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.
USC Gould helps prepare you for a stellar legal career. You can pursue a JD degree, one of our numerous graduate and international offerings, or an online degree or certificate.
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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BS in Legal Studies: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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What is the Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies?
The Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies is a four-year undergraduate degree offered by USC Gould School of Law for undergraduate students to learn about the legal system and the way laws influence society.
Is the Legal Studies major pre-law?
At USC, pre-law is a pre-professional emphasis. Pre-law is a resource available to all USC students, and not an actual course of study or a particular academic program. The Office of Pre-Law Advisement at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences provides resources to students who are interested in learning more about law school or plan on going to law school. Students in the BS in Legal Studies may add a pre-law emphasis, just like any other majors.
What about law school, should I study Legal Studies?
The Legal Studies major is not a pathway or a pipeline into law school. It does not advantage or disadvantage you to get into law school. Here is a simple table for guidance.
|You want to get a flavor for the study of law|
|You are eager to get exposure to the material, you are passionate about the law|
|You are undecided about studying law|
|You want an advantage applying to law school|
|You want an advantage when you get to law school|
|You are passionate about some other undergrad options|
Will the BS in Legal Studies guarantee admission into law school?
No, there is no guarantee that this degree will be a benefit during law school applications. Admission to the Juris Doctor degree at USC Gould School of Law is assessed separately from the undergraduate major.
Will the BS in Legal Studies prepare me for law school better than other undergraduate degrees?
The BS in Legal Studies does not provide an advantage or disadvantage in preparing for law school. Law schools accept students from a wide variety of different majors.
Can I practice law as an attorney with this degree?
The BS in Legal Studies does not enable students to sit for the bar exam and practice law as an attorney; however, Legal Studies graduates can pave the way to law-adjacent careers or graduate school.
What is the difference between the LLB and the BS in Legal Studies?
In most countries outside of the U.S., law is offered as an undergraduate degree. The LLB (Bachelor of Laws) is the most common undergraduate law degree. In many countries, the LLB degree allows graduates to sit for a bar exam and practice law as an attorney. In the United States, the LLB was phased out in favor of the JD (Juris Doctor) degree in the 1960s. Students in the U.S. complete a bachelor's degree before pursuing the JD degree. Therefore, BS in Legal Studies graduates do not qualify to sit for a bar exam or practice law as an attorney.
What kind of jobs can I get with this degree?
In recent years, the legal field has been diversifying and employing many individuals in new and exciting roles. As the field has grown and evolved, so have the employment interests and objectives for college graduates who are interested in working in law but who may not want to become practicing attorneys. USC Gould's bachelor's degree in Legal Studies provides students with a strong foundation that will prepare them for innovative and emerging employment opportunities or graduate studies.
Are there any pre-requisite requirements for first year admits?
There are no pre-requisites for first year students; however, classes taken in the following fields will be valuable to entering students: writing, history, political science, English, along with social sciences and humanities-related classes.
Does the Legal Studies major require foreign language?
No, foreign language is not a requirement for the BS in Legal Studies.
Do you accept transfer students?
Yes, we do admit transfer students to the BS in Legal Studies.
Are there any pre-requisites or recommended preparatory courses for transfer students?
The BS in Legal Studies does not have specific recommended preparatory courses; however, classes taken in the following fields will be valuable to entering students: writing, history, political science, English, along with social sciences and humanities-related classes.
How many units is this Legal Studies major?
The major is 48 units: 24 of those units are required core courses, 20 units are elective units, plus 2 units of internship and 2 units of capstone seminar are required as well.
How does this degree differ from other fields of study?
While there is intersection of the law in several majors, Legal Studies takes a deep dive into the legal framework and teaches students what goes into creating and carrying out law. Legal Studies will provide students with an in-depth understanding of the legal system including the infrastructure, the reasoning process and the substantive commitments that the legal system has made.
Will I receive assistance when looking for an internship?
As part of your academic learning experience, we strongly encourage students to seek out internships on their own; however, if students need assistance in attaining an internship, we have dedicated staff to help and support their needs.