About USC Gould
USC Gould is a top-ranked law school with a 120-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 interdisciplinary curriculum, experiential learning opportunities and specialized areas.
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
Living her passion
USC Gould School of Law
- ABOUT USC GOULD
- A MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN
- + HISTORY OF USC GOULD
- LAW, RACE AND EQUITY
- + NEWS
- + EVENTS
- BOARD OF COUNCILORS
- CONSUMER INFORMATION (ABA REQUIRED DISCLOSURES)
- VISIT US
- SOCIAL MEDIA
- + CONTACT US
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Elle Fersan is Director of Provost’s Immigrants and Global Migration Initiative at USC Gould
By Jill Barone
Eliane “Elle” Fersan is passionate about immigration and global migration. Born and raised in Lebanon, Fersan’s own experiences have had a lasting effect on her interests, activism and career.
“I grew up in Lebanon during the Syrian occupation of my country. Witnessing ongoing conflict and corruption inspired my early activism,” she says. “I wanted to play my part as a citizen and change the system from within.”
Fersan received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, where her studies focused on Lebanese and Syrian migration to the United States and Brazil. After graduating, she dedicated her life to advocating for women, LGBTQ communities and immigrants in areas including Lebanon, the Middle East, North Africa and the U.S. through international development, advocacy, policy reform and fundraising.
She has collaborated with the U.S Department of State, the United Nations and local and state governments to improve equity. Included among her accomplishments are exposing a sex trafficking network of LGBTQ Syrian refugees, passing the first public non-smoking ban in a Middle Eastern city and obtaining program funding to increase women’s political participation at local and national levels in Lebanon.
Fersan spent time in Jordan and Canada before moving to the U.S. in 2015 and founding Global Nexus Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm that brings together a network of experts and advisers in global public affairs. Through this work, she advises agencies and governments and trains diplomats, non-governmental organization executives and policy advocates on topics including global migration, gender inclusion, coalition building, fundraising, governance and mobilization.
In 2018, she joined USC Gould as founding director of the Immigrants and Global Migration Initiative (IGMI). Months later, she became a naturalized U.S. citizen through the law school’s Immigration Clinic. “I am a product of the law school,” she says, laughing.
A USC provost initiative, IGMI “advances USC immigration and migration work and provides direct services to immigrant communities. Through research, advocacy and service, IGMI strives to become the premier national hub for intellectual discussion, debate and insight regarding immigration, migration and immigrant populations.”
Since its start, the initiative has been the driving force behind more than 30 events and organized three symposia on and around campus.
There are many ways for law school alumni to get involved, Fersan says. Engagement on social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; volunteering time; and contributing through writing or public speaking are all ways to support IGMI and be a part of its voice.
“What excites me most about IGMI is our unique placement at USC in the center of Los Angeles,” Fersan says. “USC has the power to deepen our understanding of immigration and be an objective voice around immigration issues through research and policy recommendations. We aim to be at the forefront of conversation on these issues with non-partisan, fact-based information.”
On Sept. 18, Fersan will present a keynote speech at the United Nations Association of the United States of America 12th Annual West Coast Global Forum. Register here.
JD Class of 2024 sets new academic milestones and is one of the most diverse classes ever
Jeesoo Nam finds, and teaches, the fun in tax law
September 8, 2021
New Gould professor looks forward to helping students understand complex laws
Deep dive into free speech rights
September 8, 2021
Prof. Erin Miller brings expertise in First Amendment, criminal procedure, legal theory to USC Gould