About USC Gould
USC Gould is a top-ranked law school with a 115-year history and reputation for academic excellence. We are located on the beautiful 228-acre USC University Park Campus, just south of downtown Los Angeles.
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Frank Rothman Scholars
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Each year, USC Gould awards the Frank Rothman Scholarship to an outstanding incoming student.
The scholarship provides:
- full-tuition guaranteed for three years
- an additional $2,000 stipend each year
- a guaranteed, paid, first-year summer fellowship at one of the world's top law firms, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Los Angeles
All applicants to USC Gould are welcome to apply for the Frank Rothman Scholarship. To be considered, you must submit an additional statement (look for the prompt in the admission application) and complete your law school application by the February 1 priority deadline.
We take a holistic approach to choosing our Rothman Scholars, with selection criteria including strong academic indicators (LSAT and undergraduate cumulative GPA) and other factors from the application that make the recipient stand out.
Frank Rothman, JD 1951: A Legal Legend
The scholarship honors the late Frank Rothman '51, one of the nation's most respected sports and entertainment lawyers. His clients included the National Football League, the Professional Golfers Association, Warner Bros., Walt Disney Co., Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox. He also served as chairman and CEO of MGM/UA studios from 1982 to 1986. In later years, he worked as an antitrust specialist and partner in the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where Rothman Scholars perform their fellowships.
Called a legendary litigator by the National Law Journal and often included on that publication's list of the country's 100 most influential lawyers, Rothman was admired and respected by colleagues, judges and courtroom opponents. He was especially beloved at USC Gould, where he maintained close personal friendships and advised the school's administration as a member and chair of the Board of Councilors.
Steve Rothman, Frank's son, says the scholarship pays tribute to his father's lifelong devotion to USC Gould and serves as a reminder to others of his father's remarkable legacy. "My father always asked that we do the very best we are capable of," Steve Rothman says. "That is what this scholarship is intended to reflect."
The Rothman Scholars
Frank Rothman was known for his influence in the halls of corporate America as well as his spirit of always doing the very best he was capable of. Past recipients conveyed the ideals of Frank Rothman through accomplishments such as running a successful business, inventing useful devices, engaging in cutting-edge medical research, and publishing books and articles. Many have gone on to become successful corporate lawyers, business entrepreneurs and judicial clerks.
Ariel Prince (2017)
2017 Rothman Scholar
Animated and enthusiastic, Ariel Prince has a perpetual smile on her face, which makes it hard to imagine her stunned reaction when she found out she'd been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Frank Rothman scholarship.
"I was in San Francisco, walking down Market Street when I got the call," she recounts. "Everything muted out and I froze."
Ariel had arrived at the conclusion that she wanted to attend law school after working at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (formerly HP) in Palo Alto, and earning a B.A. from UC Berkeley in Political Science while also completing significant coursework in City Planning.
At Berkeley, she excelled in academics, making the Dean's list three consecutive semesters and earning recognition from Pi Sigma Alpha (the National Political Science Honor Society). Ariel also pursued leadership positions with the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity and the Jewish Student Union, and was honored as a Leadership Award Scholar for her impact on the community.
During her undergraduate years, Ariel sought law as a possible career path, working as a civil court intern at the Los Angeles Superior Court in Van Nuys and as a white collar crime intern at the Cozen O'Connor law firm in Washington, D.C.
In an effort to determine whether law was the right path, Ariel also explored the world of corporate communications. Upon graduating from Berkeley, Ariel joined Hewlett Packard Enterprise, where she honed her passion for writing while crafting executive speeches, keynote presentations, and press releases. She ultimately discovered that she was more interested in following the legal path she'd started at Berkeley. She wanted to pursue a career helping to shape land use policy and with research she found that USC Gould, with its strong real estate law faculty and curriculum, was very appealing.
Earning the Rothman scholarship was especially meaningful for Ariel, who admires Frank Rothman's approach to his profession. "He was a leader who found new paths and didn't stick to the status quo," she says, "but at the same time he was humble and courteous. That's a tough balance, but one that's also important to me."
Joining USC Gould also meant a return to Los Angeles, where her parents live. "I'm thrilled to be back in L.A., and my parents are happy I'm close. They've even started rooting for the USC football team!"
