Kelly Maxwell

Kelly Maxwell

Law Clerk, U.S. District Court for the District of S.D.
Sioux Falls, SD
Juris Doctor, 2018

"Take it in and enjoy your time at USD because it goes fast in Vermillion. Go to the athletic events, walk around campus, relax at Verm Beach, ride your bike around town, eat and be merry at all the local establishments. Soak it all up because before you know it, you’ll be graduating!"

Q&A with Kelly:

Describe your current educational or professional pursuits.

I recently graduated from USD School of Law. It was my lifelong dream to go to law school and become an attorney. My next step is studying for the upcoming Bar Exam at the end of July. After I take the Bar, I will be clerking for the United States District Judge, the Honorable Karen E. Schreier, in Sioux Falls, SD, for two years. Following my clerkship, I have accepted a position at Stinson Leonard Street in Minneapolis, MN, as a litigation associate.

How did your USD experience influence your career path?

Essentially, USD has created my career path. With the help of my professors and the law school’s career services, I have been able to go places and find jobs that I would have never imagined when I started law school. I had so much support and encouragement to look beyond my original expectations. Originally, I was hesitant to look outside my comfort zone of South Dakota, but I was encouraged to step out of my box and go for it. It was one of the best decisions of my life. I fell in love with the firm, the city, and the people. Additionally, USD provided me with the education, skills, and motivation to achieve my goal of clerking and moving to Minneapolis. I have met lifelong friends and colleagues that will be vital to my success, not only as a lawyer, but also as a human being.

Tell us about your proudest achievement.

My proudest achievement is receiving the Edward Hope Award. The Edward Hope Award is awarded to the student who has attained the highest academic standing in the graduating class at the law school. I am so honored to have received this. It felt amazing to be recognized for all my hard work and determination throughout my three years in law school.

What was your USD experience like? Were you involved in any campus organizations or activities?

As an SDSU graduate, I was originally anxious about what my experience at USD would be like. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I started enjoying my time at USD and in Vermillion. I was very involved in the law school. During my three years in law school, I was a member of the Moot Court Board, the president of Trial Team, a Legal Writing graduate assistant, a Law School ambassador, the vice president of Black Law Student Association, an officer for the Law Fraternity, and a member of various student organizations. Outside of the law school, I really enjoyed my experiences at USD athletic events. There is nothing more fun than tailgating with my classmates and friends, cheering on the Yotes, and hoping for a win in the DakotaDome.

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