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.
- Student Life
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.
- FACULTY DIRECTORY
- LECTURERS IN LAW DIRECTORY
- EXPERTS DIRECTORY
- FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- SCHOLARSHIP AND PUBLICATIONS
- DISTINCTIONS AND AWARDS
- + CENTERS
- CENTER FOR LAW AND PHILOSOPHY (CLP)
- CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL SCIENCE (CLASS)
- CENTER FOR LAW, HISTORY AND CULTURE (CLHC)
- CENTER FOR TRANSNATIONAL LAW AND BUSINESS (CTLB)
- INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM INSTITUTE (IRI)
- PACIFIC CENTER FOR HEALTH POLICY AND ETHICS
- SAKS INSTITUTE FOR MENTAL HEALTH LAW, POLICY, AND ETHICS
- WORKSHOPS AND CONFERENCES
David Cruz is a constitutional law expert focusing on civil rights and equality issues, including equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. He specializes in discrimination law and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. He teaches Constitutional Law I; Constitutional Law II; Federal Courts; Sexual Orientation and the Law; International/Comparative Perspectives on Sex, Gender, and Sexual Orientation; Identity Categories; and Law, Identity, and Culture.
Before joining the USC Gould School of Law faculty in 1996, Cruz was a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General in Washington, D.C. He also clerked for The Honorable Edward R. Becker, Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He is past Chair of the AALS Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues and co-president of ILGLaw, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, and Intersex Law Association.
Cruz graduated from the UC Irvine, and earned his master’s degree from Stanford University. He is a graduate of New York University School of Law, where he was managing editor of New York University Law Review.
Cruz’s academic publications include “Spinning Lawrence, or Lawrence v. Texas and the Promotion of Heterosexuality” (Widener Law Review, 2005); “Mystification, Neutrality, and Same-Sex Couples in Marriage,” in Mary Lyndon Shanley’s Just Marriage (Oxford University Press 2004); “Making Up Women: Casinos, Cosmetics, and Title VII” (Nevada Law Journal, 2004); and “Disestablishing Sex and Gender” (California Law Review, 2002).
Articles and Book Chapters
- “Transgender Rights After Obergefell.” 84 University of Missouri-Kansas City 693 (Spring 2016). - (Hein)
- “‘Amorphous Federalism’ and the Supreme Court’s Marriage Cases.” 47 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 393 (2014). - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- “United States v. Windsor, Marriage, and the Dangers of Discernment.” 48 UC Davis Law Review 505 (2014). - (Hein)
- “Acknowledging the Gender in Anti-Transgender Discrimination.” 32 Law & Inequality 257 (2014). - (Hein)
- “Repealing Rights: Proposition 8, Perry, and Crawford Contextualized.” 37 New York University Review of Law & Social Change 235 (2013). - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- “Mystification, Neutrality, and Same-Sex Couples in Marriage.” In Just Marriage (Mary L. Shanley with others, eds.) (Oxford University Press, 2004).
- “Making Up Women: Casinos, Cosmetics, and Title VII” (Symposium: Pursuing Equal Justice in the West). 5 Nevada Law Journal 240 (2004). - (Hein)
- “A Real ‘People’ Person” (A Tribute to the Life of Mary C. Dunlap). 19 Berkeley Women’s Law Journal 7 (2004). - (Hein)
- “Disestablishing Sex and Gender.” 90 California Law Review 997 (2002). [Reprinted in 2 The Dukeminier Awards: Best Sexual Orientation Law Review Articles of 2002 253 (2004).] - (Hein)
- "Civil Marriage and the First Amendment" and "Social and Judicial 'Just-So' Stories." In Marriage and Same-Sex Unions: A Debate (Lynn D. Wardle with others, eds.) (Praeger Publishers, 2003).
- “The New ‘Marital Property’: Civil Marriage and the Right to Exclude?” 30 Capital University Law Review 279 (2002). - (Hein)
- "'Just Don't Call It a Marriage:' The First Amendment and Marriage as an Expressive Resource." 74 Southern California Law Review 925 (2001). - (Hein)
- "Same-Sex Marriage I." In Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, 2d ed. (Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst, Adam Winkler, eds.) (Macmillan Reference, 2000).
- "Sexual Orientation" (Update). In Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, 2d ed. (Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst, Adam Winkler, eds.) (Macmillan Reference, 2000).
- "'The Sexual Freedom Cases'? Contraception, Abortion, Abstinence, and the Constitution." 35 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 299 (Summer 2000). - (Hein)
- "Controlling Desires: Sexual Orientation Conversion and the Limits of Knowledge and Law." 72 Southern California Law Review 1297 (1999). - (Hein)
- "State of Sovereignty." 21 Los Angeles Lawyer 32 (1998).
- "Piety and Prejudice: Free Exercise Exemption from Laws Prohibiting Sexual Orientation Discrimination." 69 New York University Law Review 1176 (1994). - (Hein)
- "Equal Citizens: Fully Integrating All People into Civic Life Requires More Legislative Work." Los Angeles Daily Journal, July 18, 2003, at 6.
FACULTY IN THE NEWS
Orin Kerr was cited for his recent editorial on his experience taking the California bar exam much later in life in order to practice law in another state. "It’s not like you can test lawyerly competence among 20 topics any better than with 10 topics," Kerr commented. "It just requires more time memorizing, and it’s not obvious what that has to do with lawyerly ability.”
"Blindspot: Faith-Based Discrimination and the Misinterpretation of Sherbert v. Verner," Conference on Law, Religion and Complicity, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.
"The Great Patent Grab", The Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.
"Parental Control Rights." In Philosophical Foundations of Children's and Family Law, edited by Elizabeth Brake & Lucinda Ferguson. New York: Oxford Univerity Press, 2018.