University of Southern California
black horizontal bar for print styles

USC Gould School of Law

 law image
Through USC Law's various clinical programs, faculty such as Professor Carrie Hempel (left) work with students like Christiane Roussell to provide crucial legal aid to underserved communities. Students have successfully represented clients in a variety of cases including parole hearings, asylum cases, adoptions and copyright concerns.

Established as the first law school in the southwestern United States, the USC Gould School of Law provides a forward-looking, interdisciplinary legal education guided by nationally renowned professors and informed by the diversity of a friendly and collegial student body. As the most diverse of the nationís top law schools, USC Law is made up of students from throughout the country and around the world whose ideas and experiences enrich the educational experience 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 Law alumni are partners in the worldís largest law firms, CEOs and presidents of multimillion dollar companies and leaders of civil rights movements. Since its founding in 1900, the school has produced hundreds of judges, and its graduates have held elected offices ranging from mayor of cities large and small to a United States Senator.

USC Gould School of Law
(213) 740-7331


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

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

Pauline Aranas, J.D., M.L.I.S., Associate Dean and Chief Operating Officer

Albert O. Brecht, J.D., M.LL., Associate Dean and Chief Information Officer *

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

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

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

Chloe Reid, J.D., Associate Dean and Dean of Admissions

Matthew M. Shakespeare, M.T.S., Associate Dean and Chief Development Officer

Elyn Saks, M.Litt., J.D., Associate Dean

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

Melissa Balaban, J.D., Assistant Dean *

Leeanna Izuel, J.D., LL.M., Assistant Dean

Raymond Flores, M.B.A., Assistant Dean

Alice Galstian, M.B.A., Assistant Dean and Chief Financial Officer


Carl Mason Franklin Deanís 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.*

Sydney M. Irmas Chair in Public Interest Law and Legal Ethics: Elizabeth Garrett, J.D.

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

Robert C. Packard Trustee Chair in Law: Edward J. McCaffery, M.A., J.D.*

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

Nathan and Lilly Shapell Chair in Law: Nomi M. Stolzenberg, J.D.

UPS Foundation 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.

Judge Edward J. and Ruey L. Guirado Professorship in Law: Mary L. Dudjziak, J.D., Ph.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.

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

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

Professors: Judith M. Bennett, M.A., Ph.D. (History); 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); Geoffrey Garrett, M.A., Ph.D. (International Relations); Howard A. Gillman, M.A., Ph.D. (Political Science); Ariela J. Gross, M.A., J.D., Ph.D.; Gillian K. Hadfield, J.D., Ph.D.; Cynthia B. Herrup, M.A., Ph.D. (History); 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., Ph.D.; John G. Matsusaka, M.A., Ph.D. (Business); Kevin J. Murphy, M.A., Ph.D. (Finance and Business Economics); John E. Rolph, Ph.D. (Business Administration); Todd M. Sandler, M.A., Ph.D. (International Relations); Hilary M. Schor, M.A., Ph.D. (English); Dan Simon, LL.B., M.B.A., LL.M., S.J.D.

Associate Professors: Clifford Ando, Ph.D. (Classics); Ehud Kamar, LL.B., LL.M., J.S.D.; Sharon A. Lloyd, Ph.D. (Philosophy); Mark I. Weinstein, M.S.I.A., M.B.A, Ph.D. (Business Finance); Gideon D. Yaffe, Ph.D. (Philosophy)

Assistant Professors: Kareem U. Crayton, J.D., Ph.D.; James Spindler, J.D.

Adjunct Professors: Pauline Aranas, J.D., M.L.I.S.; Jean Rosenbluth, J.D. (Director of Lawyering Skills); Robert M. Saltzman, J.D.*

Adjunct Assistant Professors: Leeanna Izuel, J.D., LL.M.; Brian M. Raphael, J.D., M.L.S. (Reference and International Law Librarian, Law Library); Jessica Wimer, J.D., M.A. (Senior Law Librarian, Law Library)

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 Assistant Professor: Jennifer Urban, J.D.

Emeritus Professors: Marshall Cohen, M.A., M.A. (Oxon.) (Philosophy); Francis E. Jones, Jr., B.A., J.D., LL.M.*; W. David Slawson, M.A., LL.B. (Torrey H. Webb Professor of Law, Emeritus); 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 todayís society and the modern practice of law. During the second and third years the student must complete a writing requirement and at least one course that provides substantial instruction in professional skills generally regarded as necessary in the practice of law. The remainder of the courses taken in the last two years are primarily elective.

Dual Degrees
USC Law 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. The law school also has an international dual degree program with the London School of Economics. These programs enable qualified students to earn a law degree (J.D.) and the appropriate masterís degree. If the masterís degree normally requires one year of study, a student in a dual degree program earns both degrees in only three years. If the masterís 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 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 masterís degree may appropriately be awarded for certain work completed in the law school.

LL.M. Degree
The LL.M. program is a masterís 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.

M.C.L. Degree
The M.C.L. program is a masterís degree program for foreign graduate students trained in law who have already earned their LL.M. degree. This two-semester, full-time program is focused on the study of comparative law. Students are provided with the opportunity to study the differences, similarities and interrelationships of different systems of law around the world. After successfully completing the program, students will be awarded the Master of Comparative Law degree.

Continuing Legal Education

The law schoolís Continuing Legal Education Program provides the legal community with the greatest variety of offerings of any law school in the west. USC Law has been approved as a provider of Minimum Continuing Legal Education (CLE) by the State Bar of California and offers general CLE and Legal Specialization Credit for lawyers, as well as continuing education credits for accountants and real estate professionals.

USC Law 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.

CLE programs in 2006-2007 include the Institute on Entertainment Law and Business, Probate and Trust Conference, Tax Institute, Institute for Corporate Counsel, Institute on Real Estate Law and Business and Intellectual Property Institute.

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

Tuition and Fees (Estimated)
Students in the law schoolís J.D. program pay tuition of $19,450 per semester (13-17 units); for less than 13 units, the tuition is $1,503 per unit, and tuition is an additional $1,503 for each unit over 17.

Students in the law schoolís LL.M. and M.C.L. programs pay tuition of $19,450 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 changes.

In addition to the mandatory fees charged to all USC students, law students must also join the Student Bar Association. In 2005-2006, this membership fee was $25 per semester.

Admission Requirements -- J.D. and Dual Degrees

First-year students must have a bachelorís degree from an accredited college by the beginning of their law school classes. USC Law 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 Council. 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 applicantís transcripts and LSAT scores and forwards copies of them to law schools of the applicantís 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 Gould School of Law 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, 662 Penn St., Box 40, 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 schoolís Web site (

Transfer Students and Visiting Students
A student in good standing at a law school that is approved by the American Bar Association may apply for admission with advanced standing either as a transfer student or as a visiting student. Transfer students enter USC Law 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 USC Law.

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 law school at (213) 821-5916.

Admission Requirements -- M.C.L. Degree

Students submitting an application must have earned a basic law degree, a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree or the foreign equivalent and will have previously earned their LL.M. degree. Some experience following the completion of the first professional degree is preferred. For further information, contact the law school at (213) 821-5916.


Details of the registration procedure are handled through the Registrarís Office of USC Law. Registration information will be mailed to accepted applicants approximately two to three weeks prior to the registration date indicated on the law school calendar.

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 studentís 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 2.9 at the end of the year will be placed on restricted enrollment. 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 4 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 instructorís 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.

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.