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.
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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Frank Rothman Scholars - Juris Doctor (JD)
USC Gould School of Law
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Each year, USC Gould awards the Frank Rothman Scholarship to an outstanding incoming student.
The scholarship provides:
- full-tuition guaranteed for three years
- an additional $4,000 stipend each year
- a guaranteed, paid, first-year summer fellowship at one of the world's top law firms, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Los Angeles
All applicants to USC Gould are welcome to apply for the Frank Rothman Scholarship. To be considered, you must submit an additional statement (look for the prompt in the admission application) and complete your law school application by the February 1 priority deadline.
We take a holistic approach to choosing our Rothman Scholars, with selection criteria including strong academic indicators (LSAT and undergraduate cumulative GPA) and other factors from the application that make the recipient stand out.
Frank Rothman, JD 1951: A Legal Legend
The scholarship honors the late Frank Rothman '51, one of the nation's most respected sports and entertainment lawyers. His clients included the National Football League, the Professional Golfers Association, Warner Bros., Walt Disney Co., Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox. He also served as chairman and CEO of MGM/UA studios from 1982 to 1986. In later years, he worked as an antitrust specialist and partner in the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where Rothman Scholars perform their fellowships.
Called a legendary litigator by the National Law Journal and often included on that publication's list of the country's 100 most influential lawyers, Rothman was admired and respected by colleagues, judges and courtroom opponents. He was especially beloved at USC Gould, where he maintained close personal friendships and advised the school's administration as a member and chair of the Board of Councilors.
Steve Rothman, Frank's son, says the scholarship pays tribute to his father's lifelong devotion to USC Gould and serves as a reminder to others of his father's remarkable legacy. "My father always asked that we do the very best we are capable of," Steve Rothman says. "That is what this scholarship is intended to reflect."
The Rothman Scholars
Frank Rothman was known for his influence in the halls of corporate America and across the entertainment and sports industries. He infused his practice of law with a spirit of always doing the very best he was capable of. One Frank Rothman Scholar is selected each year to continue that legacy. The successful applicant will be selected based upon strong academic indicators including LSAT score, undergraduate cumulative GPA across a rigorous course selection, and writing ability. In addition, past recipients successfully conveyed the ideals of Frank Rothman via extra-curricular accomplishments such as running a successful business, inventing useful devices, engaging in cutting edge medical research, and publishing books and articles. Many Frank Rothman Scholars have gone on to become successful lawyers, and business entrepreneurs.
Nikita Patel (2021)
2021 Rothman Scholar
Niki Patel has always let her curiosity guide her various academic and professional pursuits.
A daughter of immigrant parents, Niki is a first-generation professional and has earned a BS in management with a concentration in accounting as well as a BA in English from Boston College. In her senior year, she was recognized with the Dean's Commendation and was selected to deliver the Class of 2017 commencement address based on outstanding academic performance and on-campus involvement.
After graduating from Boston College, Niki began her career as a certified public accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in New York City, where she worked on the audits of several pharmaceutical and nonprofit companies, focusing primarily on mergers and acquisitions and securities disclosures. While undertaking these projects, she became curious about the law that underpins the financial industry and the ways that corporate financial reporting impacts individual investors.
These questions led her to pursue a position with New York University Law Professor and former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissioner Robert Jackson, Jr. Working as Professor Jackson's research coordinator at NYU Law's Institute for Corporate Governance and Finance, Niki had the opportunity to examine economic policy matters, such as the impact of COVID-19 relief programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program, advising on which structures for the program would most efficiently deliver aid to small businesses.
Along with Professor Jackson, Niki designed and taught a course on finance and accounting for lawyers at several law firms, working with senior attorneys on real-life case studies on advanced transaction structures in securities and merger markets.
Additionally, Niki assisted with research regarding the consequences of misconduct for financial advisors under various state and federal regulators. These projects inspired her to continue learning about the intersection of finance and the law by pursuing a JD.
In deciding to attend USC Gould, she was struck by the unique research being conducted by current faculty, the legacy of Frank Rothman and depth of experience of previous Rothman Scholars, and the spirit of inclusivity and inquisitiveness at Gould. She is honored to have been chosen as the 2021 Frank Rothman Scholar and knows it would not have been possible without the generous support of her family, friends and mentors. She looks forward to using this incredible opportunity to combine the knowledge gained from her professional experience with a world-class education in corporate law.
Joseph Abell (2020)
2020 Rothman Scholar
At a young age, Joseph Abell learned to rely on himself and rise above his circumstances.
As a child, he grew up in a rural ghost town and was taught radical religious and political beliefs, Joseph explained. His father died when he was 6. His mother raised him and his siblings in poverty.
In high school, Joseph scrimped and saved to be able to attend speech and debate tournaments. The experience ignited a passion for the truth and a realization that he could change his life with hard work. Two years later, he became the national champion.
Joseph applied the critical thinking he had learned in debate to his faith. When he started questioning his church's extreme teachings, there were dire consequences. Instead of encouraging him to find answers, the elders excommunicated him from the only community he knew.
Joseph entered his last year of high school homeless, and completed his senior coursework online in a public library. He also did speech and debate one more year and won the national championship for a second time.
