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Peer Support

On the first day of orientation, you will be assigned a peer mentor. Peer mentors are exceptional second-year law students who want to help you have a fun, successful and engaging first year. They provide continuous guidance and support throughout your first year, helping you feel welcomed, connecting you with your new environment and directing you to resources to help you become an integral part of the law school community.

You'll also have access to peer tutors — outstanding upper-division students who have prior experience teaching or mentoring students. Peer tutors host workshops and send weekly tips to you throughout your first year at USC Gould. They also are available for individual or small-group meetings to help with study skills and exam-prep techniques.

Dedicated legal writing fellows provide still further assistance to help you transition from academic writing to legal writing. Each writing fellow is paired with one of the legal writing professors. Fellows attend each writing class, teach proper legal citation form, and provide individual assistance with writing assignments during weekly office hours.

2020-21 First-Year Peer Mentors

Rita Abed Elahad

Undergraduate: University of California, Santa Barbara


Rita grew up in Thousand Oaks, Calif. She graduated from UCSB in 2018 with a degree in sociology. Throughout her undergraduate experience, Rita worked at a civil litigation firm in Ventura County, California. She took a year off before law school to work at a personal injury firm and travel through Europe.

This past year, Rita was a 1L representative for Music Law Society and Phi Alpha Delta. During her 1L summer, she is working as a summer associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. As a 2L, Rita is excited to be the internal vice president of the Legal Technology Association and vice president of internal operations of Phi Alpha Delta.

In her free time, Rita enjoys cooking, re-watching Gossip Girl, and hanging out with friends. She is excited to be a peer mentor and cannot wait to meet the Class of 2023!

Mathew Anekstein

Undergraduate: Binghamton University (SUNY)


Mathew grew up in New York and graduated from Binghamton University (SUNY) with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a minor in history. At Binghamton, Mathew was the president of the undergraduate chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, the president of the Binghamton Law Quarterly Undergraduate Law Review, and vice president of the Professional Fraternity Council. At USC Gould, Mathew is the incoming co-president of Phi Alpha Delta (the law school chapter this time) and the incoming treasurer of the Intellectual Property & Technology Law Society (IPTLS). He will be interning at the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office in the Consumer Protection Division this summer.

This past year, Rita was a 1L representative for Music Law Society and Phi AlpMathew decided to move to Los Angeles after visiting his brother (who lives in Culver City). He went straight through to law school from undergrad and moved to L.A. one week before orientation. In his free time, he likes to watch way too much television, listen to podcasts and spend time with friends. He is looking forward to welcoming the newest Trojans to USC Gould and being a resource for them. Fight on!

Sydney Banach

Undergraduate: Grinnell College


Sydney grew up in Central Pennsylvania and graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in Political Science. After graduating in 2018, she lived in Washington, D.C., for a year and worked for the NAACP and a bagel shop.

This summer, Sydney will be an extern for the Hon. Wendy Beetlestone in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. As a 2L, she is excited to be a peer mentor and serve on the boards of International Refugee Assistance Project and the Criminal Law Society. Sydney loves playing tennis, trying new restaurants and hanging out with friends in her free time.

Maiko Bracken

Undergraduate: University of California, San Diego


Maiko was born and raised in Southern California, but with half of her family living in Japan, she feels just as much at home there. She received her degree in psychology with a minor in political science from UCSD and loved sunny San Diego so much that she stayed for her gap year.

During her first year at Gould, Maiko served as a 1L representative for Phi Alpha Delta and is excited to continue supporting our community as part of its executive board. This summer, she will be a volunteer law clerk at the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

When she isn’t studying at a coffee shop, she’s studying at a library (with a coffee, of course) or actively looking for dogs she can pet. She enjoys spending her free time with friends, whether it’s going out and exploring L.A. or staying in and relaxing at home. Most of all Maiko is eager to welcome, and “fight on” with, the newest members of the Gould family!

Caitlyn Brock

Undergraduate: University of California, Santa Barbara


Caitlyn was born and raised in Orange County, Calif. She graduated in 2016 from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, focusing on international relations. As an undergraduate, Caitlyn studied abroad in Paris, France, held two internships with the Santa Barbara district attorney’s office, and was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Following graduation, she moved to San Francisco where she worked at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman as a practice clerk specializing in trademark and copyright matters.

