USC Gould School of Law

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University of Southern California Gould School of Law
USC Gould logo.png
MottoPalmam qui meruit ferat (Latin)
Parent schoolUniversity of Southern California
School typePrivate
DeanAndrew T. Guzman
LocationLos Angeles, California, U.S.
USNWR ranking17th[1]
Bar pass rate87% (ABA profile)

The University of Southern California Gould School of Law (USC Gould), located in Los Angeles, California, is a law school within the University of Southern California. The oldest law school in the Southwestern United States, USC Law had its beginnings in 1896, and was officially established as a school of the university in 1900.[2]


USC Law School had its beginnings in 1896 when Judge David C. Morrison opened his courtroom for 36 law apprentices, among whom were future California Supreme Court Justice Frederick W. Houser and his wife, Sara Isabella Wilde; the couple would soon form the Los Angeles Law Students Association to discuss the concept of a formal law school.[3]

Their efforts resulted in the incorporation of the Los Angeles Law School in 1898;[4] the first law degree was awarded in 1901 to Gavin W. Craig.[3] 2002 saw the beginning of the USC Law Graduate and International Programs. It is an American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school since 1924,[5] it joined the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in 1907.[6]

Notable alumni[edit]


USC Gould awards the J.D., LL.M., and M.C.L. law degrees. It currently has about 600 J.D. students (200 per year) and a graduate program of about 200 LL.M. and M.C.L. students. It offers three certificate programs: business law, entertainment law and alternative dispute resolution.[7]


USC Gould has consistently been ranked between 17th and 20th by the U.S. News & World Report list of "America's Best Graduate Schools" since the magazine has published an annual version of its rankings,[8][9] ranking 18th in 2011.[1] "The Law School 100", a ranking scheme that uses qualitative criteria instead of quantitative, ranks the law school 14th overall.[10] It was listed with an "A-" in the March 2011 "Diversity Honor Roll" by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students.[11]

USC Gould ranked 12th in the 2011 National Law Journal job placement study, with over 32% of its graduating class hired by the (NLJ 250) largest law firms in the United States.[12]

Academic journals and honors programs[edit]

USC Gould hosts three academic journals and offers one additional honors program: Southern California Law Review, Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice (formerly the Review of Law and Women's Studies), Interdisciplinary Law Journal, and the Hale Moot Court Honors Program.[13] S .[14]

The school has a chapter of the Order of the Coif, a national law school honorary society.[15]

Clinical programs[edit]

USC Gould maintains six client clinics to provide students experience with lawyering skills.[16]

  • International Human Rights Clinic – research and drafting in cases trying perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and terrorism; representing survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence
  • Immigration Clinic – pro bono representation to clients in a variety of immigration cases from over 25 different countries
  • Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic – assisting artists, entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, and policymakers with intellectual property issues
  • Mediation Clinic – mediation for small claims and civil harassment cases for the Los Angeles County Superior Court
  • Post-Conviction Justice Project – representing clients on civil issues related to incarceration, parole hearings, and constitutional rights
  • Small Business Clinic – corporate legal assistance to entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, and small businesses

Study abroad program[edit]

USC Gould offers international study abroad programs, providing credit to J.D. students. Students may spend a semester abroad at the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, Bocconi University, Jean Moulin University Lyon 3, Bond University and Fundação Getúlio Vargas.[17] Previously, students could pursue a J.D./LL.M dual degree with the London School of Economics.[18]

Dual Degree programs[edit]

USC Gould maintains dual degree programs with the Marshall School of Business, the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Price School of Public Policy, the School of Social Work, the Davis School of Gerontology, and the Annenberg School of Communications. Dual degree programs are accelerated. If the non-law master's degree normally requires one year of study, a student in a dual degree program earns both degrees in only three years. If the master's degree normally requires two years, a total of four years is necessary.

