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.
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.
First Generation Professionals Student Perspectives
- STUDENT LIFE
- STUDENT RESOURCES
- STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS
- + ACADEMIC JOURNALS AND MOOT COURT
- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW
- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL JUSTICE (RLSJ)
- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INTERDISCIPLINARY LAW JOURNAL (ILJ)
- HALE MOOT COURT HONORS PROGRAM
- LIFE IN LOS ANGELES
- LIFE ON CAMPUS
- DIVERSITY AT USC
- + DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT PREVENTION AND REPORTING
- RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEES (MANDATORY REPORTERS)
- SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT IN PARTICULAR
- REPORTING SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT AT AN EXTERNAL SITE
- SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT RESOURCES
- USC TROJAN NETWORK
- PEER SUPPORT
- + FIRST GENERATION PROFESSIONALS
I am the first person in my family to graduate college and attend law school. I grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio and attended the College of Wooster, a small liberal arts college. I served as President of the Political Science Club and was nominated by the Dean to serve on the Senior Class Committee. Just days after graduation, I said goodbye to my family, packed two suitcases and moved to Los Angeles. I joined Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP (MTO) as part of their Fellows Program for students of color pursuing careers in law. Later, I worked full-time at MTO as a Litigation Analyst. I was selected a 2017 American Bar Association (ABA) Legal Opportunity Scholar. It look a lot to get here, but I am grateful to be pursuing my dream career at USC Gould.
I was born and raised in Inglewood, CA and am a proud daughter of low-wage working immigrant parents from Guatemala and Mexico. For the past 35 years my mother has worked cleaning houses and offices and my father has worked as a banquet server at the Marriott Hotel. Despite growing up in a low-income community and attending an under-resourced inner city high school, I was fortunate enough to have amazing teachers who helped me gain acceptance to top universities. I attended Stanford University, being the first in my family to leave home. However, my parents struggled to understand my choice to leave for college and I also experienced a large culture shock when I got to Stanford. I ended up dropping out of Stanford about a month after arriving. The barriers I have encountered in my educational journey, along with the vast disparity in privilege that plagues my community is what has motivated me to pursue a career in public interest law. I hope to serve as an agent of change for low-income communities.
I grew up in a single-headed household. My mother worked two jobs to help provide for my brother and me, so I was forced to grow up at a very young age. I was the first person in my family to go away to college and much like most of my life, I had to figure out how to navigate through higher education, from taking out loans to creating a resume, all on my own. The biggest struggle I faced was confidence. Confidence that I could contribute to classroom discussions or keep up academically with non-first generation students.
My mother was born in the rural town of Salinas, California, where she was raised in a farm working community. My father was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and came to the U.S. when he was 17. I am the first to attend college and law school (I went to Stanford University for undergrad). I decided to attend law school to change the world. I grew up with humble beginnings but have always aspired to do great things. In order to do so, I knew I needed a strong educational foundation to thrust me to the top, increase my credibility, and find support to be heard. Something unique about me is that I was on both Stanford's and USC's competition cheer team. Here is a link to a video of me doing a backflip at one of the OneJustice Bus trips I took with USC Gould School of Law.
Thai Viet Phan
I am ethnically Vietnamese but I was born in a refugee camp in Bangkok, Thailand. My parents left Vietnam when my mom was nine months pregnant with me, and gave birth to me in Thailand a few weeks after arriving. We later moved to the Philippines before landing in Orange County, California. I am the first in my family to graduate high school, attend college, and attend graduate school. I was extremely fortunate to have caring, dedicated teachers growing up, even though I attended almost exclusively Title I schools. My teachers made college seem less a dream and more a requirement. My original motivation for attending law school was to work in education policy, but as I met more alumni and experts in both legal and policy fields, my interest in municipal government grew. In the future, I hope to work with local governments and communities because it takes a village to raise a child, and I am forever grateful to the community that raised me.
Tolson testifies on Voting Rights Act before Congress
October 8, 2019
Vice Dean presented research on voting access to House Judiciary Committee.
1Ls hear advice, encouragement at orientation.