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.
Student Quick Links:
USC Gould helps prepare you for a stellar legal career. You can pursue a JD degree, one of our numerous graduate and international offerings, or an online degree or certificate.
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.
Student Quick Links:
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
Celebrating the power of kinship
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
Monday, March 21, 2022
PCJP event showcases former client’s transformation through compassion
By Jenifer Kasten
|Father Gregory Boyle embraces Celia Perez at the PCJP event "Compassion and Transformation." (Photo: Tom Queally)|
How can a person accomplish such a fundamental, personal transformation under such unspeakably harsh conditions? At a special conversation titled “Compassion and Transformation,” Professor Heidi Rummel, co-director of PCJP, posed that question to Celia and her mentor, Father Gregory Boyle, the Jesuit priest who befriended her in juvenile hall.
|Fr. Boyle and Perez maintained a connection over the years, and Perez now works as an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community at Homeboy Industries, which Fr. Boyle founded. (Photo: Tom Queally)|
The two reminisced about their early connection, when Celia knew him simply as “G,” a kind man who held mass at juvenile hall. Many know Fr. Boyle as the founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention and rehabilitation organization in the world. He also is known as a prolific speaker and author of three books, including the New York Times bestseller Tattoos on the Heart.
Celia recalled being unable to understand “how it was possible a human being could be trying to show that much love. He would hug you, and just care about you … I didn’t know how to react to that.” But Fr. G kept showing up, and eventually, Celia said, he became the first man that she was able to trust.
The second man was then-PCJP law student Alexander (“AK”) Kirkpatrick (JD 2017). As her legal representative, AK advocated for Celia to obtain gender-affirming health care through the prison system and prepared to her for the parole process.
|Perez with Alexander Kirkpatrick (JD 2017), who advocated for her to obtain gender-affirming health care through the prison system. (Photo: Tom Queally)|
“Celia taught me that it was actually the power of kinship – loving herself and the complicated truths of her journey – that gave her the tools to find freedom within herself. It is with this internal fortitude and endearing brightness that Celia found the external freedom she embodies today.”
PCJP law students Sanat Deshpande (JD 2020) and Natalie Katz (JD 2020) continued AK’s fight for Celia’s freedom, and Celia was granted parole at her initial youth offender parole hearing. In June 2020, Celia walked out of prison a free woman after 28 years.
Celia reconnected with Fr. G who gave her the opportunity to continue her advocacy for people at the margins, describing her as a “groundbreaking presence at Homeboys,” where she now works as an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and leads gang reconciliation groups.
The audience applauded as Celia described her design of first-ever first Homeboys Pride shirt, that in her words, “changed the conversation about what people believe about Homeboys.”
- Next Article: Southern California law collaborative wins statewide diversity award
- Previous Article: A Holistic Education in Land Use
USC Gould Law Library showcases ‘rejuvenating power of music’
June 2, 2023
Performances feature LA Philharmonic concertmaster, saxophone quartet
‘The Best Beloved Thing is Justice’
June 1, 2023
New book by Gould alum Lisa Kloppenberg celebrates life of Judge and former Dean Dorothy W. Nelson
USC Gould Title IX trailblazer works to put more women in leadership roles
May 30, 2023
"If we can continue moving forward, the future is very bright," says Associate Dean Nickey Woods