Now that she's halfway through her first semester at Gould, she's casting her eye on joining the Mediation Clinic ("because that's not naturally my skill set") and the 'SC in DC program, led by Prof. Susan Bayh (JD 1984). She's also currently considering whether to pursue either a position with the Southern California Law Review or with the Hale Moot Court Honors program.
"I tend to be curious. I want to learn it all," she says. Ariel describes her professors as encouraging of this approach. "The professors here are the crème de la crème and the atmosphere feels collaborative," she says, noting that she especially appreciates the brown bag lunches hosted by different faculty, such as Dan Klerman, Clare Pastore, and Robert Rasmussen.
Despite a hectic 1L schedule, Ariel still finds time to attend meetings of the Real Estate Law and Sports Law societies as well as the Women's Law Association. "I enjoy being busy; it builds priorities," she says.
"Before I arrived here, everyone said that Gould was a collegial environment," Ariel adds, "And it's so true. All of the first-year students knew each other's names immediately."
So enthusiastic is Ariel about Gould, she offers that she'd consider parlaying her Berkeley tour guide experience into a role as an ambassador leading tours for the law school's admissions office. "I love walking backwards and I love storytelling," she says. "I'm always smiling. I couldn't be happier here."
Julie Gantz (2016)
2016 Rothman Scholar
Fluent in English, Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, Julie Gantz is the first quadrilingual USC Gould Rothman Scholar. In addition, she's the first Rothman Scholar to arrive at Gould with a law degree, having already earned an LLM in Chinese Law from Shanghai Jiao Tong University's KoGuan Law School.
Yet, despite these stellar credentials, Julie confesses that she finds herself in "awe of the caliber of the previous Rothman scholars" and is determined "to live up to the promise" of being a Rothman scholar herself.
Her passion for the environment and a strong interest in the Chinese language drew the native San Diegan to Georgetown University, where she majored in International Politics, with a concentration in Foreign Policy and Policy Processes. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service, Magna Cum Laude, and a certificate in Asian Studies. At Georgetown, Julie focused her thesis on "the intersection of, and tension between," the Chinese government's economic and environmental policies. Wanting to "investigate in greater depth China's environmental reality," she decided to pursue her Master's degree in Chinese Law at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Julie says she was drawn to Gould for its strong sense of community and collegiality, along with the school's emphasis on "preparing students for responsible and meaningful legal careers." Receiving the Rothman scholarship, she added "was a privilege and honor beyond my wildest dreams." Julie plans to apply what she's already learned and further prepare herself for a career in environmental law, specializing in California water policy.
On top of the rigorous course load that comes with being a first-year law student, Julie is currently the 1L Representative for the school's Environmental and Energy Law Society, the Health Law Society, and the American Constitution Society.
As a student, she's impressed by the accessibility of her professors, such as Rebecca Brown, a nationally recognized constitutional law theorist who frequently hosts brown bag lunches to better get to know her students. "Our conversations evolve into current legal and political issues and their constitutional implications," Julie says. "It's an amazing opportunity to talk with someone that smart and accomplished who's also open to our ideas and helping us better connect them with the law."
While Julie strives to meet the academic demands of class readings and case briefs, she reflects on how her selection as a Rothman scholar inspires her. "I feel as though the law school and the Rothman family have put their faith in me," she says. "To reach the goals I've set for myself means I'm living up to the promise and opportunity of being a Rothman scholar."
Allison Bader (2015)
2015 Rothman Scholar
When Allison Bader found out that she was chosen to be the 2015 Rothman Scholar, she recalled, "I'm pretty sure my heart stopped. I think it took me about a millisecond to accept the offer."
A native Californian, Allison grew up in Temecula, a small city with a rural flavor just north of San Diego. She knew that she wanted to remain in Los Angeles because it's where she wanted to build her legal career.
Allison received her undergraduate degree in Political Science in less than four years from UCLA, and methodically approached her law school quest, creating an Excel spreadsheet detailing the pros and cons of each school. "I knew I wanted to attend a prestigious school with a high employment rate, but also I wanted to be among like-minded people," she said. Remarkably, Allison also found time to work on UCLA's yearbook "BruinLife," becoming its Editor-in-Chief her junior year, while consistently making the Dean's Honors List. She was also a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, Political Science Honors Society and the Golden Key International Honor Society, before graduating Summa Cum Laude.