Then he founded Ace Peak, a company that provides online debate coaching to high schoolers all over the country. Joseph trained 24 national champions and a team of elite coaches. "By innovating new debate strategies and putting a heavy emphasis on character growth, Ace Peak rose to the top of the industry," he said. "Ace Peak touched the lives of thousands."
After using the proceeds to climb out of homelessness, Joseph attended Southern Methodist University and earned bachelor's degrees in business management and philosophy, with a minor in cognitive science. Then he was drawn to Gould for the same reason he dared to question his upbringing: a belief that ideas are worth fighting for.
Frank Rothman fearlessly guided his field in a time when it was rapidly transforming. The pace of that change is only accelerating. As technologies like artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, and gene editing become part of our everyday lives, Joseph said he wants to be at the forefront of the fight to keep law in front of technology. "Winning that fight is essential to building a future of respect and opportunity for everyone."
Soon after being accepted as a Rothman scholar, Joseph founded Paladin - "the first independent online debate league for high schoolers."
Being entrusted with Frank Rothman's legacy is no small thing, he said. "I hope to become the kind of person who can walk in his footsteps."
Camille Brown (2019)
2019 Rothman Scholar
Camille Brown has been on an eight-year journey to answer this seemingly simple question: "How do artists working in digital media get paid?" This pursuit culminated with her acceptance to the USC Gould School of Law as the 2019 Frank Rothman Scholar.
As an undergraduate at Stanford University, Camille majored in Science, Technology and Society, with a self-designed concentration in Art, Information Technology, and Society. She drew from a mix of art history, communications, and computer science classes to write a thesis on how digital media technology shaped the evolution of French Hip Hop. In her bilingual research, she discovered the profound impact copyright law had on hip hop both in France and the United States.
Wanting to learn more about copyright law's role in emerging technologies, Camille elected to work in brand strategy at two Silicon Valley start-ups after graduation. These roles deepened her initial interest in copyright law as she learned how businesses partner together to manage their brands across email and social media campaigns. After three years of working with start-ups, she decided that she wanted to see how a more established institution operated. This led her to a position at the Stanford Alumni Association where she served as the organization's liaison to the university's Trademark and Licensing Committee for two years.
Throughout each of these positions, Camille remained drawn to copyright law and its nebulous role within digital media. When she wasn't at work, she sought out digital artists to understand how their livelihoods had been shaped by copyright law. These conversations convinced her to apply to law school, and USC Gould School of Law was at the top of her list.
When Camille got the call that she had been selected as the 2019 Frank Rothman Scholar, it took a full five minutes before the good news sunk in. She had been in awe of the collegiality and intellectual firepower displayed by the USC faculty, students, and staff during her interviews a week earlier. From the second she stepped into the building, USC Gould felt like a perfect fit. To say it was a delight to find out the feeling was mutual would be an understatement. She is honored and extremely humbled to join a stellar group of colleagues in representing the legacy of Frank Rothman.
Camille is thrilled to be involved in many organizations that reflect her intellectual curiosity this upcoming year. In particular, she's eager to contribute to her Gould community as the president of the Intellectual Property & Technology Law Society, a staff member on the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, and a peer mentor for incoming students.
After her late mother passed away in 2014, Camille thought law school was a goal beyond her reach. Today she is honored to be standing on the shoulders of the Rothman community, her family, friends, and partner -- all key sources of support who have helped her achieve this dream. She hopes to pay their generosity forward in the years to come.
Karli Dugan (2018)
2018 Rothman Scholar
Karli Dugan was celebrating her birthday in Laguna Beach, when the call came. "It was easily the best birthday present ever," she eagerly told her friends after learning she was selected as the Frank Rothman Scholar.
Karli grew up in Newport Beach and is a 2018 graduate from Washington University in St. Louis, where she earned a BA in International and Area Studies with a Eurasian Studies concentration and a minor in Russian. While an undergraduate student, she studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia, and traveled to Shanghai to attend a student-run conference on national security issues, which ranged from bio warfare to nuclear non-proliferation. Throughout her four years in college, she was also an active member of Sigma Iota Rho (the International and Area Studies honorary) and of Kappa Delta Sorority, holding various positions and serving on the executive boards of both. In addition, she tutored and mentored elementary school children in St. Louis through Books and Basketball.
Although Karli intended to return to California for her legal studies, she discovered that choosing a law school was quite difficult. Prior to undergrad, Karli based her decision to attend Washington University on a gut feeling that told her it was the best place for her to attend college. With law school, it was no different, and it was no surprise that shortly after stepping onto the USC campus for Law Day, Karli knew she would be attending Gould. Her interactions with potential and current students only reinforced that feeling of belonging, and she was excited to enter law school with a number of friends she met on that day.
As a USC Gould Rothman Scholar, Karli will be able to better tie together her diverse interests in business international law. She appreciates her professors' passion for the law as well as how easy it is to ask them questions. Excited to follow in her grandfather's footsteps as a future Gould graduate, Karli joined the Student Bar Association as an events chair during her first year and served as a social chair while in her second year.
Karli so enjoyed exploring a variety of transactional practice areas during both of her summers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP that she will be returning as an associate next year after graduating from USC. Meanwhile, she plans to continue honing her skills in corporate and finance law in her classes at USC in preparation for joining Skadden's transactional team.