At USC Gould, Caitlyn has served as a 1L representative for the International Law and Relations Organization and is a member of the Women’s Law Association. She is excited to work as a judicial extern for the Hon. Autumn Spaeth in the Central District of California during her 1L summer. As a 2L, she looks forward to serving on the American Constitution Society’s Executive Board.

Outside of school, Caitlyn enjoys trying new workout classes and restaurants around L.A. To wind down, she spends her free time reading, searching Netflix for new documentaries and playing with her roommate’s adorable Cockapoo. Caitlyn is excited to meet and mentor the incoming Class of 2023! Fight on!

Camille Brown

Undergraduate: Stanford University


Camille grew up in Ontario, California, and graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in science, technology and society. While at Stanford, Camille discovered the profound impact copyright law had on hip hop both in France and the United States when she wrote a thesis on how digital media technology shaped the evolution of French hip hop.

Intrigued by copyright law’s role in emerging technologies, Brown worked in brand strategy at two Silicon Valley start-ups after graduation, followed by a position at the Stanford Alumni Association as the organization’s liaison to Stanford’s Trademark and Licensing Committee.

Now that she's finally taken the leap to pursue law as a career, Camille is thrilled to be at USC Gould. She is a member of the Gould Art Law Society, Law Students for Better Health and the Intellectual Property and Technology Law Association, where she will serve as president in the coming year. This summer, Camille will be working in Los Angeles at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

In her (albeit limited) free time, Camille enjoys practicing and teaching barre, welding in her dad's machine shop, spoiling her sobrina and making lots of pasta. She is so excited to get to know the incoming 1L class!

Michael Butts

Undergraduate: University of California, Davis


Michael is a native of Sacramento and completed his undergraduate education at UC Davis, where he studied political science and art history. After graduating in 2016, Michael moved to New York City to begin a career in advertising. He spent three years in the advertising industry and worked as an account manager at two top creative agencies during which he produced film campaigns for major consumer brands. He plans to integrate his prior experience with brand management and film production into a career in soft-IP law.

During his 1L year, Michael was involved with the Black Law Students Association and OUTLaw and looks forward to serving on the executive boards of both organizations next year. This summer, he will be a summer associate at Katten in Century City as the 1L Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Scholar.

In his free time, Michael loves listening to music, visiting museums and trying out different hiking trails around L.A. He is very excited to be a peer mentor and cannot wait to welcome the incoming Gould Class of 2023!

Erin Cazares

Undergraduate: Oklahoma City University


Erin was born and raised in Denver, Colo. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting from Oklahoma City University. She also studied abroad at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, England, and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

After graduating, Erin moved to Los Angeles. She worked in film and television both on camera and in production management. She later became a manager of a local restaurant in Los Feliz, where she met her husband.

Erin’s career in film and television was motivated by a desire to use art for social change. Experiences working in production and restaurant management fueled her decision to study policy and law, particularly in areas of immigration and employment.

Erin will be working at Gould’s Immigration Clinic this summer and during her 2L year. She is excited to be a part of the peer mentor program and help guide the new 1L class through the life-changing experience that is the first year of law school.

Samuel Clark-Clough

Undergraduate: Boston University


Sam grew up in Oakland, Calif., and graduated from Boston University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in international relations, political science, and Spanish language. As an undergraduate, Sam competed on the Mock Trial team and spent one of his semesters interning in the British House of Commons. After graduation, Sam joined the Peace Corps and lived in an indigenous village in the Darién jungle of Panama.

At USC, Sam is a Public Interest Scholar and is interested in litigation, social justice and criminal justice reform. In his spare time, Sam loves going to concerts, hiking, traveling and finding new restaurants. This summer, he will be working at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and he is looking forward to meeting the new 1Ls in the fall!

Johnathan Coleman

Undergraduate: Bucknell University


Johnathan, though he goes by “Chief,” was raised in Long Beach, Calif., and strongly believes it is the greatest city in the world. Chief attended Bucknell University where he double majored in philosophy and political science. While at Bucknell, Chief was a member of the Division 1 water polo team, a trip leader for the outdoor education program (appropriately named BuckWild), and the student coordinator for the Office of Admissions. He was fortunate to spend a semester abroad in Durban, South Africa, and had the honor of being his class Student Commencement Speaker.