USC Gould also maintains two other dual degree programs. A program with the California Institute of Technology enables a student to receive a J.D. from USC and a Ph.D. in social science from Caltech. A dual degree program with the USC School of Pharmacy enables a qualified student to earn a J.D. and a Pharm.D. degree. .[19]


According to the USC Gould School of Law's official 2014 ABA-required disclosures, 79.3% of the Class of 2014 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[20] USC Gould's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 8.8%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2014 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[21]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at USC Gould for the 2014-2015 academic year is $81,679.[22]


  1. 1896-1899, James Brown Scott
  2. 1904–1927, Frank M. Porter
  3. 1927–1930, Justin Miller
  4. 1930–1948, William G. Hale
  5. 1948–1952, Shelden Elliott
  6. 1952–1963, Robert Kingsley
  7. 1963–1968, Orrin B. Evans
  8. 1968–1980, Dorothy W. Nelson
  9. 1980–2000, Scott H. Bice
  10. 2000–2006, Matthew L. Spitzer
  11. 2006–2007, Edward J. McCaffery[23] (interim)
  12. 2007–2015, Robert K. Rasmussen
  13. 2015–present, Andrew T. Guzman


  • Jody Armour[24] – specializes in race issues; author of Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism
  • Susan Estrich[25] – Professor of Law and Political Science. A Fox News commentator, author of The Case for Hillary Clinton, 2005, and Soulless: The Right Wing Church of Hate, 2006. First woman Editor in Chief of the Harvard Law Review; youngest woman to receive tenure from Harvard Law School (before leaving to teach at USC)).
  • Orin Kerr[26] nationally recognized scholar of criminal procedure and computer crime law
  • Elyn Saks[27] founder and director of Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics; author of The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness

Former faculty[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "U.S. News & World Report, "Best Law Schools: University of Southern California (Gould)"". Retrieved 2016-01-08.
  2. ^ "History of USC Gould - USC Gould School of Law". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  3. ^ a b "Timeline - USC Gould School of Law". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  4. ^ "Timeline - USC Gould School of Law". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  5. ^ "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". ABA website. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  6. ^ "Member Schools - Association of American Law Schools | The Association of American Law Schools". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  7. ^ "Certificate Programs - USC Gould School of Law". Retrieved 2016-01-08.
  8. ^ "Where Are the US News Top 30 Law Schools of 1996 Now?nick". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  9. ^ [1] Archived June 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "LSAT Test Prep on Web and Mobile | LSATMax". 2015-10-13. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  11. ^ Larsen, Rebecca (March 2011), "Most Diverse Law Schools (Diversity Honor Roll)", The National Jurist, San Diego, California: Cypress Magazines, 20 (6): 30–37
  12. ^ "THE GO-TO LAW SCHOOLS | National Law Journal". 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  13. ^ "Student Journals - USC Gould School of Law". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  14. ^ "Student Journals - USC Gould School of Law". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  15. ^ Anesha Smith. "member chart". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  16. ^ "Curriculum - USC Gould School of Law". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  17. ^ "USC Gould School of Law J.D. Study Abroad - USC Gould School of Law". Retrieved 2016-01-08.
  18. ^ Archived from the original on October 1, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "Dual Degree Programs - USC Gould School of Law". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  20. ^ "Employment Statistics". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  21. ^ "University of Southern California Profile". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  22. ^ "Tuition and Expenses". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  23. ^ "Edward McCaffery - USC Gould School of Law". 2013-08-01. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  24. ^ "Jody David Armour - USC Gould School of Law". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  25. ^ "Susan Estrich - USC Gould School of Law". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  26. ^ "Orin Kerr - USC Gould School of Law". Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  27. ^ "Elyn Saks - USC Gould School of Law". 2014-12-23. Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  28. ^ "USC Gould School of Law". Retrieved 2015-10-26.

External links[edit]

34°01′05″N 118°17′01″W / 34.01806°N 118.28361°W / 34.01806; -118.28361Coordinates: 34°01′05″N 118°17′01″W / 34.01806°N 118.28361°W / 34.01806; -118.28361