University of Southern California
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USC Gould School of Law

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At the USC Gould School of Law, hands-on experience is part of the learning process. Through the Post-Conviction Project, law students work on cases that help incarcerated individuals. The project provides students with courtroom, negotiation and client interviewing skills.

Established as the first law school in the southwestern United States, the USC Gould School of Law is one of the most prominent law schools in the country. Students possess extraordinary academic credentials and represent a rich diversity of background and experience. Recent classes have included graduates from more than 100 colleges and universities from throughout the country and abroad.

The school is small and informal, which fosters important avenues for discourse and an exciting exchange of ideas. Activity abounds in the halls and classrooms, and students value a collaborative approach to their studies.

USC Gould School of Law
(213) 740-7331


Matthew L. Spitzer, J.D., Ph.D., Dean

Scott A. Altman, J.D., Associate Dean

Albert O. Brecht, J.D., M.LL., Associate Dean, Law Library and Information Technology*

Robert M. Saltzman, J.D., Associate Dean*

John G. Tomlinson, Jr., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Dean

Lisa M. Mead, J.D., Associate Dean*

Darin K. Fox, J.D., M.LL., Associate Dean

William J. Hoye, B.A., Associate Dean

Vicki Brown, B.A., Assistant Dean

Deborah A. Call-Bullock, M.B.A., Assistant Dean

Richard S. Shaffran, M.A., J.D., Assistant Dean

Melissa Balaban, J.D., Assistant Dean


Carl Mason Franklin Dean's Chair in Law: Matthew L. Spitzer, J.D., Ph.D.

Carolyn Craig Franklin Chair in Law and Religion: Ronald R. Garet, Ph.D., J.D.*

Judge Edward J. and Ruey L. Guirado Chair in Law: Mary L. Dudziak, M.A., J.D., Ph.D.

J. Thomas McCarthy Trustees' Chair in Law: Christopher D. Stone, J.D.

George T. and Harriet E. Pfleger Chair in Law: Charles H. Whitebread, LL.B.*

UPS Chair in Law and Gerontology: Martin L. Levine, J.D., LL.D.

Herbert W. Armstrong Professorship in Constitutional Law: Larry G. Simon, LL.B.

Leon Benwell Professorship in Law: Edwin M. Smith, J.D.*

Virginia S. and Fred H. Bice Professorship in Law: Scott A. Altman, J.D.

Henry W. Bruce Professorship in Law: Alexander M. Capron, LL.B.

Roy P. Crocker Professorship in Law: Jody David Armour, J.D.

William T. Dalessi Professorship in Law: Gregory C. Keating, M.A., J.D., Ph.D.

Orrin B. Evans Professorship in Law: Elyn R. Saks, M.Litt., J.D.

Maurice Jones, Jr., Professorship in Law: Edward J. McCaffery, M.A., J.D.*

Robert Kingsley Professorship in Law: Susan Estrich, J.D.

John B. Milliken Professorship in Taxation: Thomas D. Griffith, M.A.T., J.D.*

Dorothy W. Nelson Professorship in Law: Michael H. Shapiro, M.A., J.D.

Robert C. Packard Professorship in Law: Scott H. Bice, J.D.

Chief Information Officer and John Stauffer Professorship in Law: Albert O. Brecht, J.D., M.LL.

Torrey H. Webb Professorship in Law: W. David Slawson, M.A., LL.B.*

Ervin and Florine Yoder Professorship in Real Estate Law: George Lefcoe, LL.B.

University Professor: Alexander M. Capron, LL.B.

Professors: Linda R. Cohen, Ph.D.; Geoffrey Cowan, LL.B. (Journalism); David B. Cruz, M.S., J.D.; Edward J. Finegan, M.A., Ph.D. (Linguistics); Catherine L. Fisk, J.D., LL.M.; Elizabeth Garrett, J.D.; Ariela J. Gross, M.A., J.D., Ph.D.; Gillian K. Hadfield, J.D., Ph.D.; Daniel M. Klerman, J.D., Ph.D.; Timur Kuran, M.A., Ph.D. (Economics); Thomas D. Lyon, J.D., Ph.D.*; W. Bentley MacLeod, M.Sc., Ph.D. (Economics); Andrei Marmor, LL.B.; Kevin J. Murphy, M.A., Ph.D. (Finance and Business Economics); John E. Rolph, Ph.D. (Business Administration); Hilary M. Schor, M.A., Ph.D. (English); Nomi M. Stolzenberg, J.D.; Eric L. Talley, J.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professors: Howard A. Gillman, M.A., Ph.D. (Political Science); Ehud Kamar, LL.B., LL.M., J.S.D.; Dan Simon, LL.B., M.B.A., LL.M., S.J.D.; Mark I. Weinstein, M.S.I.A., M.B.A, Ph.D. (Business Finance)

Adjunct Professor: Robert M. Saltzman, J.D.*

Adjunct Assistant Professors: Darin K. Fox, J.D., M.L.S. (Assistant Dean, Reference Law Librarian, Law Library); Brian M. Raphael, J.D., M.L.S. (Reference and International Law Librarian, Law Library); Jean Rosenbluth, J.D. (Director of Lawyering Skills); Richard S. Shaffran, M.A., J.D.

Clinical Professors: Michael J. Brennan, LL.B.; Lee W. Campbell, J.D.; Carrie L. Hempel, J.D.; Noel M. Ragsdale, J.D.*

Clinical Associate Professor: Niels W. Frenzen, J.D.

Clinical Lecturer: Sonia L. Yagura, J.D.