Ariel Prince (2017)
2017 Rothman Scholar
Animated and enthusiastic, Ariel Prince has a perpetual smile on her face, which makes it hard to imagine her stunned reaction when she found out she'd been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Frank Rothman scholarship.
"I was in San Francisco, walking down Market Street when I got the call," she recounts. "Everything muted out and I froze."
Ariel had arrived at the conclusion that she wanted to attend law school after working at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (formerly HP) in Palo Alto, and earning a B.A. from UC Berkeley in Political Science while also completing significant coursework in City Planning.
At Berkeley, she excelled in academics, making the Dean's list three consecutive semesters and earning recognition from Pi Sigma Alpha (the National Political Science Honor Society). Ariel also pursued leadership positions with the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity and the Jewish Student Union, and was honored as a Leadership Award Scholar for her impact on the community.
During her undergraduate years, Ariel sought law as a possible career path, working as a civil court intern at the Los Angeles Superior Court in Van Nuys and as a white collar crime intern at the Cozen O'Connor law firm in Washington, D.C.
In an effort to determine whether law was the right path, Ariel also explored the world of corporate communications. Upon graduating from Berkeley, Ariel joined Hewlett Packard Enterprise, where she honed her passion for writing while crafting executive speeches, keynote presentations, and press releases. She ultimately discovered that she was more interested in following the legal path she'd started at Berkeley. She wanted to pursue a career helping to shape land use policy and with research she found that USC Gould, with its strong real estate law faculty and curriculum, was very appealing.
Earning the Rothman scholarship was especially meaningful for Ariel, who admires Frank Rothman's approach to his profession. "He was a leader who found new paths and didn't stick to the status quo," she says, "but at the same time he was humble and courteous. That's a tough balance, but one that's also important to me."
Joining USC Gould also meant a return to Los Angeles, where her parents live. "I'm thrilled to be back in L.A., and my parents are happy I'm close. They've even started rooting for the USC football team!"
Now that she's two-thirds through her time at Gould, she's especially proud of the diverse curriculum she's taken. Though her academic focus is real estate and land use, Ariel has also taken courses in art law, entertainment law, and contract drafting. She also honed her skills in written and oral advocacy by placing as a semifinalist in the Hale Moot Court Honors program.
"I tend to be curious. I want to learn it all," she says. Ariel describes her professors as encouraging of this approach. "The professors here are the creme de la creme and the atmosphere feels collaborative," she says, noting that she especially appreciates the brown bag lunches hosted by different faculty, such as Dan Klerman, Clare Pastore, and Robert Rasmussen.
Despite a hectic schedule, Ariel still finds time to attend meetings of the Real Estate Law and Women's Law Association societies. "I enjoy being busy; it builds priorities," she says.
Ariel spent her first law school summer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in Los Angeles, but ultimately determined that she wanted to live in San Francisco after graduation. She spent her second summer at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in San Francisco and looks forward to joining the real estate and land use team at Gibson Dunn as an associate in the fall of 2020.
"Before I arrived here, everyone said that Gould was a collegial environment," Ariel adds, "And it's so true. All of the first-year students knew each other's names immediately."
Ariel is so enthusiastic about Gould that she parlayed her Berkeley tour guide experience into a role as an ambassador leading tours for the law school's admissions office. "I love walking backwards and I love storytelling," she says. "I'm always smiling. I couldn't be happier here."
Julie Gantz (2016)
2016 Rothman Scholar
Fluent in English, Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, Julie Gantz is the first quadrilingual USC Gould Rothman Scholar. In addition, she's the first Rothman Scholar to arrive at Gould with a law degree, having already earned an LLM in Chinese Law from Shanghai Jiao Tong University's KoGuan Law School.
Yet, despite these stellar credentials, Julie confesses that she finds herself in "awe of the caliber of the previous Rothman scholars" and is determined "to live up to the promise" of being a Rothman scholar herself.
Her passion for the environment and a strong interest in the Chinese language drew the native San Diegan to Georgetown University, where she majored in International Politics, with a concentration in Foreign Policy and Policy Processes. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service, Magna Cum Laude, and a certificate in Asian Studies. At Georgetown, Julie focused her thesis on "the intersection of, and tension between," the Chinese government's economic and environmental policies. Wanting to "investigate in greater depth China's environmental reality," she decided to pursue her Master's degree in Chinese Law at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Julie says she was drawn to Gould for its strong sense of community and collegiality, along with the school's emphasis on "preparing students for responsible and meaningful legal careers." Receiving the Rothman scholarship, she added "was a privilege and honor beyond my wildest dreams." Julie plans to apply what she's already learned and further prepare herself for a career in environmental law, specializing in California water policy.
On top of the rigorous course load that comes with being a first-year law student, Julie is currently the 1L Representative for the school's Environmental and Energy Law Society, the Health Law Society, and the American Constitution Society.
As a student, she's impressed by the accessibility of her professors, such as Rebecca Brown, a nationally recognized constitutional law theorist who frequently hosts brown bag lunches to better get to know her students. "Our conversations evolve into current legal and political issues and their constitutional implications," Julie says. "It's an amazing opportunity to talk with someone that smart and accomplished who's also open to our ideas and helping us better connect them with the law."
