699 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0071, USA
Phone: 213.821.5916 | Website: gould.usc.edu
USC Gould School of Law is one of the most prominent and highly selective law schools in the United States. We are committed to excellence in every area of our school—from our esteemed faculty and diverse and outstanding student body, to our challenging curriculum. Our courses prepare students for their ultimate career goals by providing a foundational understanding of core legal doctrines as well as practical skills and tools.
As a student at USC, you’ll receive great support from our Graduate and International Programs office—a full-service staff dedicated exclusively to supporting international students. The office will guide you throughout your time at USC, and even after you graduate. Additionally, USC is very familiar with the needs of international students: we host nearly 10,000 international students on our campus every year. You will also become a lifetime member of the Trojan Network, USC’s strong and vibrant alumni community.
USC is an integral part of the culturally diverse and dynamic Los Angeles community. LA boasts a thriving legal community, as well as businesses in industries, including entertainment, manufacturing, communications, biotechnology, and multimedia. Located in the heart of the city, USC has strong ties to the large legal and business communities in Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, you’ll discover a wealth of culture, from fine dining to Hollywood shows to celebrated museums. LA is also home to a number of winning sports teams, including the Dodgers, Clippers, Lakers, and Kings. Our campus is centrally located to a number of attractions, including downtown, the Staples Center, Hollywood, and the mountains, and is just minutes away from Santa Monica, Malibu, and the beach.
Additionally, our students enjoy warm and sunny weather year-round, with 329 days of sunshine each year. Close to the beach and the mountains, LA is one of the few places in the world where you can ski and surf in the same day. Between the sun, sand, and cultural diversity, you’ll see why so many people call LA home.
Law School Enrollment
- JD enrollment: 600 (approximately)
- LLM and MCL enrollment: 200 (approximately)
Recognized as one of the United States’ most productive in scholarship, the USC Gould School of Law faculty is noted for its commitment to interactive and dynamic classroom teaching. USC Gould School of Law boasts over 40 full-time faculty and more than 60 adjunct professors with legal expertise in a variety of areas, including intellectual property, business, international, entertainment, ethics, and tort reform. Interdisciplinary scholarship in law and economics, law and history, law and philosophy, law and politics, and law and psychology has long been a signature of the school. USC’s small faculty-student ratio enables students to work closely with top scholars and practitioners in the classroom.
Rich in history, tradition, and experience, USC has become one of the foremost universities in the United States since its founding in 1880. USC encapsulates the spirit of Los Angeles and is home to the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; 17 professional schools; and one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country. Through its commitment to academic excellence and diversity, USC’s schools of law, engineering, medicine, journalism, business, cinematic arts, and architecture are among the nation’s top graduate schools. USC is a leader in supporting intellectual curiosity and growth as a world-renowned private research institution. It is one of only four private research universities in the western United States selected to membership in the Association of American Universities, a group that represents 61 of the elite universities in the United States and Canada.
USC’s 22 libraries house nearly three million volumes and support more than 10,000 computers and workstations. The campus is beautiful and safe, and features a number of amenities, including restaurants, coffee shops, pharmacies, banks, and more. Fountains, plazas, and trees complement the traditional architecture, making the campus a popular set location for Hollywood movies and television shows.
USC is an international center of learning and is among a few universities that host the most international alumni in the United States. For more than a century, USC has had a large and diverse student body, enrolling more than 43,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from nearly 150 countries. It has consistently been among the top US universities in terms of international enrollment, with over 11,000 international students on campus each school year.
USC Gould School of Law offers guaranteed graduate-student housing for our incoming students who apply by USC Housing's priority application deadline. USC Law is one of only a few law schools that offer safe, convenient, private, and fully furnished housing at a competitive monthly rate, amongst a community of other LLM students. Our housing complex is designed to meet the needs of graduate law students interested in securing a 3-bedroom/3-person or 2-bedroom/4-person apartment unit. Our housing is located close to campus and just a short walk from the law school.
USC’s unique campus housing opportunity will make your move to Los Angeles easy, convenient, and affordable! Please visit our website for more information.
