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.
Learn about our rigorous and interdisciplinary curriculum, our invaluable experiential learning opportunities, and the breadth and depth of our specialized areas of concentration and certificate offerings.
- Student Life
Participate in an unparalleled learning experience with diversity of people and thought. Get involved in the law school community and participate in activities that enhance your studies.
We work closely with students, graduates and employers to support successful career goals and outcomes. Our overall placement rate is consistently strong, with 94 percent of our JD class employed within 10 months after graduation.
Our faculty is distinguished for its scholarship, as well as for its commitment to teaching. Our 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio creates an intimate and collegial learning environment.
- Alumni and Giving
Alumni and Giving
The global Trojan network of more than 10,000 law alumni and donors include recognized leaders in numerous fields who are deeply committed to supporting student and law school success.
- ABOUT USC GOULD
- A MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN
- + HISTORY OF USC GOULD
- + NEWS
- + EVENTS
- BOARD OF COUNCILORS
- ABA REQUIRED DISCLOSURES
- VISIT US
- SOCIAL MEDIA
- + CONTACT US
Rich Merritt Comes Out and Tells
Friday, Feb 15, 2008
Gay former Marine decries military policies
—By Cecilia Hong
Rich Merritt first publicly revealed his homosexuality over a drink with a lieutenant in a military station in Okinawa, Japan, at the age of 25.
Raised in a conservative family, Merritt struggled with his sexuality through his teen and early adult years. The author of the new book Code of Conduct, published last month by Kensington Publishing Corp., he spoke to USC Law students Feb. 11 during an event sponsored by OUTLaw. Merritt is a 2001 graduate of USC Law.
|Rich Merritt, former Marine
and gay porn star, is now a
New York attorney and writer
Merritt was ultimately expelled from Bob Jones after being seen “dancing so freely” at a night club one evening. Although he felt somewhat liberated, Merritt said he also felt he “lost everything” familiar about his life and decided to start over by joining the Marine Corps.
“The Marine Corps was a liberalizing experience,” Merritt said. “Joining the Marine Reserves was the first real time away from a Fundamentalist life. It gave me the opportunity to think about life and gave me the chance to live differently.”
Seeing the world and foreign cultures also made him question the ramifications of American policies like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
“After coming back to the states, I felt that something wasn’t right,” Merritt said. Such policies “really mean that you have to actively lie about who you are. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is really hell.”
Merritt rebelled. Instead of talking about his frustrations with stigmas and policies against homosexuality, Merritt said, he vented his anger through writing and an “unhealthy choice to become a porn star.
“I felt like I was going against everything,” Merritt said.
After Merritt’s partner encouraged him to quit the porn industry, Merritt turned to writing as a healthier way to express his feelings. He began writing columns for “The Navy Times,” and in 2005, his autobiography, Secrets of a Gay Marine Porn Star, was published.
“Things can change,” Merritt said of gay rights in America. With more homosexuals coming out, he said gay rights will have to be addressed.
Merritt currently works as contract attorney in New York. His most recent book, Code of Conduct, is a novel that explores what “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” really means for the military. Merritt says the policy destroys unit cohesion by forcing homosexuals to live a lie for the sake of the organization.
Professionals with an Edge in Law
July 19, 2018
MSL graduates bring to the business world a better understanding of legal issues
Prof. Hannah Garry is dedicated to fighting for ideals of justice and reconciliation
The new certificates are available in the fall