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Self-guided Walking Tour

Welcome to USC Gould School of Law! We are excited that you have decided to stop by for a glimpse of what makes us such a dynamic place to study law. Choosing a law school can be a daunting project, and one of the most important decisions you will make. Finding the right fit should be your goal. Sitting in on a class, taking a tour with one of our Admissions Ambassadors, attending an information session, and speaking with current students and staff, are invaluable ways to better equip yourself in making that decision.

A map of each floor is available for your reference.

First Level

The JD Admissions Office is in Room 124. As you exit the Admissions Office and turn right, walk to the lobby and turn left. As you get to the first hallway, you will turn left. In Room 100 you will find:

  • Financial Aid
  • Registrar
  • Study Abroad Programs
  • Externship Program

As you continue down the hall, you will come to the Student Support Office in Room 104. Here you find:

  • Dean of Students
  • Peer Mentor Program
  • Office of Public Service
  • First Generation Professionals Program
  • Student Organizations

The Peer Mentor Program facilitates the transition of incoming law students through trusting and guided interactions with second year students at the onset of the first-year experience. Mentors assist with this transition by making new students feel welcomed, connecting them with their new environment, and guiding them to social and developmental resources so that all entering students can become an integral part of the law school community. Peer Mentors will be available to meet with and support first-year students throughout the entire academic year.

The Office of Public Service supports all student-driven service projects. The OPS also coordinates public-service externships. Approximately 100 students annually earn academic credit and develop their advocacy skills while working for public interest organizations, government agencies, and judges. There are many ways to get involved in public interest projects while studying at USC Law. For example, Legal Aid Alternative Break Projects (LAAB) sponsors spring break trips to hurricane-ravaged areas of the Gulf Coast, where students provide crucial legal services to residents working to rebuild their lives. One LAAB project took several students to work at the Watsonville, CA Law Center, where they volunteered their time working with low-income members of a migrant farming community. Other student-led service projects include Latino Law Students Association Teen Court, a diversion program for first-time juvenile offenders in lieu of formal juvenile court proceedings, and Street Law a nationally recognized educational outreach program that teaches legal literacy to local high school students. Street Law visited five local schools and exposed over 100 middle and high school students to legal concepts and topics including the difference between the adult and juvenile justice system; rehabilitation vs. punishment, and the pros and cons of juvenile incarceration.

Study Abroad Programs

  • Bocconi University (Milan, Italy)
  • Bond University (Queensland, Australia)
  • Fundação Gentúlio Vargas University (São Paulo, Brazil)
  • University of Hong Kong
  • University of Jean Moulin Lyon (Lyon, France)

Students have the opportunity to spend one semester abroad in the fall or spring of their 2nd year, or the fall of their 3rd year. The application process includes an interview with a faculty member. Most students who have wanted to participate and who meet the admissions criteria have been able to secure a study abroad placement. Information sessions are held each fall for current J.D. students interested in exploring study abroad opportunities offered through USC. Students may also participate in study abroad programs offered by other ABA accredited law schools if the enrollment is approved by the Gould Dean of Students.

First Generation Professionals (FGP)

First Generation Professionals (FGP) supports students who are the first in their families to earn a college degree, as well as students who are from working-class or lower-income backgrounds. The group is designed to enhance academic success, professional growth, and personal development.

We offer:

  • Peer Mentorship
  • Seminar Series
  • Suit Stipend
  • Trojan Alumni Networking
  • Cross-Graduate School Networking

Student Organizations

Student Organizations at USC Gould reflect the diversity, altruism, and leadership of our student body. They offer numerous opportunities for extracurricular learning, networking, community service, and socializing. All students become members of the Student Bar Association, which ensures that their voice is heard by the school's administration and helps new enrollees adjust to the law school experience. Students are also encouraged to form new organizations and plan social or academic events at the law school. Please check our website for a complete listing.

The Externship Program provides an unparalleled environment for real-world learning in judicial chambers, nonprofit and public interest organizations, government agencies, and in-house counsel offices. Students benefit from a hands-on opportunity to strengthen the skills they have been developing in law school such as research, legal writing, and interviewing witnesses, while gaining new ones, such as contributing research or draft language for legislation or regulations under development. Students must complete their first year of studies before becoming eligible to extern. Externships are available during the fall, spring, or summer. "SC in DC" offers students a unique opportunity to learn how federal statues, regulations, and policies are made, changed, and understood, in the nation's capital. Students may extern in Washington, D.C., during either the summer or academic year.