This year, Chief was a 1L Representative for the Black Law Student Association and the Barbara F. Bice Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF). During 2L, he will continue his school involvement serving as PILF's vice president and on the C. David Molina First Generation Professionals Program executive board as professional development co-chair. Chief will also be a teaching assistant for Professor Dan Klerman’s Civil Procedure I course. During his 1L summer, Chief will be working in the Palo Alto office of Cooley LLP.

With his downtime, Chief enjoys playing on the USC club water polo team, camping and listening to live music. He looks forward to welcoming and being a resource for the incoming Class of 2023. Fight on!

Luana De Mello

Undergraduate: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo


Luana De Mello grew up in Huntington Beach, Calif., and went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for her undergraduate studies. She graduated one year early with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, concentrating in global politics with a minor in sociology. During her time at Cal Poly, she was a member of Model United Nations and an editor of Paideia, the university's political science academic journal. After graduating in 2017, Luana was a judicial fellow in Sacramento State University's Capital Fellows program. Her placement was in the Los Angeles Superior Court, Management Research Unit, and she received a graduate certificate in applied policy and government. After the fellowship Luana moved to Washington, D.C., for one year to work as the legislative director of the California Institute for Federal Policy Research.

Luana is happy to be back in Southern California and is extremely grateful to be attending law school at USC Gould as a Gold Honors Scholar. This summer, she will be a summer associate at Jones Day in its Orange County office. Luana is very excited for 2L and to meet the incoming Class of 2023!

Gretchen Goyette

Undergraduate: University of California, Santa Barbara


Gretchen grew up in the Sacramento area and graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2018 with a major in Political Science and a minor in French. As an undergraduate, Gretchen interned at a legal aid organization and studied abroad in Paris at Sciences Po. She most enjoyed working at a golf course, restaurant, and as a yoga teacher. After graduating, Gretchen traveled throughout Southeast Asia and Europe and worked at a gym.

As a 1L, Gretchen was involved in several organizations including the International Law and Relations Organization and the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). She is excited to be on the boards of IRAP and Law Students for Better Health this year. This summer, Gretchen worked as a law clerk for Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles doing public benefits work.

Gretchen loves yoga, hiking, and bonding with her parents’ cockapoo, Louis, who is appreciating the increased attention during the pandemic. She is excited to meet her mentees and the Class of 2023!

Omeed Hakimianpour

Undergraduate: University of California, Los Angeles


Omeed was born and raised in Los Angeles (Lakers over Clippers, don’t @ him). He attended University of California, Los Angeles, where he graduated with a degree in history. During his undergraduate years, Omeed was involved immediately in several Hillel groups. He was a member of UCLA’s pre-law society and also a member of the Sigma Pi Fraternity.

While at Gould, Omeed continues to be active in school affairs. He joined the Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity and was the 1L section representative for the Jewish Law Students Association. Going into 2L year, Omeed is looking forward to being the treasurer for the Jewish Law Students Association, but especially to being a peer mentor! During his 1L summer, Omeed plans to work for the district attorney’s office.

He loves watching the Lakers, especially now with LeBron and Anthony Davis. He is the biggest foodie you will ever meet and he has his own Instagram where he uploads some of his favorite restaurants and even some home-cooked meals #Covid-19 (shameless plug - @worldbitebybite).

Samara Harris

Undergraduate: University of Southern California


Samara Harris was raised in Thousand Oaks, Calif., as the oldest of three. In 2019, she became the first in her family to graduate from college, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communication from USC.

Before transferring to USC, Samara was a member of the Loyola Marymount University Belles, a service organization dedicated to serving victims of domestic violence. At USC, she became co-director of Motivate and Empower, an organization that teaches local elementary school students after-school classes about prominent figures of color. As an undergraduate, Samara also worked at the circulation desk at Doheny Memorial Library, where she learned so much about USC that she could pass as a tour guide.

