USC Gould School of Law JD student, Michelle Shahnazarians '18, participates in the school's mediation clinic. Photo by Phil Channing.
The USC Gould School of Law provides a forward-looking, interdisciplinary and inter-professional legal education guided by nationally renowned professors and energized by an engaged and collegial student body. As one of the most diverse of the nation's top law schools, USC Gould is made up of students from throughout the country and around the world whose ideas and experiences enrich the learning process and provide new perspectives on the law. Through close collaboration, interdisciplinary academic training and hands-on application of skills, students acquire the experiences and knowledge necessary to succeed as leaders in a global environment.
USC Gould alumni are partners in the world's largest law firms, CEOs and presidents of multimillion-dollar companies, and leaders in government and public service organizations. Since its founding in 1900, the school has produced hundreds of judges on state and federal courts and elected officials ranging from mayor of cities large and small to a United States senator.
USC Gould School of Law
Andrew T. Guzman, JD, PhD, Dean*
Alexander M. Capron, LLB, Vice Dean*
Donald Scotten, JD, LLM, Vice Dean*
Elizabeth A. Carroll, JD, Associate Vice Dean
Pauline M. Aranas, JD, MLIS, Associate Dean, Chief Information Officer, and Director of the Law Library
Elizabeth Armour, AB, Associate Dean
Deborah A. Call, MBA, Associate Dean and Chief Programs Officer
Raymond Flores, MBA, EdD, Associate Dean
Kyle W. Jones, JD, Associate Dean
David Kirschner, JD, Associate Dean
Robin H. Maness, MS, Associate Dean and Chief Development Officer
Misa Shimotsu-Kim, MEd, Assistant Dean
Dean and Carl Mason Franklin Chair in Law: Andrew T. Guzman, JD, PhD*
University Professor and Scott H. Bice Chair in Healthcare Law, Policy and Ethics: Alexander Morgan Capron, LLB*, MA (Hon.)
University Professor of Journalism, Communication and Law: Geoffrey Cowan, LLB (Journalism)
Orrin B. Evans Distinguished Professor of Law: Elyn R. Saks, MLitt, JD, PhD, LLD (Hon.)*
Judge Edward J. and Ruey L. Guirado Chair in Law: Thomas D. Lyon, JD, PhD*
Edward G. Lewis Chair in Law: Daniel M. Klerman, JD, PhD
J. Thomas McCarthy Trustee Chair in Law: Robert K. Rasmussen, JD
Robert C. Packard Trustee Chair in Law: Edward D. Kleinbard, MA, JD
Robert C. Packard Trustee Chair in Law: Edward J. McCaffery, MA, JD*
George T. and Harriet E. Pfleger Chair in Law: Daria Roithmayr, JD
Nathan and Lilly Shapell Chair in Law: Nomi M. Stolzenberg, JD
UPS Foundation Chair in Law and Gerontology: Martin L. Levine, JD, LLD*
The Rader Family Trustee Chair in Law: Rebecca L. Brown, JD*
Ervin and Florine Yoder Chair in Real Estate Law: George Lefcoe, LLB
Frances R. and John J. Duggan Distinguished Professor of Law: Orin Kerr, MS, JD
Orrin B. Evans Distinguished Professor of Law: Elyn R. Saks, MLitt, JD, PhD, LLD (Hon.)*
Virginia S. and Fred H. Bice Professor of Law: Scott A. Altman, JD*
Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law: Jody David Armour, JD
Richard L. and Maria B. Crutcher Professor of Law: Dan Simon, LLB, MBA, LLM, SJD
William T. Dalessi Professor of Law: Gregory C. Keating, JD, PhD
Frances R. and John J. Duggan Distinguished Professor of Law: Orin Kerr, MS, JD
Sidney M. and Audrey M. Irmas Endowed Clinical Professor of Law: Niels W. Frenzen, JD
Robert Kingsley Professor of Law: Susan R. Estrich, JD
John B. Milliken Professor of Taxation: Thomas D. Griffith, MAT, JD*
