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SD Supreme Court Gives More Than Opinions

March 19, 2013, 6:48 AM by Austin Hoffman

SD Supreme Court Gives More Than Opinions

Another round of South Dakota Supreme Court arguments are underway at the University of South Dakota's School of Law. While the justices will hear some of the state biggest cases, it's a great opportunity for students.

Every March the Supreme Court heads to the USD campus. And while the public sees what goes on the courtroom, the justices also take a hands-on approach in the classroom.

"It's just an honor here to have them here and have them interact with the students," Associate Dean of the Law School Thomas Sorensen, said.

The five justices formulate opinions on some of the state biggest cases and as they do so they're also helping shape South Dakota's future lawyers.

“The chief justice is going to speak to my legal profession class on Thursday. Just to see them in action, it gives real good insight into what's its going to be like in the real world when we graduate from USD Law," Second year law student Teree Nesvold said.

Nesvold says the justices not only take on a role in the classroom, they also decide the fate of an on campus tradition.

“The judiciary makes itself so accessible to the students not only with the classroom but they also judge the moot court tournament,” Nesvold said.
"That is extremely special and unique and I believe we may be the only law school in the country where that happens every year," Sorensen said.

Sorensen says having the court at USD also gives students a glimpse into what their career after college could look like.

“It’s a big deal because it’s real. These are real cases and they involve real attorneys and real justices and real courtroom decor and protocol,” Sorensen said.

"The professors are very interactive. They give us credit for going to the arguments and it just makes it wholly inclusive of our education to see this and just kind of sums up a lot of what we learn in the classroom," Nesvold said.

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