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Frank Rothman Scholars

Each year, USC Gould awards the Frank Rothman Scholarship to an outstanding incoming student. The full-tuition scholarship is guaranteed for three years and provides an additional $2,000 stipend during each of those years, as well as 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.

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.

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.

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.

Frank Rothman, JD 1951: A Legal Legend

Years after his death in 2000, Frank Rothman's name still elicits fond stories and deep respect throughout the legal profession. Known for his extraordinary skills as a negotiator, his unparalleled rapport with judges and juries, and his impeccable work ethic, Rothman was one of the nation's most influential trial lawyers and a legendary sports and entertainment attorney.

Today, his name also gives USC Gould students opportunities, connections and credibility that elude many lawyers well into their careers.

"Frank Rothman was the best of the best," says former USC Gould Dean Matthew L. Spitzer. "The Rothman Scholarship has become one of the most coveted scholarships in the country - due in large part to Frank's reputation, accomplishments and legacy."

The son of an upholsterer, Frank Rothman went to law school on the G.I. Bill. His career was characterized by success in the courtroom and high-profile clients. Called a "legendary litigator" by the National Law Journal, Rothman represented Warner Bros., the Walt Disney Co., Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, as well as the National Football League (NFL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Hockey League and the Professional Golfers Association. He was chairman and CEO of MGM/UA studios from 1982 to 1986, but his lifelong passion was the law. After leaving MGM/UA, he became an antitrust specialist and partner in the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Rothman was perhaps best known for defending the NFL in a 1986 antitrust case filed by the now-defunct United States Football League (USFL). In that case, a jury found the NFL guilty of violating one count of antitrust law but awarded only one dollar rather than the $1 billion in damages sought by the USFL. Rotham also handled a case that invalidated an NBA rule preventing players from entering the league before their college class graduated.

Deeply respected and admired by colleagues and friends, he also was held in the highest esteem by judges and business executives from across the country. His extraordinary skill and exemplary standards in his practice of law brought honor and distinction to the legal profession and to USC Gould, where he maintained close personal friendships and advised the school's administration as a member of the Board of Councilors.

Rothman passed away in 2000 at the age of 73, but his remarkable legacy in the legal profession and at USC are perpetuated by the Frank Rothman Scholars. Established in 2002 by the Rothman family with support from his colleagues, friends and business associates, the scholarship recognizes and supports USC's top law students - and serves as a lasting tribute to the life, energy and talent of its namesake.

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