Emeritus Professors: David W. Carroll, B.S., J.D., LL.B.*; Marshall Cohen, M.A., M.A. (Oxon.) (Philosophy); Carl M. Franklin, A.B., M.A., M.B.A., J.D., J.S.D. (Vice President, Emeritus); Francis E. Jones, Jr., B.A., J.D., LL.M.*; Robert S. Thompson, B.S., LL.B. (Legion Lex Professor of Law, Emeritus)

*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.

Degree Programs

Juris Doctor
The Juris Doctor (J.D.) 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 required curriculum of basic courses that examines fundamental legal institutions and addresses legal problems relevant to today's society and the modern practice of law. The second and third years of law study are primarily elective. The student has discretion in course selection, except for writing requirements.

Dual Degrees
The Law School maintains dual degree programs with the graduate programs in accounting, business administration, economics, gerontology, pharmacy, philosophy, public administration, public policy, social work, politics and international relations, religion, real estate development and communication. These programs enable qualified students to earn a law degree (J.D.) and the appropriate master's degree. If the 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 normally requires two years of post-baccalaureate courses, a total of four years is required. To earn the J.D., all students (including dual degree students) must complete 35 numerically graded law units at USC beyond the first year curriculum. The associate dean may make exceptions to this rule for students enrolled in Law School honors programs.

The goal of these programs is to encourage law students to gain a recognized competence in another discipline that has a direct relevance to the roles lawyers play in society. The dual degree programs are based on the premise that some topics covered in the Law School are also covered in the programs of the cooperating departments, so that some credit toward the law degree may appropriately be given for specified graduate work taken in the cooperating department. Similarly, the cooperating departments have recognized that some credit toward the master's degree may appropriately be awarded for certain work completed in the Law School.

LL.M. Degree
The LL.M. 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. After successfully completing the program, students will be awarded the Master of Laws degree.

Continuing Legal Education

The Law School's Continuing Legal Education Program provides the legal community with the greatest variety of offerings of any law school in the west. The Law School has been approved as a provider of Minimum Continuing Legal Education (CLE) by the State Bar of California.

The Law School is a national leader in continuing education, presenting eight annual programs designed for sophisticated attendees from the bar, judiciary, business and law student communities and supported by both law firm and corporate sponsors.

CLE programs in 2004-2005 include the Institute on Entertainment Law and Business, Probate and Trust Conference, Tax Institute, Institute for Corporate Counsel, Public Company Directors Symposium, Institute on Real Estate Law and Business, Intellectual Property Institute and Institute on Aviation Law.

For detailed program and registration information, visit For additional questions, call (213) 740-2582 or email

Tuition and Fees (Estimated)
Students in the Law School's professional programs pay tuition of $17,441 per semester (13-17 units); for less than 13 units, the tuition is $1,349 per unit, and tuition is an additional $1,349 for each unit over 17.

Students in the Law School's LL.M. program pay tuition of $17,441 per semester, for two semesters.

The university reserves the right to assess new fees or charges as it may determine. The rates listed are subject to change without notice by action of the Board of Trustees.

These fees are based upon current information available at the time of publication and are subject to possible later change.

In addition to the mandatory fees charged to all USC students, law students must also join the Student Bar Association. In 2003-2004, this membership fee was $14 per semester.

Admission Requirements -- J.D. and Dual Degrees

First-year students must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college by the beginning of their Law School classes. The Law School does not require applicants to take any specific college courses, and discourages pre-law students from enrolling in college courses which duplicate the law school curriculum. The faculty recommends college courses that are intellectually challenging and require disciplined study. Training in careful reading and skilled writing is most valuable, as are courses involving seminar discussion and sustained research. The student will find that a broad exposure to such fields as economics, philosophy, history, political science, anthropology, mathematics, and psychology is more useful than narrow exposure to vocationally oriented courses.

All applicants are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) administered by the Law School Admissions Service. Applicants must take the test no later than December if they seek to start law school the following August.

Like most law schools, the USC Gould School of Law requires students to use the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS). The LSDAS assembles an applicant's transcripts and LSAT scores and forwards copies of them to law schools of the applicant's choosing. An applicant who has previously registered with the LSDAS need only request on the appropriate form that the name of the University of Southern California Law School be added to the list of schools to which the student is applying. Further information about the LSAT and the LSDAS may be obtained from the Law School Admission Council, Box 2000, Newtown, PA 18940.

Detailed information regarding admission application procedures is available from the Dean of Admissions, University of Southern California Gould School of Law, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 and on the school's Web site (

Transfer Students and Visiting Students
A student in good standing at a law school that is a member of the Association of American Law Schools may apply for admission with advanced standing either as a transfer student or as a visiting student. Transfer students enter the USC Law School after one year at another law school; they then spend two years at the Law School and earn the J.D. degree from USC. Visiting students spend one or two semesters at the Law School during their third year of law school; they are not eligible for a USC degree. For further information, please request Transfer/Visitor Information from the Admissions Office at the Law School.

Admission Requirements -- LL.M. Degree

Students submitting an application must have earned a basic law degree, a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree or the foreign equivalent. Some experience following the completion of the first professional degree is preferred. For further information, Contact the LL.M. Program Office at the Law School at (213) 821-5916.


Details of the registration procedure are handled through the Registrar's Office of the Law School. Registration information will be mailed to accepted applicants approximately two to three weeks prior to the registration date indicated on the Law School calendar.

Details of the registration procedure for the LL.M. program are handled through the LL.M. Program Office of the Law School.

Grading and Attendance Policies

Beginning fall 2001, 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); D (2.0-2.3); 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 2.6 at the end of any year will not be permitted to continue.

After the first year, a 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 four such units may be taken in a semester. 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 J.D., all students (including dual degree students) must complete 35 numerically graded law units at USC beyond the first year curriculum. The associate dean may make exceptions to this rule for students enrolled in Law School honors programs.

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.