While Julie strives to meet the academic demands of class readings and case briefs, she reflects on how her selection as a Rothman scholar inspires her. "I feel as though the law school and the Rothman family have put their faith in me," she says. "To reach the goals I've set for myself means I'm living up to the promise and opportunity of being a Rothman scholar."
Allison Bader (2015)
2015 Rothman Scholar
When Allison Bader found out that she was chosen to be the 2015 Rothman Scholar, she recalled, "I'm pretty sure my heart stopped. I think it took me about a millisecond to accept the offer."
A native Californian, Allison grew up in Temecula, a small city with a rural flavor just north of San Diego. She knew that she wanted to remain in Los Angeles because it's where she wanted to build her legal career.
Allison received her undergraduate degree in Political Science in less than four years from UCLA, and methodically approached her law school quest, creating an Excel spreadsheet detailing the pros and cons of each school. "I knew I wanted to attend a prestigious school with a high employment rate, but also I wanted to be among like-minded people," she said. Remarkably, Allison also found time to work on UCLA's yearbook "BruinLife," becoming its Editor-in-Chief her junior year, while consistently making the Dean's Honors List. She was also a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, Political Science Honors Society and the Golden Key International Honor Society, before graduating Summa Cum Laude.
USC Gould fit her criteria, and now that she is a rising 3L, she feels that the law school has exceeded her expectations. During her 2L year, Allison was involved in a variety of activities. She was a writing fellow in the first year Legal Writing & Research Program. In that position, she was able to work with a small section of 1L's as their writing class teaching assistant, and help them adapt to legal writing. She is excited to continue in this position during her 3L year. She was also a staff member on the Southern California Law Review, and will serve as an Executive Senior Editor in her 3L year. Additionally, she worked part-time as a law clerk for an arbitrator.
Speaking about her fellowship at Skadden, Allison stated "my summer at Skadden was amazing. I was able to take on assignments in almost all of the firms numerous practice groups, which helped me better determine which area of law I'm most interested in. Having the opportunity to experience life at a big law firm in my first year was unparalleled."
This summer, Allison will be splitting her time between O'Melveny & Meyers in Newport Beach, and Skadden in Downtown Los Angeles.
"Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming. It's been a lot of work, but I love it here. This has been a perfect fit for me, and the Rothman Scholarship is a powerful opportunity and a testament to what a special place this is."
Colton Cray (2014)
2014 Rothman Scholar
Colton Cray was on spring break in Mexico when the news came that he had been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Frank Rothman Scholarship. "I was so excited to tell my parents, I didn't stop to think where I was. It was probably the happiest call I ever made, and possibly the most expensive one too!"
Becoming a Rothman Scholar seemed like an ideal opportunity for Colton. A graduate of the University of Arizona, he earned four majors in Management Information Systems, Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Operations Management. As a senior in college, Colton was named one of the university's Robie Gold medal winners, a prestigious award given each year to a senior who has succeeded both inside and outside the classroom. In addition to his academic achievements, he found time to volunteer as an undergraduate and intern with a private equity firm, and helped to develop a couple of start-up companies. "I learned how I fit in—helping entrepreneurs develop products and ideas that the world needs," Colton said.
In researching a law career that would match his business interests, Colton discovered that USC Gould was the perfect "next step" on his journey to help others in business. He said, "I always thought the decision would be harder, but USC made it so easy. I got the opportunity to study what I wanted, and set up for a career in the field I wanted." He added, "USC stood out immediately from other law schools because of the sheer friendliness and happiness of the students and faculty. I was able to see that positivity continue in the way USC engaged me personally and professionally. I didn't see the cut-throat competitiveness I'd heard horror stories about, and I knew right away that I had found the perfect fit."
During his time at USC Gould, Colton participated in the 2015-2016 Hale Moot Court, and served in the Advanced Mediation Clinic. Additionally, he enrolled in cross-curricular classes at the Marshall School of Business, where he worked as a Teaching Assistant. He spent his final year studying abroad in Lyon, France, and was a volunteer in the Peer Mentor Program. He was also a member of the Business Law Society and the Federalist Society.
The highlight of being a Rothman Scholar for Colton was having the chance to spend the summer following his 1L year at the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. "The internship was a career-changing opportunity. It provided me with the ability to work in corporate law right away," he said, adding, "I was able to focus on schoolwork without the stress of finding a summer position. That is a huge advantage for any student."
Colton eventually opted to spend a second summer at Skadden, choosing to split his time between the firm's Los Angeles and New York headquarters. He ultimately accepted a full-time offer in the firm's Corporate Group, beginning fall 2017.
"It is a life-changing privilege to be a Rothman Scholar and one that challenges me to live up to my greatest capability, so that I may honor the legacy of Frank Rothman."
Rowley Rice (2013)
2013 Rothman Scholar
There are a number of factors that drew Rowley Rice '16 to attend USC Gould: he wanted a small class size in order to work closely with faculty and avoid an "anonymous" experience in law school; he could pursue an interdisciplinary field of study; and he would make his parents and grandparents proud by becoming a fifth-generation Trojan.