In her first year at Gould, Samara served as an 1L representative for the Womxn of Color Collective. She was also a member of the Honors Scholars Program, the Black Law Student Association, and the C. David Molina First-Generation Professionals Program. This summer, Samara will be working at Holland and Knight in Los Angeles as a 1L Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Scholar.

Outside of school, Samara enjoys spending way too much time in Trader Joe’s and exploring the California landscape.

Nayar Islam

Undergraduate: Loyola Marymount University


Nayar was born and raised in Los Angeles. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University as a political science major in 2019. There, she was involved on campus by working as a research assistant for her political science professor, conducting research about global refugee populations. She was also part of her school’s pre-law honor society. During college, Nayar interned for Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressmember Karen Bass in their Los Angeles offices.

Nayar has really enjoyed her time at USC Gould! This summer she will be working at Public Counsel. As a 2L, she will be on the board for the South Asian Law Students Association, in addition to being a peer mentor.

She is extremely excited to be a peer mentor and is looking forward to meeting the incoming 1L class!

Tomi Johnson

Undergraduate: Princeton University


Tomi Johnson was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Princeton University in 2016 with a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

In the three years before law school, Tomi served as a legal extern for a federal magistrate judge, worked as a project assistant in a large multinational law firm, and participated in the SEO Law Fellowship program. On campus, she is president of the Black Law Students Association and vice president for the 2L class. She is also on the executive boards for the Womxn of Color Collective and the Stanley and Ilene Gold Honors Scholars Program.

Tomi is a proud older sister to her three brothers and a recently discovered extrovert. In her free time, she enjoys spontaneous dance parties, Chicago sports and traveling with friends. Tomi is very much looking forward to meeting the Class of 2023 and helping them make the most of their time at Gould!

Joshua Kohanoff

Undergraduate: University of California, Los Angeles


Josh was born and raised in Los Angeles. He attended UCLA and got a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 2019 (Go Brojans!). While at UCLA, Josh was an active member in various clubs such as FSC and he was the co-chair of the Pre-Law Transfer Society. In the summer before law school, he worked for a small estate-planning firm in Calabasas.

For his 1L summer, Josh is going to be working for the district attorney’s office. As a 2L, he will serve as the treasurer for the Jewish Law Student Association. In his free time, Josh enjoys playing video games, hanging out with friends, experimenting with new dishes in the kitchen and exploring LA. Josh is looking forward to being a peer mentor and he is excited to meet the members of the Class of 2023!

Monica Mahal

Undergraduate: Georgetown University


Monica proudly hails from the state of New Jersey. She graduated from Georgetown University with a major in government and minors in environmental studies and economics. Some highlights of her college experience included studying abroad in beautiful Seville, Spain, and being a choreographer for Georgetown's annual South Asian dance showcase. After graduating in 2017, Monica worked for two years as a litigation services coordinator at Latham & Watkins LLP in New York.

At USC, she served as a 1L representative for the Energy & Environmental Law Society and is a member of the South Asian Law Students Association. This summer she will be working as an international law clerk for the non-profit organization, Earthjustice. In her free time, she loves to hike, write letters and plan her next National Park trip.

Monica is so excited to be a peer mentor and meet the Class of 2023! Welcome to Gould!

Sara Morse

Undergraduate: University of San Francisco


Sara grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C,. in northern Virginia. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of San Francisco with a major in psychology and a minor in theology and religious studies. She went on to earn her master’s degree in political sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She then returned to D.C. to work as a paralegal for an Am Law 50 law firm before coming to Gould.

In her 1L year, Sara co-founded the Middle Eastern and North African Law Student Association, where she will serve as co-secretary during 2L. This summer and throughout her 2L year, she plans to work for the Post-Conviction Justice Project.

Outside of law school, Sara enjoys yoga, the beach and hosting dinner parties. In her free time, she continues to volunteer for the Iraqi Children Foundation, a non-profit very close to her heart. She is excited to meet the Class of 2023 and welcome them to the Trojan Family!

Steven Perkins

Undergraduate: Northwest Missouri State University


Steven was born and raised in St. Louis, Mo., and graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with a degree in theater. He spent the next decade as an award-winning, full-time actor based out of Chicago performing at the prestigious Goodman Theatre and Second City. He eventually tripped and fell into the craft beer industry where he developed a passion for craft beer. He is now a certified Cicerone and was a top-performing sales manager in both Chicago and Portland.

