Kara Sinar headshot

ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University student Kara Sinar has been accepted to law school through the Honors Law Opportunity Program (HLOP). Sinar will graduate in May 2024 with a major in English and a double minor in theatre and philosophy. Originally from Casper, Wyoming, Sinar has been an Aberdeen resident for over a decade.

The program is a collaboration between Northern and the University of South Dakota, with the intent to help grow the number of committed, talented lawyers in northeast South Dakota. 
HLOP guarantees admission for up to five Northern Honors Program students into the USD Knudson School of Law.

Sinar did not originally plan to have a career as a lawyer.

“I originally planned to edit professionally, and I found that contract law gave me a narrower focus to do a similar thing. Choosing the right words–expressing oneself clearly and effectively–is incredibly important for legal writings and communications, and I believe that I will be well equipped to help people and businesses navigate the realm of contracts when I become a practicing attorney,” Sinar said.

Sinar became interested in law after a semester studying abroad.

“When an English language class I had originally intended to take was cancelled, I ended up taking a class in international law at Dankook University in Yongin, South Korea. The professor was amazing; I found that I really enjoyed the material and that I had a knack for it,” Sinar said.

The partnership with USD is in its third year and seven students have been accepted in the program.

“HLOP is a great opportunity for our students who are interested in law school. Through this program, Northern Honors alumni are creating a nice cohort at the USD Knudson School of Law, and we look forward to seeing more Northern students utilize this program,” said Kristi Bockorny, director of the Honors program and associate professor of management.

To qualify for HLOP, Northern students must: 

  • Be admitted into the Honors Program. 
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 and ACT score in the 80th percentile (26 or above on the ACT or SAT equivalent). 
  • Demonstrate strong academic achievement and a personal commitment to building South Dakota communities.

HLOP and Honors are just a couple of the opportunities Northern provides students.

“My time at Northern and with the Honors Program has given me opportunities beyond Northern itself,” Sinar said. “I am incredibly grateful for the time I have spent here and for the unique ways in which it has prepared me to further my education and to pursue a career in law.”

Honors Program

The Northern Honors Program began in 1983 and has risen to national recognition. To graduate In Honoribus, students are required to complete an original Honors thesis and pass an oral defense in front of faculty. Northern Honors students have had success presenting their thesis research nationally, with students placing highly at the National Collegiate Honors Conference three years in a row.

For more information about the HLOP and Honors Program, contact Bockorny at Kristi.Bockorny@northern.edu.