But the 2013 Frank Rothman Scholarship recipient chose USC Gould for its reputation as a collegial environment in which to study law.
"When I was interviewing for the scholarship," Rowley explained, "I asked faculty and students what they thought distinguished USC's law students when they came out at the other end of the pipeline. What is it that is unique about USC grads? The answer I got overwhelmingly was 'collegiality'. That is a small word to describe a big thing. What they were saying essentially was that they thought USC students worked better with others in the profession. USC fosters a really collegial environment that promotes students working together that isn't cutthroat. It also offers an extensive curriculum that teaches you to deal with a variety of professional disciplines."
Rowley is a native Californian, born and raised in San Clemente. He travelled east for his undergraduate studies earning his bachelors in Government and his masters in American Government from Georgetown. He received both degrees in four years, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He also spent his junior year at the London School of Economics.
Rowley loved his time at USC. While here, he was active on the Southern California Law Review, serving as Executive Notes Editor his 3L year. His note was selected for publication, and was a comparative analysis of British and American campaign finance law with respect to third parties and interest groups. Rowley also participated in the Mediation Clinic and the Advanced Mediation Clinic during his 2L and 3L years, respectively. He felt that participation in both clinics was a "phenomenal way to get hands-on negotiation and conflict-resolution experience. Professor Lisa Klerman is in charge of the program, and she does an amazing job mentoring students and giving them immediate exposure to mediation." Rowley also worked with Professor Sam Erman on an amicus brief for the Supreme Court concerning whether the Double Jeopardy Clause applied in Puerto Rico. He also worked as a teaching assistant to Professor Alex Capron and Professor Scott Bice.
At the conclusion of his 1L year, Rowley spent his 1L summer and part of his 2L summer at Skadden. He spent the second half of his 2L summer at Munger, Tolles & Olson. He focused on litigation during both summers. "Skadden allowed me to dive into complex cases from the get-go. I worked on securities, white collar, and products liability cases. I also worked on pro bono prisoner rights and housing discrimination cases."
Rowley is currently working as a law clerk in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. After that, he plans to clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Receiving the Rothman has made Rowley feel part of a special family. "Being the Rothman Scholar is a great honor, and I feel privileged and humbled to have joined the community."
Maria Bostandjian (2012)
2012 Rothman Scholar
With an interest in interdisciplinary studies, Maria looked for a law school where she could continue learning in other fields. Born in Armenia, Maria immigrated to the United States at the age of eight. She graduated from the University of California-Berkeley, with a degree in economics. Originally, biochemistry was her major, and she worked alongside researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles' Department of Orthopedic Surgery searching for a genetic explanation for the Dowager's Hump, an abnormal curvature of the spine that debilitates millions of people. Along the way, she made an interesting discovery about herself: she preferred the intricacies of healthcare law and policy rather than practice.
Prior to law school, she spent a year working as an associate for a global strategic advisory and expert consulting firm, which provided services in high stakes litigation. Working with noted authorities in healthcare, finance, antitrust, and intellectual property, reaffirmed her desire to go to law school.
When she was offered the Frank Rothman Scholarship, she was thrilled. "This was an opportunity I could not pass up," she recalls. "A guaranteed summer fellowship at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is such a rare opportunity, especially after your first year of law school."
The option of taking up to 12 units of upper-division coursework outside the law school at any of the other schools on campus also appealed to Maria. "USC is truly an interdisciplinary campus," she says. "Just because I was studying law didn't mean that I was confined to the law school. I could take classes at the Marshall School of Business and the Price School of Public Policy."
As for the supportive and collaborative environment at Gould, Maria remembers, "the professors and students were so interconnected, which is refreshing after coming from a large, public undergraduate school. Everyone in the law school genuinely cares about you and your success."
After her 1L year, Maria was a summer associate at Skadden, and was able to combine her interest in law and economics by learning about corporate business law.
Maria is currently the founder and President for Consumer Innovations, Inc. in Santa Monica, CA.
"Frank Rothman's life and career have been a great inspiration to me," she says. "I hope to honor his legacy through my work as an attorney."
Jamie Heine (2010)
2010 Rothman Scholar
Questions about financial market instability led 2008 Frank Rothman Scholar Jamie Heine in search of answers. Earning her undergraduate degree at the University of California-Berkeley, where she majored in political economy, she decided to attend law school to better understand the legal side of the financial market.
During undergrad years, she began research on systemic financial risk and financial stability policies by traveling to London, Washington, D.C., and Boston to interview top economists, scholars, and governmental officials (including a former Federal Reserve Board member) for her thesis. She then sought out schools with a strong emphasis in both law and economics, and her search led her to USC Gould. "USC's emphasis on interdisciplinary studies was really attractive to me," Jamie recalls. "I had strong interests in law and financial markets, and I wanted a school that would allow me a range of opportunities to pursue my goals in both of these areas."
Being selected as a Rothman Scholar solidified Jamie's decision to attend USC Gould. "It was a huge honor. When I found out that I had won the scholarship, there was no question that I would attend," she says. "I was also impressed by the close-knit community at USC. I knew this was a school where I could find my niche." Jamie found her niche by becoming a staff member on the Southern California Law Review, and continuing her research on systemic financial risk.
