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Curriculum - Juris Doctor (JD)

USC Gould School of Law

With our customizable curriculum, no two JD students will follow the same course of study at USC Gould. After the first year's foundation, you'll seamlessly transition from theory to practice through the second and third years' interdisciplinary and experiential education options, while having the opportunity to take courses outside of the law school at other top-rated USC schools and departments.

Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to gain unparalleled real-word experience by focusing in a particular area of concentration, earning one or more of six certificates, working with clients in a clinic and/or externship, pursuing a dual degreestudying abroad, serving as an editor or staff member of a student journal, or participating in moot court.

Learning Outcomes

USC Gould cultivates analytical ability, ethical values, and a spirit of collegiality that prepare our students for meaningful careers benefitting society. In our diverse, interdisciplinary, collaborative learning environment, and through a variety of pedagogical methods, students will prepare for the practice of law.

Graduates of USC Gould will:

  • possess knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law
  • demonstrate the ability to engage in thorough legal analysis, reasoning, research and problem-solving, and to conduct effective written and oral communication in the legal context
  • exercise proper professional and ethical responsibilities to clients and the legal system
  • have experience working in and collaborating with a diverse community of students, faculty, and/or clients
  • be aware of life-work balance and wellness issues, and of strategies and resources for addressing them

I believe that learning happens both inside and outside the classroom, and that's why I provide opportunities for my students to visit courtrooms, go on police ride-alongs and participate in prison tours. I also work with many law students on various empirical projects, giving them hands-on research training. Many students have told me that these have been truly eye-opening experiences that have changed the way they think about our legal system. Our law students can have these kinds of opportunities and experiences because the class sizes are small, and we care deeply about our students and their learning.

Emily Ryo
Associate Professor of Law and Sociology

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