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Deepika Sharma
USC Gould School of Law

Deepika Sharma

Clinical Assistant Professor of Law, and Director, Housing Law and Policy Clinic

699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA

Last Updated: August 29, 2022

Deepika Sharma is a clinical assistant professor of law and the founding director of the Housing Law and Policy Clinic at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law. She joined USC Gould after 15 years as a lawmaker and litigator. Most recently, Sharma served in newly created roles as a director of housing security initiatives and policy for the Los Angeles Mayor and for Councilmember Nithya Raman. In these roles, she drafted tenant protective legislation and strengthened initiatives aimed at ensuring that vulnerable tenants remained housed during the global pandemic. Prior to her policy roles, she was the supervising attorney at the Eviction Defense Network (EDN) where she litigated over a dozen bench and jury trials. Prior to EDN, she spent six years as senior attorney at Public Counsel (PC) and led the affirmative housing litigation unit. Notably, at PC, she led a ground-breaking multi-building Fair Housing Act case challenging the discriminatory harassment and predation against tenants rampant in gentrifying neighborhoods leading to a $2.5 million settlement. The case gained national media attention and is lauded for its novel settlement term that set aside housing for voucher holders.

Sharma’s distinguished legal career also includes prior experiences as the director of legal services for Mental Health Advocacy Services, serving as a Title VII and Title IX officer at UCLA, an associate in the Litigation Department of Morrison & Foerster's Los Angeles office, and working abroad for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. She is well known for litigating cases that have resulted in published decisions that broadened rights for tenants, including Martinez v. Optimus, Crasnick v. Marquez and Nivo 1 LLC v Antunez. Sharma is frequently invited to speak at conferences including the NAACP, Legal Defense Fund's Civil Rights Institute and she has conducted several workshops aimed at training advocates on trial skills and housing law.

Sharma earned her JD from the University of California at Berkeley in 2007. While in law school, she was a clerk for the East Bay Community Law Center in the housing unit and for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. She earned her BA degree in mass communications from UC Berkeley in 2000, where she graduated with the highest honors.  


Politi Fact
May 23, 2023
Re: David B. Cruz

Professor David Cruz was recently interviewed about a controversial bill that was passed in Connecticut. "Paying even modest attention to the bill’s definitions should make it clear beyond doubt that it will not be the source of protections based upon the age of people to whom one is attracted or with whom one has sex," Cruz said.


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"Marine Biodiversity: Trends, Targets, and the BBNJ," Lewis and Clark School of Law 2023 Environmental Law Symposium: Protecting Biodiversity: Five Decades of Progress but an Uncertain Future, Portland, OR, April 7, 2023.

Jonathan Barnett
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Comment Letter from Law Professors, Economists, and Business School Professors to the Federal Trade Commission on Proposed Non-Compete Clause Rule, Jonathan Barnett (co-lead author, with Adam Mossoff and Ted Sichelman), April 19, 2023.

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"Survival Equity and Climate Change Triage: How to Decide Who Lives and Who Dies," presentation as part of Adapting to a Warming World: Perspectives from the Environmental Law Collaborative, Hubbell Environmental Law Initiative, University of Iowa School of Law, Iowa City, IA, April 14, 2023.