Following her 1L year, Jamie became a summer associate with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom. "I was able to try a variety of practice groups and learned that I really loved corporate and restructuring practices. The attorneys were incredibly smart, and everyone I worked with was invested in making my summer both educational and fun."
In the last two years of law school, she served as a judicial extern at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California, and was a summer honors intern at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
After graduating from Gould, Jamie clerked for the Hon. James V. Selna at the United States District Court for the Central District of California. She currently works for Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. Her practice focuses on financial services litigation and enforcement, and financial institutions regulatory work.
What inspired her most about the Rothman Scholarship? "The Rothman Scholarship is an unparalleled opportunity no prospective student should pass up," she says. "The primary benefits are obvious and are reason enough: a full-tuition scholarship and 1L summer job at one of the best firms in the world. My summer at Skadden really helped me gauge what type of law I wanted to practice, and was also an incredible introduction to the practice of law at the highest levels. I worked with some of the best attorneys in the world. USC Gould is committed to the professional success of its Rothman Scholars. As the Rothman Scholar, you enter the law school already having begun relationships with members of the administration and faculty who are committed to helping you navigate your career. That commitment is not just while you are at USC, but continues after you've graduated. Such individualized attention can make a big difference in your experience at law school and your success in practice."
Kyle Barrett (2009)
2009 Rothman Scholar
"I first learned that I had been chosen as the 2009 Frank Rothman Scholar when I was coming out of a class at Duke," Kyle recalls. "I had 24 hours to think about it, but I only needed 24 seconds... I was going to USC Gould."
A graduate of Duke University, where he majored in biology and pursued a certificate in health policy, Kyle planned to pursue his interest in biology and law by exploring the field of patent law at USC. "One of the main reasons I applied to law school, was because of my interest in the legal issues arising from advances in genomic and neurobiological research," he says. He took advantage of the diverse courses in intellectual property and health law, and his note regarding health reform's impact on the FDA's regulation of pharmaceuticals was selected for publication in the Southern California Law Review.
"USC was a natural fit for me. I was impressed with the closeness of the community at the law school. Everyone, from the administrators and professors to the students, seemed to know each other by name. I also liked the fact that USC Gould fostered connections between the other graduate schools on campus through centers like the Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics."
After his first year at USC Gould, Kyle worked for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as a summer associate. While there, he gained experience handling diverse litigation matters in fields like white collar crime, bankruptcy, and employment law. During his second year, he worked again for Skadden in Los Angeles, and also for Jones Day in Silicon Valley as a summer associate. At Jones Day, Kyle worked on intellectual property cases concerning computer system patents and software copyright infringements. After he graduated from Gould in 2012, he was hired as an associate with Jones Day. His practice focused on intellectual property law, with an emphasis on patent and copyright litigation, representing clients in Federal Court at various stages of litigation.
Going back to his original field of interest, Kyle currently works for lllumina, Inc., a start-up company in San Diego. They are a global leader in genomic research, and aspire to transform human health by exploring DNA on an entirely new scale. Kyle represents the company in a wide variety of transactions, particularly those having an intellectual property component.
Amanda Rubenstein (2008)
2008 Rothman Scholar
Amanda is an educator at heart. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania (summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa), where she majored in political science. Among Amanda's diverse extracurricular activities as an undergraduate, was writing for academic journals, winning Penn's Flesch Prize 2006-07 for her essay, "Developing Time in Terms of Movement," on the film "La Jeté" by French filmmaker Chris Marker.
She also co-founded the Active Asthma Workshop benefiting West Philadelphia youth, and mentored inner-city high school students to improve their college and career success. After earning her degree, and being inspired by her work with underprivileged youth, she started her own tutoring business in her native Orange County. She also provided pro-bono tutoring workshops on the weekends.
Looking for a law school where she could advance her public service aspirations, Amanda sought a school that fostered intellectual curiosity, promoted collegiality, and embraced community service. "From the moment I stepped into the Admissions Office at USC Gould, I was greeted by name," she recalls, "I felt a sense of warmth, optimism, and humanity that I wanted to be a part of for the next three years. I felt particularly drawn to USC's interdisciplinary approach to legal education because my own perspectives have been enriched by exposure to diverse backgrounds and viewpoints. I was also impressed by the caliber of students and faculty, and the solid emphasis on community service."
Being a recipient of the prestigious Rothman Scholarship also played a key role in her decision to attend USC Gould. "I was honored to be a part of Frank Rothman's legacy and the family of Rothman scholars," she says. "Frank Rothman embodied the type of attorney and litigator I aspired to become."
As a summer associate with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom after her 1L year, Amanda was enabled to hone her legal skills by working hand-in-hand with attorneys at the top of their game. "I'm so grateful that the Frank Rothman Scholarship allowed me to become a member of USC Gould's academic community. I was part of a class of all-stars — intelligent, passionate, and ambitious law students who didn't hesitate to support one another's pursuits in a collaborative learning environment." She also worked as a summer associate for Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP in her 2L year.
"I believe it's our responsibility to give back," Amanda says. Currently, she is President/Owner and Test Preparatory Specialist at AR Academics. True to her entrepreneurial spirit and love of education, she and her team help prepare future college and graduate students to reach their goals and dreams.
