University of Southern California, Gould School of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Introduction

The University of Southern California, Gould School of Law is a private, highly selective national law school with over a 115-year history and a reputation for academic excellence. The school delivers an interdisciplinary and interprofessional legal education guided by world-renowned professors and energized by high-caliber students. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1, students are guaranteed individual attention. USC is known for its diverse student body, its leadership in clinical education, and its tight-knit alumni network composed of national leaders in the legal profession, business, and the public sector. With 200 entering students in each class, the school is small, personal, and collegial.

USC Gould School of Law is located on the beautiful 226-acre main campus of the University of Southern California, just south of downtown Los Angeles and in the heart of the city’s exciting Arts and Entertainment Corridor. The campus offers a lush, parklike atmosphere within a bustling urban setting. A dynamic laboratory for legal training, Los Angeles, the second largest legal market in the United States, is a center of state, national, and international commerce and government. The law school is housed in a five-level facility that provides a superb setting for professional training and sophisticated legal research.

Curriculum

USC’s curriculum is comprehensive, uniquely interdisciplinary, and designed to challenge. Courses provide a solid foundation in all substantive areas of law, as well as extensive opportunities to explore specializations in traditional and emerging fields. Many faculty members have expertise in both law and other disciplines, such as economics, communication, public policy, medicine, history, psychology, and philosophy. The first-year curriculum consists of courses that examine the foundation of the legal system. The second and third years of study allow students to pursue individual interests in areas such as international law, intellectual property, entertainment law, corporations and business-government relationships, taxation, bioethics, and civil rights and liberties.

Special Programs

  • Dual Degrees: The law school offers 14 dual-degree programs in coordination with USC graduate and professional schools and the California Institute of Technology. These programs enable qualified students to earn a law degree and a master’s degree in the following fields: Economics, Business Administration, Business Taxation, International Relations, Communications Management, Political Science, Gerontology, Real Estate Development, Social Work, Public Administration, Public Policy, and Philosophy. At the JD/PhD level, a JD/PharmD program is offered with the USC School of Pharmacy, and a JD/PhD program in Social Science is offered with the California Institute of Technology.
  • Certificate Programs: The law school offers six certificate programs in Business Law, Media and Entertainment Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Technology and Entrepreneurship, Public Interest Law, and Transnational Law and Business.
  • Legal Clinics: USC has been a leader in clinical education for more than 85 years. Our six clinics include the Post-Conviction Justice Project, Small Business Clinic, Mediation Clinic, Intellectual Property and Technology Clinic, International Human Rights Clinic, and the Immigration Clinic. Students get hands-on experience by working on actual cases under the supervision of a clinical professor. They gain a wide range of skills, including interviewing, counseling, and advising clients; representing clients in court; conducting legal research and writing; and drafting briefs and contracts.
  • Public Service Programs: The Office of Public Service provides comprehensive opportunities and coordination for all external service learning and community service. These opportunities include more than 70 clinical field placements, allowing students to earn academic credit while engaging in service learning at government and public interest agencies, with federal and state judges, as well as with pro bono and community service in the surrounding Los Angeles neighborhoods. Additionally, we have just launched a Public Interest Scholars program for incoming students who have shown a demonstrated commitment to public interest and/or nonprofit work.
  • International Programs: USC offers students several opportunities to study abroad. Students can participate in the law school’s semester abroad exchange program with the University of Hong Kong, Bocconi University (Italy), University Jean Moulin Lyon (France), Fundação Getúlio Vargas (Brazil), and Bond University (Australia). Moreover, students may participate in programs offered around the world by other ABA-approved law schools.
  • Research Centers: Law students participate in the scholarly activities of several interdisciplinary research centers: the Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics; Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics; the Center for Law and Social Science; the USC-Caltech Center for the Study of Law and Politics; the Center for Law, History, and Culture; and the Center for Law and Philosophy.
  • Continuing Legal Education: Students help coordinate the law school’s practice-oriented programs and serve as research assistants for the Institute on Entertainment Law and Business, Institute on Taxation, Institute on Trusts and Estates, Real Estate Law and Business Conference, Corporate Counsel Institute, and Intellectual Property Institute.

