By JournalTrib.com Staff | on October 26, 2021
By Brad Nygaard
It’s an honor, it’s also a lot of work, and for three Divide County graduates, something they all have in common, despite graduating in different years.
Being named editor in chief of the Law Review at the University of North Dakota (UND).
That distinction goes to Levi Andrist (DC class of 2003), Santana Royer (DC class of 2009), and most recently, Bennett Lystad (DC class of 2013). That’s three Divide County alumni since 2010, when Andrist held the position. Royer served as editor in 2018, and Lystad serves presently.
“I was aware of that, I learned it doing research,” Lystad said of the coincidence. “I certainly was surprised. That’s very cool.”
“Cool” has nothing to do with being named editor in chief. Being named to the top spot isn’t a popularity contest, Lystad said. Candidates must be third-year students, and undergo a rigorous application process, where they’re judged not only on their written applications, but also on in-person interview, their grades, and whether or not they’ve had any articles published in previous issues.
Lystad’s most recent writing, “Renaissance Zones in North Dakota: An Investment in Cities Creating High-Rising Benefits for Taxpayers,” was published in the June 2021 issue.
“It’s been a great experience, I wouldn’t change a thing,” Lystad said.
That’s quite a statement.
Originally from rural Ambrose, Lystad, the son of Gene and Catherine Lystad, did his undergraduate studies at NDSU, where he graduated in 2017, with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance. Following graduation, he worked for Bell Bank in Fargo, where he still lives with his wife and two preschool age sons.
Thankfully, he’s not required to be in classes at UND in Grand Forks all day, every day. Lystad said he spends about 10 hours a week commuting up and down I-29.
“My wife works at NDSU, and we decided this arrangement would be best for our family,” said Lystad.
It’s also where he hopes to continue his career.
Following graduation is May, Lystad said he’ll sit for the bar exam, and hopes to land a position at a Fargo-based firm.
Until then, Lystad’s busy — with school, being a husband and father, and working on the next edition of the Law Review.
“It will cover a wide variety of topics,” said Lystad. “There will be an article written by one of our professors, kind of a tribute to (former U.S. Supreme Court Justice) Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a look at special assessments as taxation, and a piece that combines philosophy with the rules of professional conduct.”
Law Review articles traditionally are written emphasizing North Dakota issues and law, said Lystad. Sometimes those issues, especially pertaining to issues like oil and gas, draw from other states having more established case law on the matter.
In addition to legal analysis, the Law review also serves as the journal of the State Bar Association.