Jessica Walker (2007)
2007 Rothman Scholar
Jessica knew from an early age that she wanted to be an attorney; but not just any attorney... a litigator. When it came time to choose a law school, she was pretty impartial. It was only after visiting the USC campus in the middle of a cross-country tour of law schools that she decided Gould was the right fit for her. "I felt like the campus was a lot more welcoming; a lot more tailored to the things I was interested in than other schools I visited."
Jessica graduated from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, where she majored in marketing. She also held leadership roles in the professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi.
Once she was named the Rothman Scholar and started at USC Gould, Jessica saw more of the collegiality that first drew her to the school. "I felt very comfortable in classes. Professors are really encouraging to help us get to the places they want us to go," she says. "I also liked the small class size and the fact that the students all get to know each other so well."
Following her 1L year, Jessica spent the summer working as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. She worked on several securities assignments, which later inspired her note for the Southern California Law Review on Loss Causation at the Class Certification Stage. She returned to Skadden during the summer following her 2L year, splitting the time between Skadden's Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles offices. She also did a judicial externship with the Hon. R. Gary Klausner of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. After graduating from Gould, she joined Skadden as an associate working with the litigation group.
"The fact that Skadden is good at corporate law really attracted me to the firm because business-related law was the path I was interested in," she says. Jessica currently works for Nixon Peabody LLP in Los Angeles with its litigation group. Her practice includes representation of clients in both state and federal courts, in addition to various administrative venues.
Andrew Elken (2006)
2006 Rothman Scholar
It wasn't initially a part of New York native Andrew Elken's plans to move across the country after finishing his bachelor's degree. However, when he was offered the prestigious Rothman Scholarship at USC Gould, suddenly a cross-country move seemed perfectly logical. "As I was especially interested in corporate law, this scholarship seemed to be a very good fit for me," he recalls.
Andrew's resume made him an excellent candidate for the scholarship. A graduate of Princeton University, where he majored in Political Science and Economics, he was also the recipient of the George Shultz Fellowship Award, which honored his academic achievements and independent research efforts. While at Princeton, he conducted economic research at the Central Bank of Estonia, in Tallinn, Estonia. He also published "A Moral Evaluation of Torture as a Policy Tool" in the spring 2004 edition of The Journal of Politics and Society. After graduating from Princeton, he was a consultant for Criterion Economics in Washington, D.C., where he developed empirical and theoretical expert reports and white papers. He also worked with clients on complex economic, financial, corporate and legal issues.
After coming to USC Gould, Andrew says he was particularly impressed with the quality of the interdisciplinary faculty. "USC Gould has some especially great corporate classes, so even though corporate work requires a lot of learning on the job, I felt like I had a good base and was well-prepared to start my career. My participation in the Southern California Law Review was also an important and rewarding experience."
Andrew spent his first summer following his 1L year at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom. He then split his second summer between the offices of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York, and Skadden in Los Angeles. "It was great experience. Everyone was extremely smart, and they incorporated me into their teams. Both summers provided an education in the substantive law, and the differences among various types of legal practice." After graduating from USC Gould, Andrew retuned to New York to become a corporate associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and was promoted to partner in 2018.
"I would recommend USC Gould School of Law to anyone who is seeking a first-rate legal education in a uniquely collegial atmosphere," Andrew says. "I also can't emphasize strongly enough how rare an opportunity it is to be a Rothman Scholar. The combination of the full scholarship and the summer associate position at Skadden, is truly unparalleled. It opens so many doors, and you can pursue any type of career after law school."
Abraham Tabaie (2005)
2005 Rothman Scholar
Abraham Tabaie had packed his bags for NYU Law School when he received a call from USC Gould School of Law with the Frank Rothman Scholar offer. Would he take it? No question.
A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, Abraham majored in political science and history and was named the Charles and Sue Young Undergraduate of the Year.
During the summer following his 1L year, Abraham joined the team at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, as the current Rothman Scholar. "I was given substantive, interesting work on some of the largest white collar crime cases," he said. "It was a great summer, and I worked with exceptional attorneys." The following spring, he experienced the remarkable influence of being a Frank Rothman Scholar when he was offered a judicial externship with the Hon. Stephen V. Wilson of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. "Judge Wilson knew I was a Rothman Scholar and that honor helped me stand out," says Abraham. "The judge had been a colleague of Frank Rothman, like so many others in the L.A. area."
Abraham split his time between two firms during the summer of 2007, working at Skadden, and Irell and Manella on a host of different cases. In his final year at USC Gould, he and four other classmates assisted Professor Tom Lyon, writing a brief on behalf of children's organizations for a Supreme Court case. His note concerning the SEC's subpoena power was also selected for publication in the Southern California Law Review.
After graduation, Abraham clerked for fellow Gould alumnus, the Hon. George H. King '74, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He then returned to Skadden as a second year associate, working on white-collar criminal cases as well as civil trials. In 2011, he left Skadden to pursue another judicial clerkship, this time with the Hon. Barry J. Silverman in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He returned to Skadden as an associate in 2012, and currently works with the litigation group.