LLM Programs/Areas of Specialization
The on-campus Master of Laws (LLM) program is designed for international attorneys, judges, government officials, prosecutors, corporate legal counsel, bankers, and recent law graduates who are interested in receiving a degree in American law and the US legal system, and prepares them for leadership roles in the global market. Through the LLM program, foreign lawyers have a chance to meet and interact with not only the faculty and JD students but also practicing lawyers from around the world.
To earn an LLM degree, students must attend all classes in person at USC and successfully complete 21 units of credit over two semesters of study. The on-campus LLM program is offered on a full-time basis only and begins in the fall semester.
During the program, students can enroll in an optional certificate or bar track at no additional cost. We offer certificate specializations in ADR, business, entertainment, technology and entrepreneurship, and transnational law and business. We offer bar tracks for the California, New York, and DC bar exams.
To qualify for admission to the LLM program at USC Gould School of Law, applicants must have earned their first law degree (LLB or the equivalent) outside of the United States. Applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in another major outside of law will still be considered, as long as they can provide evidence of their recent legal work experience.
Applications are available for the 2018–2019 academic year. Students who apply by our deadline of March 1 will receive priority consideration and will receive a $75 application fee waiver. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as our Admissions Committee will provide expedited admission decisions within 2–3 weeks for complete applications received by our priority deadline. Applications received after March 1 will be accepted on a rolling basis.
The Two-Year Extended LLM program allows students to spend a year learning about the US legal system and legal English prior to enrolling in our year-long LLM program. Students will complete mandatory courses during the first year to develop their legal reading and comprehension skills, case-briefing skills, legal analysis, and synthesis skills in the US common law system. Upon successful completion of our Certificate in US Legal Studies in the first year, students will be enrolled in our on-campus LLM program for the second year of their studies.
The LLM in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a 24-unit master’s degree for domestic and international law graduates (JD, LLB, or the equivalent). This program allows students to gain negotiation, mediation, and arbitration skills to assist parties in resolving disputes, as well as a deep understanding of underlying policies and legal ramifications for the full range of ADR options. LLM in ADR students may enroll in California or New York bar subject courses alongside their ADR course requirements. These bar courses allow international students with a first degree in law who are not licensed in their home countries to meet the course eligibility requirements to sit for the California or New York bar exam. Students may pursue a Business Law certificate concurrent with their LLM in ADR studies at no additional cost. This program has two start times—August and January—and is offered on a full-time and part-time basis and features many evening and weekend course options.
The Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) is a 24-unit master’s degree for recent graduates and working professionals (bachelor’s degree required). This program allows students to build and deepen alternative dispute resolution skills as a mediator or arbitrator, to broaden their network by taking classes with JD and LLM students, and to have access to clinical learning by mediating real cases through our Practical Mediation Skills clinic. Students may pursue a Business Law certificate concurrent with their MDR studies at no additional cost. This program has two start times—August and January—and is offered on a full-time and part-time basis and features many evening and weekend course options.
Master of Laws in International Business & Economic Law (LLM in IBEL)
The Master of Laws in International Business & Economic Law (LLM in IBEL) program provides an interdisciplinary, global perspective for law students who wish to develop skills that will enable them to understand and integrate relevant laws, policies and business best practices that shape international business and economic law. The program provides students with training in cross-border transactions, as well as the organizational, transactional and compliance aspects of servicing globally engaged clients. LLM in IBEL students are required to complete 24 units of study, including three mandatory courses. They will satisfy the remaining course requirements from among elective course offerings at Gould, as well as select courses offered at the USC Marshall School of Business and the USC Price School of Public Policy. International students must also enroll in Introduction to the U.S. Legal System.
On-Campus Master of Studies in Law (MSL)
The on-campus Master of Studies in Law program is a 21-unit master’s degree, offered completely in-residence, that provides students with foundational knowledge of US law and offers a platform for them to better understand the intersection of law and policy, the legal environment of business, and the application of law in their respective industries. It is available on a full-time or part-time basis and open to all students; a prior law degree is not a prerequisite.
Students who are enrolled in the LLM program at USC Gould have the opportunity to apply to our JD program as transfer LLM students during the spring. The applicant’s LLM and LLB grades, LLM class standing, and the difficulty of coursework taken in the LLM Program will be considered. The LSAT is not required. Advanced standing may be granted upon review of the student’s LLM transcript. LLM-JD transfer students may earn the Juris Doctor degree in five semesters.