As a 1L Steven was involved in the C. David Molina First Generation Professionals Program and was a 1L representative of the Black Law Student Association (BLSA). He is looking forward to taking on the role as the vice president of BLSA for 2020-21. Steven is interested in a career as a corporate litigator and will be joining Foley & Lardner LLP as a 1L associate for the summer in their L.A. office.

Steven is very excited to be a mentor this year. He has lots of hobbies and passions like quoting Will Smith films, riding his bike and singing — but, truthfully, most of his time is spent chasing his toddler around the house or thanking his wife for keeping the little guy alive while Steven learns about perpetuities. Law school at SC is a great time and he can’t wait to share that joy with the incoming class!

Ravneet Purewal

Undergraduate: University of California, Los Angeles


Rav was born and raised in Southern California. She graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and human biology and society. At UCLA, she was a research assistant, and her professors’ research was covered by news outlets, such as The New York Times. She was also a part of Sikh Student Association and Bruin Shelter, a homeless shelter for housing insecure college students run by college students. After college, she worked as a conflicts analyst at a law firm for a year before coming to Gould.

After being a 1L representative for Health Law Society (HLS) and South Asian Law Student Association (SALSA), Rav will continue being part of the Gould Community as C. David Molina First Generation Professionals Program co-president, SALSA vice president, HLS outreach chair, and Graduate Student Government senator. With her free time, Rav enjoys trying new food, working out and watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix. She’s excited to welcome the new 1Ls into the Trojan Family! Fight on!

Isaac Reed

Undergraduate: Santa Clara University


Isaac was born and raised in Bellevue, Wash. He attended Santa Clara University where he majored in political science and communication. During his time at Santa Clara, he interned for Yelp in San Francisco, working on their social media team. He left the Bay Area to come study at Gould, where he served as a 1L Graduate Student Government senator and a 1L representative for Phi Alpha Delta.

For his 1L summer, he is heading to Menlo Park and San Jose to work at Hogan Lovells and Adobe. Some of Isaac’s hobbies are soccer, football, running, film and photography. He's looking forward to all of the great things to come next year including welcoming the new squad of 1Ls to the Trojan Family!

Lauren Rogers

Undergraduate: University of California, Berkeley


Lauren was born and raised in the Bay Area and graduated magna cum laude from UC Berkeley in 2018, where she majored in legal studies and minored in art history. As an undergraduate, she helped start the world’s first Human Rights Investigations Lab collecting and verifying evidence of human rights abuses to better hold perpetrators accountable in international courts and the media, and also studied abroad in Paris, France, at Sciences Po.

As a 1L, Lauren was a 1L representative for the Women’s Law Association (WLA), the International Refugee Assistance Project and the International Law and Relations Organization. As a 2L, Lauren will be the events chair for WLA, on the board of the Student Bar Association Sexual Assault Awareness Committee, and will be a part of the Post-Conviction Justice Project clinic, where she will also be working this summer.

In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time cooking, going to concerts and getting out of L.A. for a camping trip when she can. She is so excited to welcome the Class of 2023 to the Trojan family!

Dimiana Saad

Undergraduate: University of Southern California


Dimiana is from Torrance, Calif., and graduated from USC in 2014, where she double-majored in psychology and Spanish. During her undergraduate years, she studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, and worked for USC's Joint Educational Project by tutoring elementary school children in the local community. Following graduation, Dimiana worked at an entertainment law boutique firm for two years, during which she acquired a paralegal certification and primarily worked on intellectual property matters. Afterwards, Dimiana worked for 21st Century Fox for three years as an employment litigation paralegal.

This summer, Dimiana worked at Alston & Bird as a 1L summer associate. During 2L, she will be president of the Womxn of Color Collective, serve on the board of the Entertainment Law Society, and is a founding member of the newly established Middle Eastern North African Law Student Association.

Outside of school, Dimiana likes to attend concerts, travel, cook, run and volunteer. She is excited to be a peer mentor and is looking forward to meeting the Class of 2023! Fight On!

