The history of LA cannot be discussed without mentioning how USC is an intricate part of it. LA was very much a frontier town in the late 1800's with a hint of the Gold Rush lawlessness still present. It was in this climate that a group of civic-minded men saw opportunity where others just saw wide open tracts of land. It should also come as no surprise that three of the original land donors were a Protestant horticulturist, an Irish-Catholic pharmacist and businessman, and a German-Jewish banker and philanthropist. From its very inception, USC has been a diverse and welcoming community.
It was in this same time period, the late 1800's, that aspiring lawyers studied by "reading law" at local firms with the lack of a formalized system of legal education in Southern California. Then, in 1896, a band of ambitious apprentices brought organized legal education to Los Angeles. Their goal: Create "a school of permanent character," and educate lawyers of exceptional quality. Today's USC Gould reflects a distinguished past built on the principles of equity and excellence, and the courage to break new ground.