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.
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- + 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
Civil Rights Law (Fall 2019)
- Course Number: LAW-686
- Class Number: 03349
- Instructor: Clare Pastore
This course is about the ways in which the Constitution and federal civil rights laws are enforced and implemented. It is an overview of various areas of civil rights law, with particular attention to litigation under 42 USC '1983, a Reconstruction-era law that remains the primary statutory tool for redress of constitutional violations by state actors. By looking at a variety of Section 1983 cases, especially in the areas of police misconduct and unconstitutional state laws, we will examine how these cases are litigated and defended. We will investigate the history of section 1983 and its treatment by the Supreme Court as well as the nuts and bolts of how to use the statute: proper defendants, venue, claims, remedies, defenses, immunities, and other procedural hurdles plaintiffs must clear.
We will also survey certain important civil rights statutes, in particular the Voting Rights Act, Title VII (employment discrimination) and Title VI (discrimination in federally funded programs) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In addition to those with an interest in civil rights, the course will be especially useful to students who plan to seek judicial clerkships or federal government work, since Section 1983 and other civil rights cases make up a significant portion of all cases in the federal courts. The course will also touch on important themes in understanding the American political and legal system, such as federalism, state and federal sovereign immunity, and the role of race in American law.
There will be at least one and possibly two short writing assignments as well as an in-class final exam. This course counts toward the Public Interest Certificate.
- Unit Value: 3
- Grading Options: Numerical Only
- Exam: In-class, open-book exam
- Writing Requirement: No
- Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: no
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