Welcome to USC Gould School of Law! We are excited that you have decided to stop by for a glimpse of what makes us such a dynamic place to study law. Choosing a law school can be a daunting project, and one of the most important decisions you will make. Finding the right fit should be your goal. Sitting in on a class, taking a tour with one of our Admissions Ambassadors, attending an information session, and speaking with current students and staff, are invaluable ways to better equip yourself in making that decision.
As you exit the Office of Admissions and turn right, you will find the Office of Student Affairs, located in Room 104. Within the Office of Student Affairs, you will find:
The Academic Support Program is designed to help students succeed in law school. They provide a variety of resources to assist all students as they learn how to study law, and support students seeking to improve their academic performance. Workshops such as Case Reading and Note-taking, Outlining and Synthesis, and Exam-taking strategies are offered during the fall and spring semester. They also offer online and written resources, as well as individual counseling.
The Peer Mentor Program facilitates the transition of incoming law students through trusting and guided interactions with second year students at the onset of the first-year experience. Mentors assist with this transition by making new students feel welcomed, connecting them with their new environment, and guiding them to social and developmental resources so that all entering students can become an integral part of the law school community. Students will meet with their Peer Mentor on an on-going basis during the first year.
The Office of Public Service supports all student-driven service projects. The OPS also coordinates public-service externships. Approximately 100 students annually earn academic credit and develop their advocacy skills while working for public interest organizations, government agencies, and judges. There are many ways to get involved in public interest projects while studying at USC Gould. For example, Legal Aid Alternative Break Projects (LAAB) sponsors spring break trips to hurricane-ravaged areas of the Gulf Coast, where students provide crucial legal services to residents working to rebuild their lives. Over the 2013 Winter Break, LAAB took several students to work at the Watsonville, CA Law Center, where they volunteered their time working with low-income members of a migrant farming community. Other student-led service projects include Latino Law Students Association Teen Court, a diversion program for first-time juvenile offenders in lieu of formal juvenile court proceedings, and Street Law a nationally recognized educational outreach program that teaches legal literacy to local high school students. Street Law visited five local schools and exposed over 100 middle and high school students to legal concepts and topics including the difference between the adult and juvenile justice system; rehabilitation vs. punishment, and the pros and cons of juvenile incarceration.
As you continue down the hall as well as down to the basement level, you will arrive at the Graduate and International Program Office in Room 105 on the ground floor and in Room 16 on the basement level. Within these offices, you will find information on our five study abroad programs:
Students have the opportunity to spend one semester abroad in the fall or spring of their 2nd year, or the fall of their 3rd year. The application process includes an interview with a faculty member. Most students who have wanted to participate and who meet the admissions criteria have been able to secure a study abroad placement. Information sessions are held each fall for current J.D. students interested in exploring study abroad opportunities offered through USC. Students may also participate in study abroad programs offered by other ABA accredited law schools, with prior permission.
The Graduate and International Program also offers various law programs for international students who are pursuing a further degree in the United States. The programs offered include the Masters of Law (L.L.M.), Master of Comparative Law (M.C.L), Summer Law and English, the Visiting International Program for Lawyers, and a specialized online LL.M. program. Those pursuing the LL.M. degree may also complete the Business Law Certificate or the Entertainment Law Certificate should they choose to do so. All students who are accepted into the program have received their law degree outside the U.S.
In conjunction with the International Law & Relations Organization (ILRO), J.D. students and international LL.M. students gather each semester as a part of our J.D. & LL.M. Partnership Program. Our International Law and Relations Student organization organized the program which highlights the intersection of culture and law at USC Gould. The goal of the partnership program is to promote a sense of community among our diverse student body at the law school. J.D. and LL.M. students are divided into partnerships based on common interests, and the groups become a support network throughout the school year.
USC GLOBAL INITIATIVES
As you head north, you will pass the Ackerman Courtroom on your right. The courtroom, a state-of-the-art classroom/courtroom, hosts Moot Court Competitions, USC Gould school lectures, lunch-seminars with legal, government and business industry experts, and other special events for web casting, recording or video teleconferencing. In addition, the California Court of Appeals listens to oral arguments here each spring.