USC Gould fit her criteria, and now that she is a rising 3L, she feels that the law school has exceeded her expectations. During her 2L year, Allison was involved in a variety of activities. She was a writing fellow in the first year Legal Writing & Research Program. In that position, she was able to work with a small section of 1L's as their writing class teaching assistant, and help them adapt to legal writing. She is excited to continue in this position during her 3L year. She was also a staff member on the Southern California Law Review, and will serve as an Executive Senior Editor in her 3L year. Additionally, she worked part-time as a law clerk for an arbitrator.
Speaking about her fellowship at Skadden, Allison stated "my summer at Skadden was amazing. I was able to take on assignments in almost all of the firms numerous practice groups, which helped me better determine which area of law I'm most interested in. Having the opportunity to experience life at a big law firm in my first year was unparalleled."
This summer, Allison will be splitting her time between O'Melveny & Meyers in Newport Beach, and Skadden in Downtown Los Angeles.
"Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming. It's been a lot of work, but I love it here. This has been a perfect fit for me, and the Rothman Scholarship is a powerful opportunity and a testament to what a special place this is."
Colton Cray (2014)
2014 Rothman Scholar
Colton Cray was on spring break in Mexico when the news came that he had been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Frank Rothman Scholarship. "I was so excited to tell my parents, I didn't stop to think where I was. It was probably the happiest call I ever made, and possibly the most expensive one too!"
Becoming a Rothman Scholar seemed like an ideal opportunity for Colton. A graduate of the University of Arizona, he earned four majors in Management Information Systems, Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Operations Management. As a senior in college, Colton was named one of the university's Robie Gold medal winners, a prestigious award given each year to a senior who has succeeded both inside and outside the classroom. In addition to his academic achievements, he found time to volunteer as an undergraduate and intern with a private equity firm, and helped to develop a couple of start-up companies. "I learned how I fit in—helping entrepreneurs develop products and ideas that the world needs," Colton said.
In researching a law career that would match his business interests, Colton discovered that USC Gould was the perfect "next step" on his journey to help others in business. He said, "I always thought the decision would be harder, but USC made it so easy. I got the opportunity to study what I wanted, and set up for a career in the field I wanted." He added, "USC stood out immediately from other law schools because of the sheer friendliness and happiness of the students and faculty. I was able to see that positivity continue in the way USC engaged me personally and professionally. I didn't see the cut-throat competitiveness I'd heard horror stories about, and I knew right away that I had found the perfect fit."
During his time at USC Gould, Colton participated in the 2015-2016 Hale Moot Court, and served in the Advanced Mediation Clinic. Additionally, he enrolled in cross-curricular classes at the Marshall School of Business, where he worked as a Teaching Assistant. He spent his final year studying abroad in Lyon, France, and was a volunteer in the Peer Mentor Program. He was also a member of the Business Law Society and the Federalist Society.
The highlight of being a Rothman Scholar for Colton was having the chance to spend the summer following his 1L year at the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. "The internship was a career-changing opportunity. It provided me with the ability to work in corporate law right away," he said, adding, "I was able to focus on schoolwork without the stress of finding a summer position. That is a huge advantage for any student."
Colton eventually opted to spend a second summer at Skadden, choosing to split his time between the firm's Los Angeles and New York headquarters. He ultimately accepted a full-time offer in the firm's Corporate Group, beginning fall 2017.
"It is a life-changing privilege to be a Rothman Scholar and one that challenges me to live up to my greatest capability, so that I may honor the legacy of Frank Rothman."
Rowley Rice (2013)
2013 Rothman Scholar
There are a number of factors that drew Rowley Rice '16 to attend USC Gould: he wanted a small class size in order to work closely with faculty and avoid an "anonymous" experience in law school; he could pursue an interdisciplinary field of study; and he would make his parents and grandparents proud by becoming a fifth-generation Trojan.