Robert C. and Nanette T. Packard Professor of Law: Scott H. Bice, JD*
John B. and Alice R. Sharp Professor of Law: Ariela J. Gross, JD, PhD*
John Stauffer Charitable Trust Chief Information Officer: Pauline M. Aranas, JD, MLIS
Provost Professor of Policy, Political Science and Law: Jeffery A. Jenkins, PhD (Political Science)***
Provost Professor of Philosophy and Law: Gary Watson, PhD (Philosophy)
Professors: Jonathan M. Barnett, MPhil, JD; David B. Cruz, MS, JD*; Sofia Mary Gruskin, JD, MIA (Preventive Medicine); Bart A. Kosko, JD, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Sharon A. Lloyd, PhD (Philosophy); John G. Matsusaka, PhD (Finance and Business Economics); Claudia Moatti, PhD, HDR (Classics); Kevin J. Murphy, PhD (Finance and Business Economics); Alison Dundes Renteln, JD, PhD (Political Science); Camille Gear Rich, JD; Stephen Rich, MA, JD*; Wayne Sandholtz, PhD (International Relations); Hilary M. Schor, PhD (English); Michael Simkovic, JD; Franita Tolson, JD; Simon J. Wilkie, MSIA, PhD (Economics)
Associate Professors: Sam Erman, JD, PhD; Jonathan Quong, PhD (Philosophy)*; Emily Ryo, JD, PhD; Abby K. Wood, MALD, JD, PhD
Assistant Professor: Dorothy Shapiro Lund, JD
Adjunct Professors: Pauline M. Aranas, JD, MLIS; Anna Faircloth Feingold, JD; Richard Peterson, JD, LLM, MDR
Adjunct Assistant Professors: Anitha Cadambi, LLB, LLM; Judy K. Davis, MLIS, JD; Laura Fry, MA, JD; Cynthia Guyer, MLIS, JD; Sarah Hall, JD; Diana C. Jaque, MA, MLIS, JD; Paul Moorman, MLIS, JD; Brian Peck, JD; Brian M. Raphael, MLS, JD*; Jean Lantz Reisz, JD; Karen Skinner, MS, MLS, JD
Clinical Professors: Michael J. Brennan, LLB; Michael Chasalow, JD, MBA*; Hannah R. Garry, MA, JD*; Lisa Klerman, JD; Heidi L. Rummel, JD
Professors of Lawyering Skills: Elizabeth A. Carroll, JD; Catherine Coleman, JD; Rebecca S. Lonergan, JD; Susan C. Wright, JD
Professors of the Practice of Law: Clare Pastore, JD; Donald Scotten, JD, LLM
Emeritus Professors: Marshall Cohen, MA, MA (Oxon) (University Professor); Edward J. Finegan, PhD (Linguistics); Ronald R. Garet, MPhil, JD, PhD* (Carolyn Craig Franklin Chair in Law, Emeritus); Cynthia B. Herrup, PhD (History); Michael H. Shapiro, MA, JD (Dorothy W. Nelson Professor of Law, Emeritus); Larry G. Simon, LLB (Herbert W. Armstrong Professor of Constitutional Law, Emeritus); W. David Slawson, MA, LLB* (Torrey H. Webb Professor of Law, Emeritus); Christopher D. Stone, JD, LLD (Hon.)* (J. Thomas McCarthy Trustee Chair in Law, Emeritus)
Clinical Emeritus Professors: Lee W. Campbell, JD; Noel M. Ragsdale, JD*
Emeritus Professor of Lawyering Skills: Robert M. Saltzman, JD
*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.
The Juris Doctor (JD) is the basic law degree. To obtain the degree, full-time attendance for six semesters is required. During the first year, the student takes a curriculum of basic courses that examine fundamental legal institutions and address legal problems relevant to today's society and the modern practice of law. During the second and third years the student must complete a writing requirement and at least 6 units in experiential courses. The remainder of the courses taken in the last two years are primarily elective.
JD students have an opportunity to learn about foreign legal systems and to experience different cultures through study abroad programs. Qualified second- and third-year JD candidates are exposed to international law as they take part in exchange programs with leading partner institutions worldwide. For more information, please check out Gould School of Law Website.
