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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USC Gould School of Law
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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
Susan Estrich wrote an op-ed about the hypocrisy of certain laws in Texas. "You have to hand it to those Texans," she wrote. "On one hand, they believe in liberty — to not wear a mask. But for the victim of rape or incest to have control over her body? No way."
Thomas D. Lyon
“Use of global trait cues helps to explain older adults’ decrements in detecting children’s lies” (with Alison O’Connor, Micaela Wiens, & Angela D. Evans) (in press), Legal and Criminological Psychology.
Thomas D. Lyon
“Causal indicators for assessing the truthfulness of child speech in forensic interviews” (with Zane Durante, Victor Ardulov, Manoj Kumar, Jennifer Gongola, & Shrikanth Narayanan) (in press), Computer Speech & Language.
Thomas D. Lyon
“The difficulty of teaching adults to recognize referential ambiguity in children's testimony: The influence of explicit instruction and sample questions” (with Breanne Wylie, Jennifer Gongola, & Angela D. Evans) (in press), Applied Cognitive Psychology.