But the 2013 Frank Rothman Scholarship recipient chose USC Gould for its reputation as a collegial environment in which to study law.
"When I was interviewing for the scholarship," Rowley explained, "I asked faculty and students what they thought distinguished USC's law students when they came out at the other end of the pipeline. What is it that is unique about USC grads? The answer I got overwhelmingly was 'collegiality'. That is a small word to describe a big thing. What they were saying essentially was that they thought USC students worked better with others in the profession. USC fosters a really collegial environment that promotes students working together that isn't cutthroat. It also offers an extensive curriculum that teaches you to deal with a variety of professional disciplines."
Rowley is a native Californian, born and raised in San Clemente. He travelled east for his undergraduate studies earning his bachelors in Government and his masters in American Government from Georgetown. He received both degrees in four years, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He also spent his junior year at the London School of Economics.
Rowley loved his time at USC. While here, he was active on the Southern California Law Review, serving as Executive Notes Editor his 3L year. His note was selected for publication, and was a comparative analysis of British and American campaign finance law with respect to third parties and interest groups. Rowley also participated in the Mediation Clinic and the Advanced Mediation Clinic during his 2L and 3L years, respectively. He felt that participation in both clinics was a "phenomenal way to get hands-on negotiation and conflict-resolution experience. Professor Lisa Klerman is in charge of the program, and she does an amazing job mentoring students and giving them immediate exposure to mediation." Rowley also worked with Professor Sam Erman on an amicus brief for the Supreme Court concerning whether the Double Jeopardy Clause applied in Puerto Rico. He also worked as a teaching assistant to Professor Alex Capron and Professor Scott Bice.
At the conclusion of his 1L year, Rowley spent his 1L summer and part of his 2L summer at Skadden. He spent the second half of his 2L summer at Munger, Tolles & Olson. He focused on litigation during both summers. "Skadden allowed me to dive into complex cases from the get-go. I worked on securities, white collar, and products liability cases. I also worked on pro bono prisoner rights and housing discrimination cases."
Rowley is currently working as a law clerk in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. After that, he plans to clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Receiving the Rothman has made Rowley feel part of a special family. "Being the Rothman Scholar is a great honor, and I feel privileged and humbled to have joined the community."
Maria Bostandjian (2012)
2012 Rothman Scholar
With an interest in interdisciplinary studies, Maria looked for a law school where she could continue learning in other fields. Born in Armenia, Maria immigrated to the United States at the age of eight. She graduated from the University of California-Berkeley, with a degree in economics. Originally, biochemistry was her major, and she worked alongside researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles' Department of Orthopedic Surgery searching for a genetic explanation for the Dowager's Hump, an abnormal curvature of the spine that debilitates millions of people. Along the way, she made an interesting discovery about herself: she preferred the intricacies of healthcare law and policy rather than practice.
Prior to law school, she spent a year working as an associate for a global strategic advisory and expert consulting firm, which provided services in high stakes litigation. Working with noted authorities in healthcare, finance, antitrust, and intellectual property, reaffirmed her desire to go to law school.
When she was offered the Frank Rothman Scholarship, she was thrilled. "This was an opportunity I could not pass up," she recalls. "A guaranteed summer fellowship at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is such a rare opportunity, especially after your first year of law school."
The option of taking up to 12 units of upper-division coursework outside the law school at any of the other schools on campus also appealed to Maria. "USC is truly an interdisciplinary campus," she says. "Just because I was studying law didn't mean that I was confined to the law school. I could take classes at the Marshall School of Business and the Price School of Public Policy."
As for the supportive and collaborative environment at Gould, Maria remembers, "the professors and students were so interconnected, which is refreshing after coming from a large, public undergraduate school. Everyone in the law school genuinely cares about you and your success."
After her 1L year, Maria was a summer associate at Skadden, and was able to combine her interest in law and economics by learning about corporate business law.
Maria is currently the founder and President for Consumer Innovations, Inc. in Santa Monica, CA.
"Frank Rothman's life and career have been a great inspiration to me," she says. "I hope to honor his legacy through my work as an attorney."