All applicants are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) administered by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). Applicants must take the test no later than February if they seek to start law school the following August. (USC Gould is actively investigating accepting alternative admission tests to the LSAT, including the GRE. Official information will be updated on the USC Gould School of Law Website once available.)
USC Gould admits a small number of highly qualified transfer students with LLM degrees from USC Gould. These students will have taken a large number of JD courses in their LLM course of study and received strong grades in those courses; the LSAT is not required.
USC Gould School of Law maintains several dual degree programs with the graduate schools on campus. These programs enable qualified students to earn a law degree (JD) and the appropriate master's degree. If the master's degree normally requires one year of study, a student in a dual degree program may earn both degrees in only three years. If the master's normally requires two years of post-baccalaureate courses, a total of four years may be required. To earn the JD, all students (including dual degree students) must complete 35 numerically graded law units at USC beyond the first year curriculum. Please visit the Gould School of Law Website for more information.
Students may be accepted for a dual degree program when they are accepted to the law school, although most students do not apply until near the end of the first year. All programs require that students successfully complete the required first year of law school before beginning work toward the master's degree. Credit toward the law degree may not be given for graduate work completed prior to the completion of the first year of law school, although some credit toward the master's degree may be allowed by the faculty of the cooperating department of approved work completed prior to the first year of law school. Students are not eligible for either of their dual degrees until they complete the requirements for both degrees. All students (including dual degree students) must complete at least 35 numerically graded USC Gould units beyond the first year curriculum.
Following are general descriptions of the dual degree programs. Students interested in further information should consult the USC Gould Admissions Office.
Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration
In addition to the LSAT, applicants to this dual degree program are required to take the Graduate Management Aptitude Test. Requirements for the Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration (JD/MBA) are listed here and in the USC Marshall School of Business section of this catalogue.
Juris Doctor/Master of Business Taxation
The Leventhal School of Accounting offers a specialized program in taxation leading to the Master in Business Taxation (MBT). Requirements for the Juris Doctor/Master of Business Taxation (JD/MBT) are listed here and in the USC Leventhal School of Accounting section of this catalogue.
Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration
Students are required to complete 97 units of course work. Candidates for the dual degree must fulfill the statistics requirement of the Public Administration (MPA) degree. See the Master of Public Administration section. Requirements for the Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration (JD/MPA) are listed here and in the USC Price School of Public Policy section of this catalogue.
Juris Doctor/Master of Public Policy
The USC Price School of Public Policy and the USC Gould School of Law offer a dual degree that enables qualified students to earn both a Juris Doctor and a Master of Public Policy in approximately four years of study.
The dual degree allows students to acquire a blend of the analytic skills of public policy and an understanding of legal institutions and processes. This combination of knowledge is well suited for law students who want to affect the policy-making process and craft legislation to aid in achievement of public policy goals. It is equally appropriate for prospective policy analysts who are interested in law and public policy.
Students must apply to, and be accepted by, both schools. They may be accepted to the dual degree at the time of their acceptance to the law school or at the beginning of their second year of law school. Dual degree students spend the first year of the program completing the required first year of law school. The remaining units of law school courses and the required 36 units of core MPP courses are taken by students in the second through fourth years.
Students are required to complete 114 units of course work, including 78 units in the USC Gould School of Law and 36 units in the USC Price School of Public Policy. The MPP program has a statistics prerequisite. See Public Policy (MPP) . Requirements for the Juris Doctor/Master of Public Policy (JD/MPP) are listed in the USC Price School of Public Policy section.
Master of Laws (LLM) Degree (On-campus and Online)
The on-campus Master of Laws (LLM) program is a master's degree program for foreign graduate students trained in law. This two-semester, full-time program introduces foreign lawyers to American law and the U.S. legal system and prepares them for leadership roles in the global market. Students may enroll in an optional certificate track in Business Law, Media and Entertainment Law; Transnational Law and Business; Technology and Entrepreneurship Law; and Alternate Dispute Resolution.