Paul Schuman

Undergraduate: Cornell University


Paul was born and raised in Westchester County, N.Y., about 45 minutes outside of New York City, and received a Bachelor of Science from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. After graduating, Paul worked as a paralegal in Katten Muchin Rosenman's real estate division before he decided to take his talents to the west coast and become part of the Trojan Family!

As a first-year law student, Paul was the 1L representative for several organizations including Gould's Cannabis Law Society. Paul will continue his involvement this upcoming academic year as the president of the Jewish Law Students Association and as the president of the Real Estate Law Society. For his 1L summer, Paul will be working as a legal analyst for a Los Angeles based real estate development firm that focuses on high-end, multi-family and commercial projects.

Outside of law school, Paul enjoys playing the guitar, drums and piano and frequently takes advantage of the incredible live music scene and hiking trails that L.A. has to offer. Paul is greatly looking forward to engaging with the 1Ls and is incredibly excited to welcome in the Class of 2023 to the Gould family!

Maral Tavitian

Undergraduate: University of Southern California


Maral was born and raised in Los Angeles. She graduated from USC in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and minors in entrepreneurship and human rights. At USC, Maral was a reporter and editor for the Daily Trojan and wrote a weekly column teaching college students how to cook (no small feat!). After graduation, she lived in Yerevan, Armenia, for six months, where she worked as a journalist for the digital news platform CivilNet. Most recently, she was a caseworker at the International Rescue Committee in Los Angeles, where she provided resettlement services to refugee families.

At Gould, Maral is president of the International Refugee Assistance Project and vice president of the Armenian Law Students Association. During her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, and improving her Armenian dance moves and plans to treat her mentees to cookies on a regular basis. She looks forward to welcoming the Class of 2023 to the Trojan Family.

Eva Wang

Undergraduate: Georgetown University


Eva was born and raised in the idyllic midwestern city of Minneapolis, Minn. She graduated cum laude from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service with a Bachelor of Science in international political economy. While at Georgetown, she had the opportunity to intern at Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office, where she enjoyed giving U.S. Capitol tours to the senator’s constituents. After graduating, Eva worked at an education consulting firm in Shanghai, China.

This summer, Eva is working at Public Counsel in its consumer rights department. During 2L, she will be on the board of Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, while continuing her clerkship with Public Counsel.

Eva is extremely excited to be a peer mentor for the incoming 1L class and can’t wait to welcome all her mentees into the loving Trojan Family!

Stacy Wang

Undergraduate: University of California, Irvine


Stacy was born and raised around Los Angeles. She graduated in 2017 from the University of California, Irvine, as a political science major. While in undergrad, she was the vice president of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity and did her senior thesis on marital rape laws. She took two years off before law school, during which she worked as a legal assistant for a personal injury firm and taught second grade after-school classes. For her 1L summer, Stacy will be interning for the Public Benefits team at Inland Counties Legal Services.

In her free time, Stacy enjoys trying new foods, obsessing over her favorite K-pop group BTS, and binge-watching anything funny on Netflix. She is really excited to be a peer mentor and can’t wait to meet the Class of 2023!

Danielle Wilkins

Undergraduate: Spelman College


Danielle was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and graduated from Spelman College with a degree in economics and a minor in management. She is passionate about international travel and studied abroad three times while at Spelman in China, England and Ghana. After graduating, Danielle worked as a technology and management consultant in the finance, media and technology industries.

Danielle was a 1L representative for Street Law and Barbara F. Bice Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) and will continue her involvement with PILF as a 2L, serving as the pro-bono co-chair. Danielle is interested in a career in criminal justice reform and will work this summer at the ACLU on their jails team, helping to improve confinement conditions and medical services for inmates in the L.A. County jails.

Danielle loves food and studied culinary arts at ALMA School of Italian Cuisine in Parma, Italy, and at the International Culinary Center in NYC. She loves gourmet food, but thinks Dominos is great too! She also enjoys yoga, reading novels and memoirs, attending shows and laughing with friends. She is excited to welcome the Class of 2023 to USC Gould!