Jamie Heine (2010)
2010 Rothman Scholar
Questions about financial market instability led 2008 Frank Rothman Scholar Jamie Heine in search of answers. Earning her undergraduate degree at the University of California-Berkeley, where she majored in political economy, she decided to attend law school to better understand the legal side of the financial market.
During undergrad years, she began research on systemic financial risk and financial stability policies by traveling to London, Washington, D.C., and Boston to interview top economists, scholars, and governmental officials (including a former Federal Reserve Board member) for her thesis. She then sought out schools with a strong emphasis in both law and economics, and her search led her to USC Gould. "USC's emphasis on interdisciplinary studies was really attractive to me," Jamie recalls. "I had strong interests in law and financial markets, and I wanted a school that would allow me a range of opportunities to pursue my goals in both of these areas."
Being selected as a Rothman Scholar solidified Jamie's decision to attend USC Gould. "It was a huge honor. When I found out that I had won the scholarship, there was no question that I would attend," she says. "I was also impressed by the close-knit community at USC. I knew this was a school where I could find my niche." Jamie found her niche by becoming a staff member on the Southern California Law Review, and continuing her research on systemic financial risk.
Following her 1L year, Jamie became a summer associate with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom. "I was able to try a variety of practice groups and learned that I really loved corporate and restructuring practices. The attorneys were incredibly smart, and everyone I worked with was invested in making my summer both educational and fun."
In the last two years of law school, she served as a judicial extern at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California, and was a summer honors intern at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
After graduating from Gould, Jamie clerked for the Hon. James V. Selna at the United States District Court for the Central District of California. She currently works for Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. Her practice focuses on financial services litigation and enforcement, and financial institutions regulatory work.
What inspired her most about the Rothman Scholarship? "The Rothman Scholarship is an unparalleled opportunity no prospective student should pass up," she says. "The primary benefits are obvious and are reason enough: a full-tuition scholarship and 1L summer job at one of the best firms in the world. My summer at Skadden really helped me gauge what type of law I wanted to practice, and was also an incredible introduction to the practice of law at the highest levels. I worked with some of the best attorneys in the world. USC Gould is committed to the professional success of its Rothman Scholars. As the Rothman Scholar, you enter the law school already having begun relationships with members of the administration and faculty who are committed to helping you navigate your career. That commitment is not just while you are at USC, but continues after you've graduated. Such individualized attention can make a big difference in your experience at law school and your success in practice."
Kyle Barrett (2009)
2009 Rothman Scholar
"I first learned that I had been chosen as the 2009 Frank Rothman Scholar when I was coming out of a class at Duke," Kyle recalls. "I had 24 hours to think about it, but I only needed 24 seconds... I was going to USC Gould."
A graduate of Duke University, where he majored in biology and pursued a certificate in health policy, Kyle planned to pursue his interest in biology and law by exploring the field of patent law at USC. "One of the main reasons I applied to law school, was because of my interest in the legal issues arising from advances in genomic and neurobiological research," he says. He took advantage of the diverse courses in intellectual property and health law, and his note regarding health reform's impact on the FDA's regulation of pharmaceuticals was selected for publication in the Southern California Law Review.
"USC was a natural fit for me. I was impressed with the closeness of the community at the law school. Everyone, from the administrators and professors to the students, seemed to know each other by name. I also liked the fact that USC Gould fostered connections between the other graduate schools on campus through centers like the Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics."
After his first year at USC Gould, Kyle worked for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as a summer associate. While there, he gained experience handling diverse litigation matters in fields like white collar crime, bankruptcy, and employment law. During his second year, he worked again for Skadden in Los Angeles, and also for Jones Day in Silicon Valley as a summer associate. At Jones Day, Kyle worked on intellectual property cases concerning computer system patents and software copyright infringements. After he graduated from Gould in 2012, he was hired as an associate with Jones Day. His practice focused on intellectual property law, with an emphasis on patent and copyright litigation, representing clients in Federal Court at various stages of litigation.
Going back to his original field of interest, Kyle currently works for lllumina, Inc., a start-up company in San Diego. They are a global leader in genomic research, and aspire to transform human health by exploring DNA on an entirely new scale. Kyle represents the company in a wide variety of transactions, particularly those having an intellectual property component.