Student Activities and Cocurricular Programs

Academic life is exciting and fast-paced, and students are often engaged in numerous scholarly pursuits and cocurricular programs. The Southern California Law Review has one of the largest circulations in the country. Students also publish the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal and the Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice. The Hale Moot Court Honors Program is a year-long internal moot court competition for second-year law students, and USC’s National Moot Court Team sends third-year law students to represent USC in national and international moot court competitions.

Public service activities abound. The Public Interest Law Foundation is one of the largest in the country, providing summer grants for public service employment, as well as the Irmas Fellowship for public interest law, which awards a year’s salary to a third-year student committed to postgraduate work in public interest.

The diversity of USC Gould’s student population is reflected in over 30 political, religious, social, cultural, and ethnic organizations. Our students play an active and valued role in the day-to-day operation of the law school, including service on faculty committees. Students are given a wide range of opportunities to create and implement ideas for activities and are encouraged to pursue their interests by forming new student organizations or planning social or academic events. Asian, African American, Armenian, Jewish, and Latino law students are represented by associations. Other student organizations include the Student Bar Association, international and entertainment law societies, Armed Forces Law Society, Women’s Law Association, OUTLaw, Legal Aid Alternative Break Project, Public Interest Law Foundation, Health Law Society, Business Law Society, Government Law Organization, Intellectual Property and Technology Law Society, Street Law, Sports Law Society, Trial Lawyers, and chapters of Phi Alpha Delta and the Federalist Society.

Professional Careers

USC Gould graduates accept job offers in all regions of the country, with New York and Washington, DC, being the most popular placement locations outside the West Coast. A number of graduates begin their professional careers as judicial law clerks to federal judges. Each year, several hundred private firms, government agencies, public interest organizations, and corporations from throughout the country come to USC Gould to recruit students for summer and permanent employment. An off-campus recruiting program helps coordinate interviews with employers in the San Francisco Bay Area; New York; Washington, DC; and Chicago. The school’s enthusiastic network of alumni (aka the “Trojan Network”) is an invaluable tool in the job-search process. The Alumni Mentor Lunch provides first-year students with the opportunity to meet graduates who practice in the student’s field of interest, and other programs bring alumni from a range of fields to campus to discuss career opportunities. Overall placement statistics are consistently strong; in recent years, approximately 94 percent of the graduating class finds employment within 10 months of graduation. Average starting salaries are among the highest in the nation.

Housing

The Terrace Law Housing Program is designed to assist first-year law students with adjusting to the rigorous demands of law school by offering a convenient housing option in a community of fellow first-year students. A resident faculty member from the university, along with resident assistants, coordinates activities with Terrace residents. Terrace housing consists of apartment-style residences located within easy walking distance of the law school. The two-bedroom apartments are fully furnished and include many utilities as well.

In addition to the dedicated law school student housing, our admitted student portal offers a wide-range of resources, including a roommate referral service to help incoming students arrange shared housing in various Los Angeles neighborhoods.

Admission and Financial Aid

Admission decisions are made on the basis of the student’s academic record, LSAT score and writing sample, personal statement, letters of recommendation, résumé, extracurricular activities, and other information in the file. The Admissions Committee gives primary consideration to outstanding academic and professional promise and to qualities that will enhance the diversity of the student body or enrich the law school educational environment. Two letters of recommendation are required; applicants are strongly urged to submit at least one academic recommendation letter. The law school operates on a semester basis and admits only full-time students. USC is committed to helping students successfully finance their legal education. In addition to various loan programs, the law school offers substantial scholarship awards to a large percentage of the incoming class. Most scholarships are based on merit as evidenced by strong academic credentials and test scores. In addition, the school offers a Loan Repayment Assistance Program, which assists graduates who accept employment with governmental agencies and public interest organizations that traditionally offer lower pay than private firms.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Southern California:

3.61 to 3.92

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Southern California:

162 to 168

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Southern California:

3.61 to 3.92

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Southern California:

162 to 168

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Southern California:

3.61 to 3.92

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Southern California:

162 to 168

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

699 Exposition Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074,
United States