Graduate & International Programs

As you continue down the hall, you will arrive at the Graduate & International Programs Office in Room 105 on the First Level and in Room 16 on the Lower Level. Within these offices, you will find information on our non-JD programs:

  • Two-Year Extended Master of Laws
  • Master of Comparative Law
  • Summer Law and English Program
  • Visiting International Program for Lawyers
  • Master of Laws in Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Master of Dispute Resolution
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate
  • Online Master of Laws
  • Online Master of Studies in Law
  • Online Business Law Certificate
  • Online Entertainment Law and Industry Certificate
  • Compliance Law Certificate

Many of these programs are for international students with a first degree in law who are pursuing a further degree in the United States. Included are:

  • Master of Laws (LLM)
  • Two-Year Extended Master of Laws
  • Master of Comparative Law (MCL)
  • Summer Law and English (SLE)
  • Visiting International Program for Lawyers (VIP)
  • Specialized online LLM program
  • Online program for those without a legal background
  • Master of Studies in Law (MSL)
  • Stand-alone online certificates in Business Law, Entertainment Law and Industry, and Compliance

In addition, this office administers the Alternative Dispute Resolution degree and certificate programs which include:

  • Master of Laws in Alternative Dispute Resolution (LLM in ADR)
  • Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate (ADR Certificate)

These programs are designed for both domestic and international lawyers, as well as non-lawyers.

In conjunction with the International Law & Relations Organization (ILRO), JD students and international LLM students gather each semester as a part of our JD and LLM Partnership Program. Our International Law and Relations student organization organized the program which highlights the intersection of culture and law at USC Gould. The goal of the partnership program is to promote a sense of community among our diverse student body at the law school. JD and LLM students are divided into partnerships based on common interests, and the groups become a support network throughout the school year.

USC Global Initiatives

  • USC is a global university, and one of the nation's leaders in international education.
  • USC is one of a few U.S. schools with the largest number of international students, and a worldwide alumni network of more than 363,533 living alumni in the Trojan Family. While nearly three-quarters of them live in California, USC alumni can be found in positions of leadership all over the world.
  • USC has offices in Brazil, China – Beijing and Shanghai, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Mexico, and Taiwan.
  • USC hosts global conferences worldwide with our next conference in Tokyo in Fall 2017.
  • USC prepares students to thrive in the global marketplace.

As you head north, you will pass the Ackerman Courtroom on your right. The courtroom, a state-of-the-art classroom/courtroom, hosts Moot Court Competitions, law school lectures, lunch-seminars with legal, government and business industry experts, and other special events for web casting, recording or video teleconferencing. In addition, the California Court of Appeals listens to oral arguments here each spring.

After passing the Ackerman Courtroom, you will turn right at the hallway. Continue straight ahead, and at the end of the hall, you will find the Career Services Office in Room 110. Starting October 15th of your first year, the Career Services Office will hold CSO orientation sessions and will begin to offer one-on-one career counseling meetings to learn about your career interests, and to start to strategize with you about relevant employment opportunities. In addition, the CSO offers the following resources:

  • Ongoing career coaching and strategy appointments
  • Alumni Mock Interview Programs
  • Career skills workshops focusing on resume/cover letter writing; effective interviewing techniques and professionalism skills.
  • Panel discussions and guest speakers on practice and geography-specific topics and legal markets
  • Networking events showcasing large, medium, and small law firms, Judicial Clerkships, and JD Advantage careers
  • Fall and Spring On-Campus Interview Programs, and NY, DC, Bay Area, and Chicago Off-Campus job fairs, and other specialty job fairs featuring both public and private sector employers. Annual Public Interest job fair.
  • Online Job Postings and myriad career resources accessible 24/7
  • Judicial Clerkship advising and support

As you return to the east lobby, continue straight ahead (west) down the hall. When you arrive at the west lobby, you will see a set of stairs leading down on the right; this will take you to the Lower Level.

Lower Level

The Lower Level includes the following:

  • Graduate & International Programs Office (Room 16)
  • Classrooms
  • Law School Café
  • Some student organization offices such as the Student Bar Association and the Public Interest Law Foundation

When you reach the bottom of the stairs and turn left, you will pass some smaller classrooms, another extension of the Graduate and International Program Office (Room 16), and a few student organization offices. Continue down the hall, making a slight right, and you will see the Law School Café on your left and Room 7 on your right. There are three large classrooms on the lower level where most 1L's have their classes: Room 1, Room 3, and Room 7. Continue past the Café, keeping to the right, and you will arrive at the elevator, across from Room 2, on your right. Take it to the 2nd floor. When you step off of the elevator, you will be in the Gabriel and Matilda Barnett Information Technology Center and the Asa V. Call Law Library.

Second Level

The Law Library is open to all USC students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as members of the legal community.

As you walk down the hallway, you will pass the Lincoln Room on your left. The Lincoln Room collection houses rare books, family portraits, campaign memorabilia and other artifacts honoring one of the nation’s most revered presidents, a gift from the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Foundation. The space also serves as a casual reading room with many popular magazines and newspapers. Take a look at the Los Angeles Times Lincoln Reading Room article.

Continue down the hallway to the entrance of the Law Library. The service counter will be on your right once you enter the library. Here, library staff check out books, study-room keys and reserved materials, and can answer questions about the library or research needs. You will see some computers on the left, where you can reserve a study room online or quickly check your email.

