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Message from the Dean

USC Gould School of Law

Welcome to USC Gould.

Now, more than ever, the legal profession is of vital importance in our world. It is a career choice that has the potential to benefit society and impact people’s quality of life in profound ways — thus, it is also a choice that carries significant responsibility. At the USC Gould School of Law, our focus is on preparing students to be leaders in thought and action. Our faculty members produce research addressing pressing legal issues and engage in work that shapes public discourse.

One of the premier legal institutions nationwide and the oldest law school in Southern California, USC Gould is distinguished by its culture of collegiality, its rich legacy of clinical education and interdisciplinary study, and a commitment to providing a unique student-centered experience. Here, you’ll find the opportunities to pursue your passions and the tools to excel in the classroom and in your career.

USC Gould Vision Statement:

The University of Southern California Gould School of Law cultivates analytical ability, ethical values and a spirit of collegiality that prepare our students for meaningful careers benefiting society. We enrich human knowledge and the principles of justice through superior scholarship.

At the center of our vibrant community is Gould’s renowned faculty. They are leading scholars in their respective fields, whose multi-disciplinary research and expertise inform policies and decision makers at the highest levels. But perhaps most importantly, they are dedicated teachers who share a common goal of inspiring the next generation of lawyers to reach the highest standards.

A hallmark of the Gould learning experience is our small class sizes, where students engage closely with one another and their professors. Our students are also encouraged to take full advantage of the depth and breadth of the abundant resources across the university. Further, as part of USC Gould, you are now part of the esteemed Trojan Family, an unparalleled global network that includes more than 15,000 law school alumni. The strength of the Trojan network extends far beyond the generous support of alumni, and also encompasses lifelong mentorship and career guidance.

I have always believed that USC Gould is home to the best students in the world, who enrich our academic environment with their wide range of experiences, perspectives and ideas. We are among the most diverse law schools nationwide, and we value this diversity as a pillar of our community. We endeavor to be a place where all feel welcome, and where all have access to support they need to thrive as students and as individuals.

In addition, our location in the heart of Los Angeles offers unmatched opportunities to learn and develop your skills in one of the nation’s top legal markets and the busiest court systems. From Silicon Beach to downtown L.A., Gould students enjoy access to clerkships, externships and career options at law and business firms, public interest organizations, and major entertainment, sports, media and technology companies. We are constantly adapting to the ever-evolving legal landscape to ensure that our students learn at the leading edge of practice. Moreover, our highly acclaimed clinics give students valuable experience, working on real cases and helping clients firsthand.

I invite you to learn more about what makes USC Gould such a dynamic and special place. As USC Gould’s first African American dean and the first woman dean in nearly 40 years, my leadership is about creating a new legacy and standing on the shoulders of giants. This role is indeed an avenue for cultivating change, with the potential to affect so many lives in a meaningful way. I am proud to carry forward that mindset of service — and embrace my obligation of making a positive difference in our world.

Handwritten Signature

Franita Tolson
Dean and Carl Mason Franklin Chair in Law

Our Mission

View the guiding mission statement for USC Gould School of Law.

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