After passing the Ackerman Courtroom, you will turn right at the hallway. Continue straight ahead, and at the end of the hall, you will find the Career Services Office in Room 110. Starting October 15th of your first year, the Career Services Office will begin to offer one-on-one career counseling sessions to learn about your career interests, and to start to strategize with you about relevant employment opportunities. In addition, the CSO offers the following resources:
As you return to the east lobby, continue straight ahead (west) down the hall. When you arrive at the west lobby, you will see a set of stairs leading down on the right; this will lead to the Lower Level which includes the following:
When you reach the bottom of the stairs, if you turn left, you will pass some student organization offices and smaller classrooms. As you round the corner to your right, you will see the Law School CafÃ© on your left, and Room 7 on your right. There are three large classrooms on the lower level where most 1L's have their classes: Room 1, Room 3, and Room 7. If you continue past Room 7, you will reach the elevator; take it to the 2nd floor. When you step off of the elevator, you will be in the Gabriel and Matilda Barnett Information Technology Center and The Asa V. Call Law Library.
The Law Library has over 380,000 volumes and is open to all USC students, faculty and staff.
As you walk down the hall, you will pass the Lincoln Room on your left. The collection, which houses a trove of rare books, family portraits, campaign memorabilia and other artifacts honoring one of the nation's most revered presidents, was a gift from the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Foundation. As the nation celebrated the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth in February 2009, the law school offered the public a chance to examine its impressive collection of artifacts by offering tours of the reading room. For the region, law library officials believe the Lincoln artifacts to be second only to those of the Huntington library in San Marino.
Continue down the hallway to the entrance of the law library. As you pass the Service Counter, you will see research work stations on your left, and one of the reading rooms straight ahead. The path will lead you to the right where you will pass the Lexis Westlaw lab on the right, and the Journal sections on the left. Continuing down the hall, you will pass the Computer Lab on your right, followed by one of the computer classrooms. At this point, you can either continue straight ahead into another reading room, or turn right and follow the hall to the end where you will turn right again. You will pass three study rooms, which can be reserved at the Service Counter during the school year. As you pass by the Study Rooms, you will see the Campbell Lounge on your right. At the juncture of the hallway, turn right. This will bring you back to the main walkway in the Journal section where you will turn left and exit the library the same way you came in. To see a map of the Law Library, please visit our website at: http://weblaw.usc.edu/library/services/map/
Recent improvements to the law library include:
2nd Floor Rooms:
3rd Floor Rooms:
Continuing out of the Law Library, you may either take the stairs to the 1st floor or return to the elevator and take it to the 1st floor. The Law School has two addition levels.
We currently have 6 clinics which are open to students in their 2nd year. Each clinic takes in approximately 8-16 students per year, depending on the clinic. Students have the chance to work with actual clients that have been referred by various agencies. The clinics are located in Room 326 on the 3rd Floor. The clinical programs are as follows:
Law Review Office - Room 330
Law Review is open to students starting in their 2nd year. Approximately 35 positions are available, and staff members are selected on the basis of academic achievement during their first year, as well as their performance in the Write-On, a writing competition that takes place after the end of the first year. Their grades are weighted against their Write-On scores to form a composite score, and the students with the highest composite scores are invited to join the staff. The write-on competition is generally held the first two weeks following the end of each academic year.
The law school hosts 3 journals:
TheSouthern California Law Review strives to publish articles on a wide range of topics and to serve all segments of the legal community. They publish one volume produced as six separate issues between November and September. Each issue contains several articles written by outside contributors, in addition to notes written by Southern California Law Review staff members.
The Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal has a commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to legal scholarship. The issues reflect the relationship between law and various other disciplines, including the social and physical sciences, philosophy, economics, business, and the arts. They publish 3 issues each academic year with articles and student notes.
The Southern California Review of Law & Social Justice promotes the discussion and examination of issues lying at the intersection of social justice and the law. It publishes legal narratives and analyses of case law and legislation that address the lawâ€™s instrument of positive social change.
At USC Gould, we have a dedicated group of distinguished faculty ready to support, challenge, and guide you. We have 42 full-time faculty and more than 75 adjuncts and lectures with legal expertise in a variety of areas, including politics, intellectual property, entertainment, international, business, and ethics and tort reform. The interdisciplinary focus is strengthened by these faculty members, many of whom hold doctorates in other fields. Current faculty who have received grants, appointments, and have been recently published include:
Professor Daria Roithmayr
"Reproducing Racism: How Everyday Choices Lock In White Advantage" (January 2014) by NYU Press.
Professor Edward Kleinbard
"We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money" (October 2014) by Oxford University Press.
Professor Dan Simon
"In Doubt: The Psychology of the Criminal Justice Process" (June 2012) by Harvard University Press.
We are glad you decided to take the self-guided tour, and look forward to seeing you soon! Whether you are local or just visiting, we encourage you to schedule a class visit, or Information Session (offered in the fall). If we can answer any questions, please stop by the office before leaving, or contact us at (213) 740-2523, or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.