After a year-long search, the new USD Law School Dean was named at noon on Wednesday.
Neil Fulton is set to take over as Dean on June 3, 2019. Fulton was welcomed to the formal announcement ceremony by a crowd made up of law school students and faculty.
He opened his speech by thanking the crowd for attending despite the rain and blizzard outside.
“It is an exciting and humbling day for me. Today isn’t about me, it’s about USD Law School, its tradition, it’s future, and our shared opportunity to continue it as a powerful force of justice for South Dakota and beyond,” Fulton said. “With that opportunity in mind, let me start out by saying, it is a great day to be a South Dakota lawyer.”
Fulton received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and then went on to study law at Minnesota School of Law where he graduated first in his class.
Since law school, he has held many positions related to the law including Law Clerk of the United States Court of Appeals, Chief of Staff under former South Dakota Governor Michael Rounds and currently Federal Public Defender for the Districts of North and South Dakota.
Fulton, a Miller, S.D. native, said he is excited to be back in his home state.
“Two of my greatest passions in my adult life are South Dakota and the law,” Fulton said. “The history of South Dakota does not exist as we know it without USD law.”
USD President Sheila Gestring said with Fulton’s experience he offers a wide set of skills which benefit USD law students.
“Since the moment he stepped on campus for his interview, there has been tremendous energy throughout the law school,” she said. The passion from our students has been outstanding and is an excellent indicator of how promising our future looks for the USD School of Law.”