Amanda Rubenstein (2008)
2008 Rothman Scholar
Amanda is an educator at heart. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa), where she majored in political science. Among Amanda's diverse extracurricular activities as an undergraduate, was writing for academic journals, winning Penn's Flesch Prize 2006-07 for her essay, "Developing Time in Terms of Movement," on the film "La Jeté" by French filmmaker Chris Marker.
She also co-founded the Active Asthma Workshop benefiting West Philadelphia youth, and mentored inner-city high school students to improve their college and career success. After earning her degree, and being inspired by her work with underprivileged youth, she started her own tutoring business in her native Orange County. She also provided pro-bono tutoring workshops on the weekends.
Looking for a law school where she could advance her public service aspirations, Amanda sought a school that fostered intellectual curiosity, promoted collegiality, and embraced community service. "From the moment I stepped into the Admissions Office at USC Gould, I was greeted by name," she recalls, "I felt a sense of warmth, optimism, and humanity that I wanted to be a part of for the next three years. I felt particularly drawn to USC's interdisciplinary approach to legal education because my own perspectives have been enriched by exposure to diverse backgrounds and viewpoints. I was also impressed by the caliber of students and faculty, and the solid emphasis on community service."
Being a recipient of the prestigious Rothman Scholarship also played a key role in her decision to attend USC Gould. "I was honored to be a part of Frank Rothman's legacy and the family of Rothman scholars," she says. "Frank Rothman embodied the type of attorney and litigator I aspired to become."
As a summer associate with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom after her 1L year, Amanda was enabled to hone her legal skills by working hand-in-hand with attorneys at the top of their game. "I'm so grateful that the Frank Rothman Scholarship allowed me to become a member of USC Gould's academic community. I was part of a class of all-stars — intelligent, passionate, and ambitious law students who didn't hesitate to support one another's pursuits in a collaborative learning environment." She also worked as a summer associate for Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP in her 2L year.
"I believe it's our responsibility to give back," Amanda says. Currently, she is President/Owner and Test Preparatory Specialist at AR Academics. True to her entrepreneurial spirit and love of education, she and her team help prepare future college and graduate students to reach their goals and dreams.
Jessica Walker (2007)
2007 Rothman Scholar
Jessica knew from an early age that she wanted to be an attorney; but not just any attorney... a litigator. When it came time to choose a law school, she was pretty impartial. It was only after visiting the USC campus in the middle of a cross-country tour of law schools that she decided Gould was the right fit for her. "I felt like the campus was a lot more welcoming; a lot more tailored to the things I was interested in than other schools I visited."
Jessica graduated from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, where she majored in marketing. She also held leadership roles in the professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi.
Once she was named the Rothman Scholar and started at USC Gould, Jessica saw more of the collegiality that first drew her to the school. "I felt very comfortable in classes. Professors are really encouraging to help us get to the places they want us to go," she says. "I also liked the small class size and the fact that the students all get to know each other so well."
Following her 1L year, Jessica spent the summer working as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. She worked on several securities assignments, which later inspired her note for the Southern California Law Review on Loss Causation at the Class Certification Stage. She returned to Skadden during the summer following her 2L year, splitting the time between Skadden's Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles offices. She also did a judicial externship with the Hon. R. Gary Klausner of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. After graduating from Gould, she joined Skadden as an associate working with the litigation group.
"The fact that Skadden is good at corporate law really attracted me to the firm because business-related law was the path I was interested in," she says. Jessica currently works for Nixon Peabody LLP in Los Angeles with its litigation group. Her practice includes representation of clients in both state and federal courts, in addition to various administrative venues.
Andrew Elken (2006)
2006 Rothman Scholar
It wasn't initially a part of New York native Andrew Elken's plans to move across the country after finishing his bachelor's degree. However, when he was offered the prestigious Rothman Scholarship at USC Gould, suddenly a cross-country move seemed perfectly logical. "As I was especially interested in corporate law, this scholarship seemed to be a very good fit for me," he recalls.