The Master of Comparative Law (MCL) is a one-year degree program for international LLM graduates seeking to continue their studies in US and comparative law. Applicants to the program must have completed an LLM degree in the United States prior to enrolling in our MCL program. The MCL program provides students with the opportunity to study the differences, similarities, and interrelationships of different systems of law around the world and will help them prepare for the challenges of today’s global economy. It is a top choice for students looking to become leaders in the legal profession.
The on-campus, 12-unit nondegree program Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Certificate provides students with fundamental skills necessary to becoming excellent lawyers, mediators, arbitrators, and neutrals, and prepares them to meaningfully participate in ADR matters. This certificate is available to all students with a bachelor's degree; a prior law degree is not a prerequisite. This program has two start times—August and January—and is offered on a full-time and part-time basis and features many evening and weekend course options.
The one-year, noncredit, nondegree Visiting International Program (VIP) for Lawyers allows professionals to build a foundation in US law by attending law classes at USC Gould. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in our career development services, networking opportunities, and student events. This is a great way for our one-year LLM students to continue their studies in the United States.
Our four-week, nondegree Summer Law and English Program is open to all students who are interested in learning more about American law while improving their English skills. The program runs from mid-July to August, and participants are exposed to a variety of core topics, such as corporate law, IP, contracts, civil procedure, and legal writing, taught by USC’s acclaimed faculty. Students will also participate in legal English classes taught by trained English instructors from USC’s Language Academy. Educational and cultural events are planned so that students can both learn and enjoy the summer in Los Angeles. At the conclusion of the program, participants are awarded a Certificate of Completion. Our Summer Law and English Program is a great way to become familiar with US law and a fun opportunity to spend time in Los Angeles in the summer.
Students interested in obtaining their Master of Laws (LLM) degree may also consider our Online LLM. Our online courses are taught by the same USC professors who teach on campus and are presented in a way that maximizes student interaction and participation while still being flexible. Online students, including both US and international professionals, are able to take courses to prepare them for the California Bar and may also earn a certificate in a certificate in Business, Entertainment, Compliance, Health Care Compliance, Financial Compliance, or Human Resources Law and Compliance.
The online Master of Studies in Law program is a 21-unit master’s degree that provides students with foundational knowledge of US law and offers a platform for them to better understand the intersection of law and policy, the legal environment of business, and the application of law in their respective industries. It is available on a full-time or part-time basis and open to all students; a prior law degree is not a prerequisite. Students may earn a certificate in Business, Entertainment, Compliance, Health Care Compliance, Financial Compliance, or Human Resources Law and Compliance.
The Business Law Certificate is an online, 12-unit nondegree program that specifically focuses on the intersection between law and business. Students will enroll in courses designed to provide them with a fundamental understanding of the major laws governing business. This certificate is available to all students; a prior law degree is not a prerequisite.
For information regarding related jobs, cost, loan debt, and completion rate for the program, visit Business Law: Cost, Financing, and Success. The following link provides information regarding related jobs, cost, loan debt, and completion rate for the Online Business Law Certificate: Gainful Employment Disclosure.
The Graduate Certificate in Compliance is an online, 12-unit nondegree program that provides students with the fundamental knowledge of compliance and related legal issues necessary to implement compliance protocols or programs in their current or future workplaces. This certificate is available to all students; a prior law degree is not a prerequisite.
Information on jobs, cost, the median debt of students who completed the program, and graduation rates for this certificate is also available from the Office of Financial Aid. The following link provides information regarding related jobs, cost, loan debt, and completion rate for the Online Compliance Certificate: Gainful Employment Disclosure.
The online Graduate Certificate in Entertainment Law is a 12-unit, nondegree program that provides students with the fundamental knowledge of entertainment law necessary to work with legal issues in the entertainment industry as entertainment lawyers or non-lawyers doing legal-related work in the entertainment industry. This certificate is available to all students; a prior law degree is not a prerequisite.
Information on jobs, cost, the median debt of students who completed the program, and graduation rates for this certificate is also available from the Office of Financial Aid. The following link provides information regarding related jobs, cost, loan debt, and completion rate for the Online Entertainment Law and Industry Certificate: Gainful Employment Disclosure.
