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.
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.
- + AREAS OF CONCENTRATION
- ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
- BUSINESS LAW
- MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND TECHNOLOGY LAW
- PUBLIC INTEREST LAW
- + EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
- UNDERGRADUATE COURSES AND PROGRAMS
- CORPORATE AND CUSTOM EDUCATION
- + NON-DEGREE PROGRAMS
- ACADEMIC CALENDAR
- COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
- BAR ADMISSIONS
History of American Law (Fall 2019)
- Course Number: LAW-617
- Class Number: 03253
- Instructor: Ariela Gross
This course will explore the interaction of law, culture, and politics in American society from the Civil War through the present day. It is not a survey course, but rather an introduction to the study of law and society from a historical perspective. It is organized as a weekly seminar, with a focus on discussion of primary sources and interpretive readings, and a final research paper on a legal historical topic. The course will be divided into (at least) five topical sections, including (1) Reconstruction, race, and the Constitution; (2) marriage, gender, and family; (3) corporations and the economy; (4) legal education and the legal profession; and (5) law, labor and civil rights in the twentieth century. The course will emphasize reading primary materials -- cases as well as other legal and social history sources -- with a critical eye; and it will introduce students to the contrasting approaches taken by legal historians to those materials.
Notes and study questions to guide your reading will be posted regularly and in timely fashion on the Blackboard page. All students are expected to attend and to participate in the discussion. Each week, I will ask one student to prepare a short in-class presentation on the readings and help guide discussion.
The final paper will fulfill the writing requirement for graduation. The final grade will be allocated as follows: 10% for a prospectus; 15% for the rough draft; 50% for the final paper; and 25% for class participation, including the in-class presentation.
- Unit Value: 3
- Grading Options: Numerical or CR/D/F
- Writing Requirement: Yes with submission of the Upper Division Writing Requirement Form.
- Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: No
- Participation: Required and graded
- Enrollment Limitation: 10 students
Start the online application process.
Schedule a Tour
Come experience life at USC Gould.
Visit a Classroom
Sit in on a real class session.
Request More Information
Download or request a copy of our informative viewbook by postal mail.
Check Application Status
Check your application status online.
Meet your JD student ambassadors.
Admitted Students Portal
Log in to our admitted students portal.
Still have questions? Let us help.