The online Master of Laws (LLM) program is a master's degree program for foreign graduate students trained in law. This program is offered on a part-time or full-time basis in an online modality and introduces foreign lawyers to American law and the U.S. legal system and prepares them for leadership roles in the global market. Students may enroll in an optional certificate track in Business Law, Entertainment Law, Compliance Law, Health Care Compliance, Financial Compliance, and Human Resources Compliance.
Students submitting an application must have earned a basic law degree, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree or the foreign equivalent. Please visit the Gould School of Law Website for more information.
Two-Year Extended Master of Laws (LLM) Degree
The on-campus Two-Year Extended Master of Laws (LLM) program combines a one-year certificate program with a one year a master's degree for foreign graduate students trained in law. During the first year, students will complete mandatory law and English courses to prepare them for the master's program and further their English fluency. After successful completion of the first year, students earn a Certificate in U.S. Legal Studies . In the second year, students will matriculate into our on-campus Master of Laws program.
Students submitting an application must have earned a basic law degree, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree or the foreign equivalent.
Master of Laws in Alternative Dispute Resolution (LLM in ADR) Degree
The on-campus Master of Laws in Alternative Dispute Resolution (LLM in ADR) program is a master's degree program for law graduates and attorneys interested in building strength as advocates in ADR processes or gaining skills and a prestigious credential for pursuing career opportunities as mediators or arbitrators.
Students submitting an application must have earned a basic law degree, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), a Juris Doctor (JD), or the foreign equivalent. See Alternative Dispute Resolution (LLM) .
Master of Comparative Law (MCL) Degree
The on-campus Master of Comparative Law (MCL) program is a master's degree program for foreign graduate students trained in law who have already earned an LLM degree. This two-semester, full-time program is focused on the study of comparative law.
Students submitting an application must have earned a basic law degree, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree or the foreign equivalent and will have previously earned their LLM degree.
Master of Studies in Law (MSL) Degree
The Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program is designed for new graduates as well as seasoned professionals from varying fields of studies and careers, who seek an understanding of how the U.S. legal system functions.
Students submitting an application must have earned an undergraduate degree in some field of study by the time they begin the MSL degree. See Master of Studies in Law (MSL) Program .
(A progressive degree is an option for current USC undergraduate students. For more information, please contact USC Gould Undergraduate.)
Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) Degree
The on-campus Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) program is a master's degree program for graduates from varying fields of study, who are interested in building strength as advocates in alternative dispute resolution processes.
Students submitting an application must have earned an undergraduate degree in some field of study by the time they begin the MDR program. See Dispute Resolution (MDR) .
USC Gould offers stand-alone certificates to allow students with a bachelor's degree to gain further knowledge of a particular area of law.
Registration is handled by the USC Gould School of Law Office of the Registrar. First-year students will automatically be registered in their fall semester courses approximately two to three weeks prior to the beginning of the school year and for their spring semester courses during the week listed in the law school calendar for upper-division student registration. Master's students will receive registration information in July with detailed instructions on how to register for fall and spring classes.
Grading and Attendance Policies
The grading system uses both numbers and letters in a range from 1.9 to 4.4 with letter-grade equivalents ranging from F to A+. The grade equivalents are: A+ (4.1–4.4); A (3.8–4.0); A- (3.5–3.7); B+ (3.3–3.4); B (3.0–3.2); B- (2.7–2.9); C+ (2.5–2.6); C (2.4); C- (2.1–2.3); D (2.0); and F (1.9). Students receiving a grade of 1.9 will not be given credit for the course toward graduation. A student who fails a first-year course must repeat the course, but both grades will be included in computing that student's general average. Other courses may not be repeated except on petition to the associate dean. A student with a weighted cumulative average of less than 3.0 at the end of the year will be placed on restricted enrollment. A Juris Doctor student with a weighted cumulative average of less than 2.7 at the end of any year will not be permitted to continue. An overall grade point average of at least 2.6 is required for graduation with graduate students who are enrolled in the LLM, LLM in ADR, MCL, MDR or MSL, Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate, Business Law Certificate (online), Compliance Certificate (online), and Entertainment Law and Industry Certificate (online) programs.
