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.
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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.
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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.
On the Movie Industry's Cutting Edge
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Friday, February 9, 2018
Susan Kigawa (JD 1989) leverages her knowledge of entertainment and technology at The Walt Disney Studios
For Susan Kigawa (JD 1989), the thrill of working for Disney never wears off. After 13 years with the company — albeit divided into two stints — there’s still the excitement of getting to see the early work on movies and the talent who make them. But what she thrives on most, she says, is collaborating “with people who are leaders in their field, whether it’s creative, operational or legal.” Plus, as the head of the legal team for Walt Disney Studios global operations, she’s on the cutting edge of new developments in technology, such as the adoption of the 4K video format for content.
“It’s an exciting time to try and figure out how we need to change,” she says. “And given the state of technology, that will be a question that is constantly asked. Moving forward, it’s never going to be the status quo anymore.”
|USC Gould alumna Susan Kigawa (JD 1989) photographed on The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank.|
Kigawa, who grew up in the Los Angeles area and earned a BA in economics from UC Berkeley, began her law career in private practice. As an attorney with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in L.A., she advised clients on the marketing and distribution of their products across industries ranging from cars to wines. In 1994, that background in distribution became her springboard into the corporate world, and she spent two years with Buena Vista International Inc., the Disney company responsible for the international theatrical distribution of Disney’s motion pictures, before leaving to work for Microsoft for almost a decade.
For her second stint in the entertainment industry, Kigawa deliberately targeted the studios. She knew that they were ready to start distributing their movies and content via streaming and download. She also knew that she had the unique combination of skills that they were looking for: entertainment, distribution and technology. Her plan worked. In 2006, Disney hired her onto a new team tasked with incubating and growing its global digital distribution business.
Kigawa, who has stayed involved with USC Gould and participates in the school’s mock job interviews with law students, says that they sometimes ask her how they, too, can make it into the entertainment industry. Her response is that students first really need to target the particular type of entertainment law in which they have interest.
But Kigawa is also a passionate networker, and her connections, many of them Trojan, helped her transition into each position after the law firm. Both her current and her previous boss are USC alumni. She actually knew her current boss in law school. “The loyalty that USC has to its own is simply amazing,” she says. What she wants the next generation of Trojan lawyers to also understand is this: “The alumni are behind them.”
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of the USC Law Magazine.
USC Gould Prof. Dan Simon Named Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar
September 19, 2018
Simon is one of the nation’s 15 distinguished scholars chosen this year
Tough Negotiator, Encouraging Mentor
September 4, 2018
Ted Russell ’94 practices at Fox what he learned at Gould
USC Gould Raises the Bar in Record-Breaking Year
August 30, 2018
The law school enjoys surge of applications and highest median GPA in history