"Being at USC Gould was a great experience," Abraham says. "The law school is vibrant and diverse, and I have made friends that I will remain close to for the rest of my life. I was able to work one-on-one with professors, and that's something I don't think many students at other law schools get the chance to do. The professors are academically demanding, but at the same time, personal and engaging. I could not have made a better decision than to attend USC."
Elizabeth Kimmelman (2004)
2004 Rothman Scholar
Initially planning on only applying to east coast law schools, Elizabeth had a change of heart after hearing the USC Gould School of Law Dean of Admissions speak at a pre-law seminar. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in anthropology and minored in biology, she set her sights on USC.
Some of Elizabeth's fondest memories center around her work on Moot Court, where she was a quarter- finalist her second year, and was administrative vice-chair her third year, winning the Outstanding Board Member Award. She reflects, "I always enjoyed meeting the other students in the program, and found it an amazing way to meet people in the Los Angeles legal community. It taught me how to think on my feet and communicate effectively." She also credits her strong writing skills as an attorney to working as a Legal Research, Writing and Advocacy Student Fellow.
The summer after her first year of law school, Elizabeth was a summer associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which is one of the many perks of a Rothman Scholar. "Through my work at Skadden," she reflected, "I became more interested in and excited about a career in litigation." After graduation, Elizabeth returned to Philadelphia to work at Dechert LLP as a litigation associate. While there, she worked on mass tort products liability cases and white collar litigation. She is grateful for her experience there, where she learned professionalism, the importance of client relationships, and also honed her writing and analytical skills.
Ultimately, Elizabeth decided to take her passion for learning, the skills she gathered from law school, and those earned while practicing litigation, into academia. She took a position as the assistant director of classes and reunions in Development and Alumni Relations at her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.
Her interest in higher education led Elizabeth to Bryn Mawr College, where she is currently senior associate director of campaigns. She credits her positive experience at USC Gould with validating her love of learning and being in a school environment. "I miss the warm and friendly community I had there," she remembers fondly. "I had the best time in law school. I think having a positive law school experience will impact the rest of your legal career."
Jennifer del Castillo (2003)
2003 Rothman Scholar
As Jennifer began the next stage of her legal career at USC Gould, she was more grateful than ever to be the second Rothman Scholar. As a double Trojan, she earned her bachelor's degree in anthropology, then went on to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where she received a master's degree.
While at Gould, she participated in Moot Court, which later paid off while working in litigation for one of the largest nonprofit law firms in the nation. She also credits the Rothman Scholarship to opening the door for what became five satisfying years as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
"The wonderful thing about Skadden was that it was a place where you didn't have to pigeon-hole yourself," Jennifer says. "You had to be prepared to pick up a case in an area of law you didn't know much about, and then learn things you never thought you would need to know."
Jennifer had her eye on public service since coming to law school, but wanted to get the proper training. "The diversity of cases you receive in a big law firm really does prepare you to do this kind of work, she says."
After graduating from Gould, Jennifer was hired as an associate at Skadden. While working on a pro-bono Skadden case, Jennifer teamed up with Catherine Lhamon, a litigator with the ACLU, who later moved to Public Counsel. Impressed by Jennifer's work, she was instrumental in bringing Jennifer to Public Counsel. Jennifer's position allowed her to bring suit on behalf of low-income and other individuals who had suffered systemic discrimination and violations of their civil and economic rights. She says "my experience at Skadden prepared me for anything I would have to do at a public interest firm."
"It all traces back to the Rothman Scholarship... If not for the scholarship, I never would have gone to Skadden, and never would have had the opportunity to do the pro-bono work. I continue to be eternally grateful."
Douglas Strasnick (2002)
2002 Rothman Scholar
When Douglas first arrived at USC Gould, he had impressive credentials. He earned his degree with top honors (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) in public policy studies and psychology from Duke University. He had also studied Shakespeare in London and excelled in several sports. Because he was the first person to receive the Rothman scholarship, he was, in essence, setting a precedent for all future Rothman Scholars.
After arriving at USC Gould, he started to plan his path. He was a finalist in the Hale Moot Court Honors Competition in 2004, and served on the 2005 Moot Court Board. Spending his first summer in law school working at the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Frank Rothman's former firm, he states "the best thing about the scholarship is that it provides a tradition to lead the way for you, but also provides the opportunity to create your own path."
Today, Douglas is a consultant to start-up companies and SME's (small and medium-sized enterprises), and has been fortunate to have been involved with some of the nation's top media and entertainment firms and companies such as Ovation TV, Lifetime TV, United Talent Agency, Crowdfunder, and Proskauer Rose. He has seen the Trojan Network in action when, by chance, he interviewed with another USC Gould School of Law graduate, Jeffery Schneider '91, and landed a job as the legal counsel in the business and legal affairs office for Lifetime Entertainment Services.
"I enjoy being a part of all this," Douglas says. "I don't shy away from the responsibility. It was clear to me at the very beginning that there's a certain responsibility that comes with this scholarship, and I took that very seriously. When I participate in interviews for the next Rothman Scholar, one of the things I look for is someone who is not only willing to accept the responsibility, but is likely to flourish under it. I want this program to be the best it can be because my name will forever be tied to it. I want to create a legacy - something the Rothman family can take pride in."
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