After the first year, a Juris Doctor student may take up to a total of 8 units on an elected CR/D/F basis, chosen from among courses otherwise graded in a normal manner. No more than 4 such units may be taken in a semester. Master's students may take up to 5 units of CR/D/F grading during the length of their program.The student must elect to take a course CR/D/F during the first two weeks of the semester. Courses or seminars may, at the instructor's option, be designated prior to registration as not available for CR/D/F grading. To earn the JD, all students (including dual degree students) must complete 35 numerically graded law units at USC beyond the first year curriculum.
Students may also take such courses regularly offered only on a CR/D/F basis, in addition to courses taken under this rule.
Withdrawals from Courses
A student may not withdraw from a course later than two weeks after the first day of classes of any semester without permission of both the associate dean and the instructor.
Class attendance is an important part of law school education. It assists both the individual and fellow students in making the most of the educational opportunity offered. Students should, therefore, attend class regularly and participate in the discussion. Professors may require attendance and may take attendance into account in evaluating student performance.
For tuition and fee information, please visit Gould School of Law Website.
USC Gould is a national leader in continuing education, presenting six annual programs designed for sophisticated attendees from the bar, judiciary, accounting, business and law student communities and supported by both law firm and corporate sponsors.
USC Gould has been approved as a provider of Minimum Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit by the State Bar of California and offers general CLE and Legal Specialization Credit for lawyers, as well as continuing education credits for accountants, real estate professionals, and certified financial planners.
CLE programs in 2018–2019 include the Institute on Entertainment Law and Business, Trust and Estate Conference, Tax Institute, Institute for Corporate Counsel, Real Estate Law and Business Forum, and Intellectual Property Institute.
For detailed program and registration information, visit the USC Gould School of Law Website. For additional questions, call (213) 821-3580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The USC Gould School of Law offers undergraduate courses taught by its internationally distinguished faculty. Classes are held both in the law school building and throughout the University of Southern California (USC) campus. These courses are designed to introduce students both to the role that law plays in the world today and the ways in which lawyers participate in the continuing growth and evolution of our society.
USC Gould courses meet a variety of graduation requirements. Some courses satisfy USC General Education (GE) requirements, and others are either required or are electives in several USC majors and minors. For more information on undergraduate course offerings, and those that satisfy USC General Education requirememts, please see LAW 101 w, LAW 200 w, LAW 201 , LAW 220 , LAW 250 , LAW 275 p, LAW 300 , LAW 301 , LAW 320 p, LAW 325 , LAW 402 , LAW 403 , LAW 404 , LAW 444 , or LAW 450 , or contact USC Gould Undergraduate.
Undergraduate Majors, that include LAW courses:
Undergraduate Minors, that include LAW courses:
Accelerated BA/JD Program (3+3)
Undergraduate students at USC who have completed their required bachelor's major course work by the end of their junior year (or only have minimal units of upper-division elective courses remaining) may apply to our accelerated JD program. Students will complete their undergraduate and law school studies in a total of six years.
Students must have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.80 both at the time an application is submitted and at enrollment. Under current ABA guidelines, the LSAT is not required; however, this is subject to change. The program is open to all participating majors. Please visit the Gould School of Law Website for more information.
USC's Progressive Degree program enables USC undergraduate students to begin work on a USC master's degree while finishing up the requirements for their USC Bachelor's degree.
Undergraduate students may submit an application to our Master of Studies in Law (MSL) degree program as a junior for enrollment beginning fall 2019. (Students must have completed at least 64 total units of undergraduate course work, but may not have not exceeded 96 total units, excluding AP, IB or transfer units earned prior to graduation from high school).
Students must have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 both at the time an application is submitted and at enrollment.
Students should complete their undergraduate degree and MSL degree in a total of five years. Applications should be submitted to email@example.com. For more information, please contact USC Gould Undergraduate.
ProgramsMaster's DegreeGraduate CertificateDual DegreeDoctoral Degree