. Now, look at the numbers below:

    “Class of 2018

    Applications: 888
    Offers: 495 (55.74%)
    Matriculated: 99 (11.1%)

    25% GPA: 280
    Median GPA: 3.16
    75% GPA: 348

    25% LSAT: 150
    Median LSAT: 155
    75% LSAT: 158”

    Yes, these are truly impressive figures, right?!?! Again, does anyone see Biglaw firms showing up to this toilet’s OCI events? I’m pretty damn sure that these law offices are not going to alter their hiring schedule, to match the expedited JD program at a TTTT. After all, these students did not secure summer clerk positions with these firms, after their first year of law school.


    Deciding to attend law school requires a large financial investment with the goal of securing employment upon graduation. The Elon Law School class of 2013 had an employment rate of 76% with 1% pursuing an additional degree.”

    Who the hell wants to incur such heavy amounts of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt for such weak-ass outcomes?!?! If you are still considering law school – including this foul-smelling commode – then you don’t follow the evidence. Yet, you want to be a lawyer. For instance, the following are irrefutable facts: (a) the U.S. legal job market is GLUTTED and shrinking; (b) tuition is too damn high; and (c) automation, LPOs, LegalZoom, and outsourcing will take a further toll on this “profession.”


Web Analytics