Andrew's resume made him an excellent candidate for the scholarship. A graduate of Princeton University, where he majored in Political Science and Economics, he was also the recipient of the George Shultz Fellowship Award, which honored his academic achievements and independent research efforts. While at Princeton, he conducted economic research at the Central Bank of Estonia, in Tallinn, Estonia. He also published "A Moral Evaluation of Torture as a Policy Tool" in the spring 2004 edition of The Journal of Politics and Society. After graduating from Princeton, he was a consultant for Criterion Economics in Washington, D.C., where he developed empirical and theoretical expert reports and white papers. He also worked with clients on complex economic, financial, corporate and legal issues.
After coming to USC Gould, Andrew says he was particularly impressed with the quality of the interdisciplinary faculty. "USC Gould has some especially great corporate classes, so even though corporate work requires a lot of learning on the job, I felt like I had a good base and was well-prepared to start my career. My participation in the Southern California Law Review was also an important and rewarding experience."
Andrew spent his first summer following his 1L year at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom. He then split his second summer between the offices of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York, and Skadden in Los Angeles. "It was great experience. Everyone was extremely smart, and they incorporated me into their teams. Both summers provided an education in the substantive law, and the differences among various types of legal practice." After graduating from USC Gould, Andrew retuned to New York to become a corporate associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and was promoted to partner in 2018.
"I would recommend USC Gould School of Law to anyone who is seeking a first-rate legal education in a uniquely collegial atmosphere," Andrew says. "I also can't emphasize strongly enough how rare an opportunity it is to be a Rothman Scholar. The combination of the full scholarship and the summer associate position at Skadden, is truly unparalleled. It opens so many doors, and you can pursue any type of career after law school."
Abraham Tabaie (2005)
2005 Rothman Scholar
Abraham Tabaie had packed his bags for NYU Law School when he received a call from USC Gould School of Law with the Frank Rothman Scholar offer. Would he take it? No question.
A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, Abraham majored in political science and history and was named the Charles and Sue Young Undergraduate of the Year.
During the summer following his 1L year, Abraham joined the team at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, as the current Rothman Scholar. "I was given substantive, interesting work on some of the largest white collar crime cases," he said. "It was a great summer, and I worked with exceptional attorneys." The following spring, he experienced the remarkable influence of being a Frank Rothman Scholar when he was offered a judicial externship with the Hon. Stephen V. Wilson of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. "Judge Wilson knew I was a Rothman Scholar and that honor helped me stand out," says Abraham. "The judge had been a colleague of Frank Rothman, like so many others in the L.A. area."
Abraham split his time between two firms during the summer of 2007, working at Skadden, and Irell and Manella on a host of different cases. In his final year at USC Gould, he and four other classmates assisted Professor Tom Lyon, writing a brief on behalf of children's organizations for a Supreme Court case. His note concerning the SEC's subpoena power was also selected for publication in the Southern California Law Review.
After graduation, Abraham clerked for fellow Gould alumnus, the Hon. George H. King '74, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He then returned to Skadden as a second year associate, working on white-collar criminal cases as well as civil trials. In 2011, he left Skadden to pursue another judicial clerkship, this time with the Hon. Barry J. Silverman in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He returned to Skadden as an associate in 2012, and currently works with the litigation group.
"Being at USC Gould was a great experience," Abraham says. "The law school is vibrant and diverse, and I have made friends that I will remain close to for the rest of my life. I was able to work one-on-one with professors, and that's something I don't think many students at other law schools get the chance to do. The professors are academically demanding, but at the same time, personal and engaging. I could not have made a better decision than to attend USC."
Elizabeth Kimmelman (2004)
2004 Rothman Scholar
Initially planning on only applying to east coast law schools, Elizabeth had a change of heart after hearing the USC Gould School of Law Dean of Admissions speak at a pre-law seminar. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in anthropology and minored in biology, she set her sights on USC.
Some of Elizabeth's fondest memories center around her work on Moot Court, where she was a quarter- finalist her second year, and was administrative vice-chair her third year, winning the Outstanding Board Member Award. She reflects, "I always enjoyed meeting the other students in the program, and found it an amazing way to meet people in the Los Angeles legal community. It taught me how to think on my feet and communicate effectively." She also credits her strong writing skills as an attorney to working as a Legal Research, Writing and Advocacy Student Fellow.
