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
Sam Erman joined USC Gould School of Law as an Assistant Professor of Law from the Smithsonian Institution where he served as a Latino studies postdoctoral fellow.
Erman’s primary areas of research include the history of Puerto Rico and its relations with the United States. His dissertation, Puerto Rico and the Constitution: Struggles around Status and Governance in a New Empire, 1898-1925 examines closely the United States’ promise of citizenship to Puerto Rico.
In 2012 Erman served as a visiting professor of criminal law at Peking University School of Transactional Law. He also worked as a graduate student instructor in the University of Michigan’s program in American culture. He co-designed and assisted in teaching an undergraduate seminar on The Boundaries of Citizenship: From Dred Scott to Plessy for the University of Michigan’s History Department.
Prior to his fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution, Erman was a Raoul-Berger-Mark DeWolfe Howe Legal History Fellow at Harvard Law School. He clerked for Judge John Paul Stevens and Judge Anthony M. Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court and Judge Merrick B. Garland of the United States Court of Appeals.
He received his JD from the University of Michigan Law School, summa cum laude, and his PhD in American Culture from the University of Michigan. He completed his AB in English at Harvard College, cum laude.
Works in Progress
- Puerto Rico and the Constitution: Struggles Around Status and Governance in the New Empire, 1891-1925 (In-progress book manuscript revised and expanded from Puerto Rico and the Promise of United States Citizenship: Struggles Around Status in a New Empire, 1898-1917 (2010) (Ph.D. dissertation)).
Articles and Book Chapters
- "Reconstruction and Empire: Legacies of the U.S. Civil War and Puerto Rican Struggles for Home Rule, 1898-1917," (Under consideration by Law and History Review). - (SSRN)
- “Citizens of Empire: Puerto Rico, Status, and Constitutional Change,” 102 California Law Review 1181 (October 2014). - (SSRN)
- "Affirmative Meritocracy," 7 Social Issues and Policy Review (with Walton, G., and Spencer, S.) (forthcoming 2013).
- "Meanings of Citizenship in the U.S. Empire: Puerto Rico, Isabel Gonzalez, and the Supreme Court, 1898-1905," 27 Journal of American Ethnic History 5 (2008) (Received the Carlton C. Qualey Memorial Article Award: The best article published in the Journal of American Ethnic History during the past two years). - (www)
- "An 'Unintended Consequence': Dred Scott Reinterpreted," 106 Michigan Law Review 1157 (2008) (reviewing Austin Allen, Origins of the Dred Scott Case (2006)). - (Hein)
- Note, "Word Games: Raising and Resolving the Shortcomings in Accident-Insurance Doctrine that Autoerotic-Asphyxiation Cases Reveal," 103 Michigan Law Review 2172 (2005). - (Hein)
- Citizens of Empire: Federico Degetau, Puerto Rican Status, and the U.S. Order, 1898-1905 (manuscript).
- Puerto Rico and the Promise of United States Citizenship: Struggles Around Status in a New Empire, 1898-1917 (Ph.D. dissertation). - (www)
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.