Continuing into the library, the Darling Reading Room, through the double doors is a light-filled space for studying. Heading down the hallway to your right, notice one of the library’s classrooms, where librarians teach legal research. Farther down the hallway, you will pass the Student Computer Lab on your right. You can either continue straight ahead into another study area, or turn right and follow the hallway to the end, where you will turn right again. You will pass two study rooms outfitted with multimedia equipment. Farther down the hallway, the Campbell Lounge, on your right, is designated for law students only and is a wonderful place to relax. Straight ahead is the entrance to the Lincoln Room. At the juncture of the hallway, turn right; this will bring you past the Campbell Lounge to the stairwell and elevator.

Upstairs, as you exit the stairwell, are several more study rooms to the left. If you head right into the main area of the third floor, another reading room is designated for quiet study. This space has great views of Exposition Park, featuring museums, the L.A. Coliseum and a beautiful rose garden.

Back downstairs, make a left then a second left to return to the main hallway of the library leading to an exit. See a map of the Law Library’s floor plan at the end of the tour, or download a map here.

Continuing out of the Law Library, you may either take the stairs to the first floor or return to the elevator and take it to the first floor. The Law School has two additional levels.

Third Level

  • Dean’s Suite (Room 300)
  • Law Reviews (Room 330)
  • Legal Clinics (Room 326)

Law Reviews (Room 330)

Law Review is open to students beginning in the second year. Approximately 35 positions are available, and staff members are selected based on first-year academic achievement as well as their performance in the Write-On writing competition held during the first two weeks after the academic year ends. The law school hosts three journals:

Southern California Law Review, established in 1927, is an independent and autonomous entity, with all policy, procedures and content determined by the student-run editorial board. The six annual issues feature articles by outside contributors and notes written by Law Review staff members.

Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal (ILJ) assesses contemporary society, conceives new and unique legal methodology, and seeks solutions to contemporary societal problems, providing a framework upon which the future of the law may grow. Each year, ILJ publishes three issues, with articles by outside contributors and notes by ILJ staff members.

Southern California Review of Law & Social Justice (RLSJ) values the law as an instrument for positive social change, and encourages equal participation of all people in the law, politics and society. It solicits, edits and publishes three yearly issues.

Legal Clinics

Our legal clinics, which are open to JD students in the second year and beyond, are in-depth and supportive offerings that provide impactful experiential learning. Our six clinics give students significant experience working directly with real clients under the supervision of seasoned practitioners who are leaders in their fields. The clinics, located in Room 326 on the third floor, are:

  • Small Business Clinic allows students to handle more than 100 transactional legal matters each year for startup companies, entrepreneurs and nonprofits, helping bridge the gap between law school and transactional legal practice.
  • Intellectual Property and Technology Clinic supports clients at the leading edge of burgeoning issues in the information age, including copyright and trademark protection, privacy and First Amendment rights. Ranked by the Hollywood Reporter as among the top entertainment law programs nationally, the clinic represents filmmakers, game developers, artists, entrepreneurs and nonprofits.
  • Mediation Clinic helps students develop conflict resolution skills to mediate real cases at the Los Angeles County Superior Court in this rapidly growing area of the law.
  • Immigration Clinic provides pro bono representation to clients from all over the world who are seeking asylum and other forms of humanitarian protection. Two of its newest projects are the USC Gould Immigration Clinic Citizenship Project, which conducts workshops throughout the year to assist eligible lawful permanent residents (green card holders) complete and file naturalization applications, and the USC Gould Student, Faculty and Staff Immigrant Legal Advice Project.
  • International Human Rights Clinic serves victims of some of the most urgent and devastating issues facing society, from war crimes and genocide to human trafficking and crimes against humanity. The work is international, with clients from Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and the Philippines.
  • Post-Conviction Justice Project represent clients at parole hearings, litigates petitions for writs of habeas corpus and helps provide a second chance at justice for life-term inmates.

Fourth Level

  • Faculty offices

Our more than 50 dedicated, full-time faculty and more than 100 adjuncts and lecturers support, challenge and guide you as teachers and mentors for new generations of lawyers, public servants and leaders. Their interdisciplinary legal expertise includes administrative law, constitutional law, corporate law, intellectual property law, international law, tax law, and law and race, plus the intersections of law and economics, law and history, law and philosophy, law and politics, and law and psychology. Our faculty members are renowned for their significant contributions to the profession and the public. Recent faculty publications include:

Professor Gillian Hadfield, Rules for a Flat World: Why Humans Invented Law and How to Reinvent It for a Complex Global Economy, Oxford University Press, October 2016.

Professor Edward Kleinbard, We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money, Oxford University Press, October 2014.

Professor Daria Roithmayr, Reproducing Racism: How Everyday Choices Lock in White Advantage, NYU Press, January 2014.

We are glad you decided to take the Self-Guided Walking Tour. Whether you live locally or are just visiting, we encourage you to schedule a class visit or information session (offered in the fall). If we can answer any questions, please stop by the office before leaving, contact us at 213-740-2523 or admissions@law.usc.edu for JD admissions, or 213-821-5916 or llm@law.usc.edu for Graduate & International Programs admissions.

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