The summer after her first year of law school, Elizabeth was a summer associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which is one of the many perks of a Rothman Scholar. "Through my work at Skadden," she reflected, "I became more interested in and excited about a career in litigation." After graduation, Elizabeth returned to Philadelphia to work at Dechert LLP as a litigation associate. While there, she worked on mass tort products liability cases and white collar litigation. She is grateful for her experience there, where she learned professionalism, the importance of client relationships, and also honed her writing and analytical skills.
Ultimately, Elizabeth decided to take her passion for learning, the skills she gathered from law school, and those earned while practicing litigation, into academia. She took a position as the assistant director of classes and reunions in Development and Alumni Relations at her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.
Her interest in higher education led Elizabeth to Bryn Mawr College, where she is currently senior associate director of campaigns. She credits her positive experience at USC Gould with validating her love of learning and being in a school environment. "I miss the warm and friendly community I had there," she remembers fondly. "I had the best time in law school. I think having a positive law school experience will impact the rest of your legal career."
Jennifer del Castillo (2003)
2003 Rothman Scholar
As Jennifer began the next stage of her legal career at USC Gould, she was more grateful than ever to be the second Rothman Scholar. As a double Trojan, she earned her bachelor's degree in anthropology, then went on to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where she received a master's degree.
While at Gould, she participated in Moot Court, which later paid off while working in litigation for one of the largest nonprofit law firms in the nation. She also credits the Rothman Scholarship to opening the door for what became five satisfying years as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
"The wonderful thing about Skadden was that it was a place where you didn't have to pigeon-hole yourself," Jennifer says. "You had to be prepared to pick up a case in an area of law you didn't know much about, and then learn things you never thought you would need to know."
Jennifer had her eye on public service since coming to law school, but wanted to get the proper training. "The diversity of cases you receive in a big law firm really does prepare you to do this kind of work, she says."
After graduating from Gould, Jennifer was hired as an associate at Skadden. While working on a pro-bono Skadden case, Jennifer teamed up with Catherine Lhamon, a litigator with the ACLU, who later moved to Public Counsel. Impressed by Jennifer's work, she was instrumental in bringing Jennifer to Public Counsel. Jennifer's position allowed her to bring suit on behalf of low-income and other individuals who had suffered systemic discrimination and violations of their civil and economic rights. She says "my experience at Skadden prepared me for anything I would have to do at a public interest firm."
"It all traces back to the Rothman Scholarship... If not for the scholarship, I never would have gone to Skadden, and never would have had the opportunity to do the pro-bono work. I continue to be eternally grateful."
Douglas Strasnick (2002)
2002 Rothman Scholar
When Douglas first arrived at USC Gould, he had impressive credentials. He earned his degree with top honors (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) in public policy studies and psychology from Duke University. He had also studied Shakespeare in London and excelled in several sports. Because he was the first person to receive the Rothman scholarship, he was, in essence, setting a precedent for all future Rothman Scholars.
After arriving at USC Gould, he started to plan his path. He was a finalist in the Hale Moot Court Honors Competition in 2004, and served on the 2005 Moot Court Board. Spending his first summer in law school working at the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Frank Rothman's former firm, he states "the best thing about the scholarship is that it provides a tradition to lead the way for you, but also provides the opportunity to create your own path."
Today, Douglas is a consultant to start-up companies and SME's (small and medium-sized enterprises), and has been fortunate to have been involved with some of the nation's top media and entertainment firms and companies such as Ovation TV, Lifetime TV, United Talent Agency, Crowdfunder, and Proskauer Rose. He has seen the Trojan Network in action when, by chance, he interviewed with another USC Gould School of Law graduate, Jeffery Schneider '91, and landed a job as the legal counsel in the business and legal affairs office for Lifetime Entertainment Services.
"I enjoy being a part of all this," Douglas says. "I don't shy away from the responsibility. It was clear to me at the very beginning that there's a certain responsibility that comes with this scholarship, and I took that very seriously. When I participate in interviews for the next Rothman Scholar, one of the things I look for is someone who is not only willing to accept the responsibility, but is likely to flourish under it. I want this program to be the best it can be because my name will forever be tied to it. I want to create a legacy - something the Rothman family can take pride in."
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