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.
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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.
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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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- 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
George Lefcoe is a Professor of Law specializing in real estate, and has taught at the USC Gould School of Law since 1962. He holds the Ervin and Florine Yoder Chair in Real Estate Law.
His expertise is in real estate finance, development and land use planning, having worked with federal, state and local governments, and with firms and foundations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. His book, Real Estate Transactions, Finance, and Development (Lexis, 2009), is one of the most widely-used texts in the field, and is now in its Sixth Edition.
Lefcoe has served on many state and local government commissions, including the Regional Planning Commission of Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles Planning Commission. Since 1990, he has directed the USC Traveling Land Use Seminar, which has visited and met with civic leaders and real estate development professionals in many of the major cities of the world, ranging from Istanbul to Havana and, most recently, Porto, LIsbon and Cascais in Portugal.
He also is faculty director and regular panelist for the USC Real Estate Law and Business Forum, an annual conference which draws leading professionals in the field both as panelists and attendees. He was elected to membership in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), has spoken to real estate and local government sections of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS), delivered the Richard Babcock Memorial Lecture at the annual ALI/ABA Land Use seminar in Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 27, 2010, and is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI). Lefcoe also is a Member, Board of Directors, Center for Real Estate Studies, New York Law School.
Lefcoe’s articles are published in a number of law journals. His most recent articles are "Redevelopment in California: Its Abrupt Termination and a Texas-Inspired Proposal for a Fresh Start," 44 Urban Lawyer 767 (2012) and "Competing for the Next Hundred Million Americans: The Uses and Abuses of Tax Increment Financing," 43 Urban Lawyer 427 (2011).
Articles and Book Chapters
- "Redevelopment in California: The Demise of TIF-Funded Redevelopment in California and Its Aftermath" (with Charles W. Swenson) (August 1, 2014). National Tax Journal 67 (September 2014). - (SSRN)
- "Redevelopment in California: Its Abrupt Termination and a Texas-Inspired Proposal for a Fresh Start." 44 Urban Lawyer 767 (2012) - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- "Competing for the Next Hundred Million Americans: The Uses and Abuses of Tax Increment Financing." 43 Urban Lawyer 427 (2011). - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- "Should We Ban or Welcome ‘Spec’ Homebuyers?" 36 Journal of Legislation 1 (2010) - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- “Redevelopment Takings After Kelo: What’s Blight Got to Do With It?” 17 Southern California Review of Law & Social Justice 803 (2008). [Reprinted in 2009 Zoning and Planning Law Handbook (ThomsonReuters/West Publishing.] - (Hein) - (SSRN)
- “After Kelo, Curbing Opportunishtic TIF-Driven Economic Development: Forgoing Ineffectual Blight Tests; Empowering Property Owners and School Districts.” 83 Tulane Law Review 1 (2008). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
- “Should CEQA Require Local Governments to Analyze the Impacts of Development Displaced by Restrictive Land Use Planning?” 33 Ecology Law Quarterly 1015 (2006). - (Hein)
- “The Regulation of Superstores: The Legality of Zoning Ordinances Emerging from the Skirmishes Between Wal-Mart and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.” 58 Arkansas Law Review 833 (2006). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
- “Property Condition Disclosure Forms: How Realtors Eased the Transition from Caveat Emptor to ‘Seller Tell All’.” 39 ABA’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal 193 (2004). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
- "Yield Maintenance and Defeasance: Two Distinct Paths to Commercial Mortgage Prepayment." (with R. Jeffrey Smith). In Commercial Real Estate Financing: What Borrowers and Lenders Need to Know Now, 2002 (Joshua Stein, ed.) (Practising Law Institute, 2002).
- "Finding the Blight That's Right for California Redevelopment Law." 52 Hastings Law Journal 991 (2001). [Reprinted in Real Estate Research Brief, 2001.] - (Hein) - (SSRN)
- "Yield Maintenance and Defeasance: Two Distinct Paths to Commercial Mortgage Prepayment." 28 Real Estate Law Journal 202 (Winter 2000). [Reprinted in 29 Real Estate Review 24 (Winter 2000).]
- "Prepayment Disincentives in Securitized Commercial Loans." 13 Probate and Property 6 (September/October 1999).
- "Prepayment Disincentives in Securitized Commercial Loans." In Commercial Real Estate Financing (Joshua Stein, chair) (Practising Law Institute, 1999). - (Hein)
- "Transactions Dealing with Regulatory Risk in Development Land." 28 Real Estate Review 12 (Spring 1998).
- "How Buyers and Sellers of Development Land Deal with Regulatory Risk." 32 Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal 301 (Summer 1997). - (Hein) - (SSRN)
- "Construction and Development Law: Construction Contracts and Commercial Leases." Ch. 97 in Thompson on Real Property (Michie Co., 1994; Supp., 1995).