Online Graduate Certificate in Health Care Compliance
The Graduate Certificate in Financial Compliance is an online, 12-unit non-degree program provides students with the fundamental knowledge of compliance, risk management, privacy and related legal issues in the health care setting. This certificate is available to all students; a prior law degree is not a prerequisite. Information on jobs, cost, the median debt of students who completed the program, and graduation rates for this certificate is also available from the Office of Financial Aid.
Online Graduate Certificate in Financial Compliance
The Graduate Certificate in Financial Compliance is an online, 12-unit non-degree program provides students with the fundamental knowledge of financial compliance, including regulations for financial institutions, and governance of corporate entities and global organizations. This certificate is available to all students; a prior law degree is not a prerequisite. Information on jobs, cost, the median debt of students who completed the program, and graduation rates for this certificate is also available from the Office of Financial Aid.
Online Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Law and Compliance
The Graduate Certificate in Financial Compliance is an online, 12-unit non-degree program provides students with the fundamental knowledge of human resources law and compliance related to employment. This certificate is available to all students; a prior law degree is not a prerequisite. Information on jobs, cost, the median debt of students who completed the program, and graduation rates for this certificate is also available from the Office of Financial Aid.
All USC Gould School of Law applicants receive full consideration for our prestigious Dean’s Academic Excellence Award. No application is necessary. Those who are awarded a scholarship will be notified upon receiving their offer of admission. While applicants are welcome to submit a brief letter about their scholarship qualifications through LSAC when applying to the LLM program, this is not required. Please note that scholarship assistance is not available to LLM-JD transfer students.
USC Housing Stipends
Students may have the opportunity to receive a USC Housing Stipend, which may be used toward on-campus or off-campus housing. Like the Dean’s Academic Excellence Award, there is no need to submit any additional documentation in order to be considered. Our Admissions Committee will select outstanding applicants with excellent academic and professional credentials to receive our special housing awards.
G&IP Student Services and Events
The Graduate and International Programs office boasts a full team of 12 staff members dedicated exclusively to assisting international law students. The G&IP office provides end-to-end service, from processing your application to transitioning to life in Los Angeles, registration for your classes, to academic support and exam preparation workshops.
The Graduate and International Programs office hosts exciting events throughout the year, including a trip to the Hollywood Bowl, a USC football game, a basketball game at the Staples Center, Networking Mixer events with business and public policy students, and many more! Students also have the opportunity to participate in a myriad of student-run organizations and law school activities, including the JD/LLM Partnership Program in which students are paired up for informal information exchanges to share about law school, cultural differences, and the practice of law in the United States and overseas. USC law students enjoy very rich and exciting student lives throughout the year.
Office of International Services
USC is home to thousands of international students, and we have a dedicated department to assist students with all aspects of visa issues and requirements, including CPT and OPT. We will work with you to process your paperwork and help you apply for CPT or OPT.
Academic Excellence and Early Bar Preparation
We offer specialized LLM Academic Excellence workshops throughout the year to assist students in topics such as case-briefing, outlining, and exam-preparation strategies. In addition, the majority of our courses have teaching assistants to help our LLM students as needed.
For students interested in taking a bar exam, we offer an Early Bar Prep Course that consists of several workshops throughout the year. This workshop series is designed to give foreign students an efficient overview of the core subjects tested on the bar exam, including Contracts, Real Property, Multi-State, and Performance Exam topics.
In addition, our office works with students on a one-on-one basis to help determine their eligibility to sit for a bar exam or to register for the bar exam. We also provide assistance to help students meet the New York bar’s pro bono requirement.
USC is one of the few schools that features career advisors dedicated to assisting international law students and alumni with their career goals. We hold several workshops that prepare students for the legal market, including résumé and cover-letter composition and interviewing and networking skills. Students may also receive personalized edits and feedback on their résumés and practice interviews from our career advisor.
To assist students in their job search efforts, our students may participate in two LLM-only job fairs in New York and Los Angeles. Students also receive weekly job-posting emails and have access to USC’s exclusive job-posting board. Finally, our office hosts a number of events that allow students to network with other international and JD students, as well as attorneys, judges, and alumni.
Graduate and International Programs Contact Information
For more information about our program offerings, please visit the Graduate and International Programs website, or contact
USC Law Graduate and International Programs
699 Exposition Boulevard, Room 105
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0071