- "Conveyancing Procedures." Ch. 94 in Thompson on Real Property (Michie Co., 1994; Supp., 1995).
- "Financing Public-Private Agreements Through Tax Increments." Ch. 98 in Thompson on Real Property (Michie Co., 1994; Supp., 1995).
- "Mechanics Liens." Ch. 102 in Thompson on Real Property (Michie Co., 1994; Supp., 1995).
- "Obtaining Land and Rights for Development." Ch. 85 in Thompson on Real Property (Michie Co., 1994; Supp., 1995).
- "The Promissory Note in Real Estate Transactions." Ch. 104 in Thompson on Real Property (Michie Co., 1994; Supp., 1995).
- "Real Estate Brokers." Ch. 95 in Thompson on Real Property (Michie Co., 1994; Supp., 1995).
- "Special Problems of Real Property Ownership" (with David A. Thomas). Ch. 12 in Thompson on Real Property (Michie Co., 1994; Supp., 1995).
- "Jeff Benedict's Little Pink House: The Back Story of the Kelo Case." 42 Connecticut Law Review 925 (2010). - (SSRN)
- Real Estate Law and Business: Brokering, Buying, Selling, and Financing Realty (Carolina Academic Press, 2016). - (www)
- Real Estate Transactions, Finance, and Development, 6th ed. (LexisNexis, 2009).
- Real Estate Transactions, 5th ed. (LexisNexis, 2005).
- Real Estate Transactions, 4th ed. (LEXIS Law Publishing, 2003).
- Real Estate Transactions, 3d ed. Teacher's Edition (LEXIS Law Publishing, 2000).
- Real Estate Transactions, 3d ed. (LEXIS Law Publishing, 1999).
- Real Estate Transactions, 2d ed. (Michie Co., 1997).
- Planning and Affordable Housing: Lessons for the UK from the USA (London, England: RTPI Services, Ltd., 1994).
- The Impact of Planning Policies on Housing Affordability (The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, U.K., 1993).
- Real Estate Transactions (Michie Co., 1993).
- Urban Land Policy for the 1980s: The Message for State and Local Governments (ed.) (Lexington Books, 1983).
- Land Policy and Housing Development: Proceedings of a Conference (ed.) (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 1981).
- Respective Roles of State and Local Governments in Land Policy and Taxation (ed.) (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 1980).
- Federally Assisted Housing and Community Acceptance: A Developer's Handbook (with E.E. Haworth) (Associated Homebuilders of the Greater Eastbay, Inc., 1979).
- Land Development in Crowded Places: Lessons from Abroad (Conservation Foundation, 1979).
- Local Governments' Decisions and the Local Tax Base (ed.) (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 1979).
- Proposition 13: A First Anniversary Assessment (ed.) (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 1979).
- Tax Policies to Achieve Land Use (ed.) (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 1978).
- When Governments Become Land Developers: Notes on the Public-Sector Experience in the Netherlands & California (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 1978).
- The Highest and Best Use of Land (National Endowment of the Humanities, Bicentennial Anthology, 1975).
- American Land Law: Cases & Materials (Michie Co., 1974).
- Design Review Boards: The Law and a Model Ordinance (American Institute of Architects, 1974).
- An Introduction to American Land Law (Bobbs-Merrill, 1974).
- Land Development Law: Cases and Materials, 2d ed. (Bobbs-Merrill, 1974).
- Land Finance Law: Materials and Cases (Bobbs-Merrill, 1969).
- Land Development Law: Cases and Materials (Bobbs-Merrill, 1966).
- The Legitimation and Allocation of Property (edited with M. Levine) (USC Law School, 1964).
FACULTY IN THE NEWS
Jody Armour commented on Harvard Law School's decision to remove a Harvard faculty member from his position as head of a student house after joining Harvey Weinstein's team of defense attorneys. Armour noted that the situation may quickly devolve into a slippery slope. "The students feeling uncomfortable is not sufficient reason standing alone to dismiss someone from a position," he explained. "Nobody should be dismissed if people feel uncomfortable around them, for example, because they're an LGBTQ member." Armour also noted the potential broader implications of the decision, saying that "at some point, when you start down that road, you will have a real chilling effect on what professors are willing to say and do."
"Sovereign and Subordinate Conceptions of Corrective Justice," The Landscape of Private Law Conference, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA.
“Legal Origin from Outer Space,” Keynote Speaker, QuantLaw Conference, University of Arizona Law School, Tucson, AZ.
"The Law of Race and Freedom: An Interview with Ariela Gross and Alejandro de la Fuente" was published, based on their plenary lecture at the American Society for Legal History Annual Meeting, in Law and History Review Online.