Genevieve Zimmerman

Undergraduate: University of California, Los Angeles


Genevieve was born and raised in Berkeley, Calif. She made her way down south to Los Angeles to attend UCLA where she studied world arts and cultures and communications studies (dangerous to say on this side of town but... Go Bruins!). During her time at UCLA, she was event chairman of her sorority and a counselor at Bruinwoods, UCLA's alumni family camp. Genevieve also studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was able to spend three weeks backpacking in Patagonia.

Prior to attending Gould, Genevieve worked in San Francisco at a digital marketing firm where she learned how Facebook targets you with ads after you mention a brand only once (super creepy). Once she excitedly committed to Gould, Genevieve took three months off to travel throughout Israel, Greece and Thailand.

As a 1L, Genevieve was 1L representative for the Legal Aid Alternative Break group, the Criminal Law Society and the Women's Law Association. This summer, she is excited to be working at the New York Attorney General's Office in its Public Integrity Bureau.

When not staying home during quarantine, Genevieve enjoys yoga, throwing ceramics on the wheel, going to concerts and hiking with friends in her free time. Otherwise, she's baking bread and watching Netflix. She cannot wait to get to know her mentees and the whole 2023 class. See you in the fall!

Transfer Peer Mentors

Kara Du

Undergraduate: University of Pittsburgh


Kara grew up in China and started college in the U.S. when she was 16 years old. Kara graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh, double majoring in political science and communication.

When she was 20, Kara first attended University of Minnesota for law school but quickly transferred to USC. She loved the California sunshine. At Gould, Kara is a member of the Lefkowitz Trademark Moot Court Competition Team. She also serves as the co-president of Chinese Law Student & Alumni Association, transfer representative of the Student Bar Association, and teaching assistant for multiple classes.

Outside of school, Kara is a WSET Level 2 certified wine sommelier and an amateur patisserie baker. She loves hiking, wine tasting and experimenting with her innovative recipes. Kara is excited to join Sheppard Mullin as a summer associate this year.

Nicolette Karanfilian

Undergraduate: Boston University


Nicolette is originally from Westchester, N.Y. She completed her undergraduate education at Boston University, earning a degree in business administration with a dual concentration in finance and law.

After her time at BU, Nicolette decided to begin her legal education right after college and stayed in Boston to attend Northeastern University School of Law for her 1L year. After realizing she wanted to pursue a career in transactional law, Nicolette transferred to USC Gould School of Law to access an incomparable selection of classes that are tailored to this field. Nicolette spent her 1L summer interning at a sports and entertainment law firm in New York and is continuing to work towards her JD here in Los Angeles.

In her free time, Nicolette enjoys cooking, watching Netflix and hanging out with her fellow Trojans. She is eternally grateful for all her peer mentors did for her when making the transition to USC and cannot wait to do the same for the incoming transfer students!

Executive Board

Amanda Clark

Undergraduate: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo


Amanda is a 3L at Gould. She was born and raised in a small town in the mountains of Northern California. She headed to the Central Coast to earn a Bachelor of Science in economics from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. During her time in SLO Amanda did multiple internships with different district attorneys' offices. Amanda and her husband were ecstatic when she got into USC and moved to L.A. just after their honeymoon in Greece. As a 1L, Amanda served as her section's representative of the Barbara F. Bice Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) and worked as an extern for the Federal Bankruptcy Court that summer.

During her 2L year, Amanda was a board member for PILF and made it to the quarterfinals of the Hale Moot Court Honors Program. She enjoyed being a part of the Mediation Clinic and went on to serve at Edelman's Children's Court where she helped mediate family custody agreements.

Outside of law school Amanda enjoys the beach, hiking and cooking, but is just as happy ordering in and browsing Netflix. She dreams of one day having a dog, but for now just pets every dog she sees (if you have a dog, please let her know and share pictures!).

This past summer Amanda worked at Jones Day remotely. On campus she is involved with the Moot Court Honors Program as an editor. She loved being a peer mentor during her 2L year and is very excited to welcome the Class of 2023 as part of the executive board!

Olivia Odle

Undergraduate: Miami University, Oxford


Olivia is a true Midwesterner born and raised in Indianapolis. She received her Bachelor of Arts in interactive media studies and strategic communications from Miami University of Ohio. Following her graduation in 2018, Olivia was eager to venture west and thrilled to have the opportunity to attend USC.

During her 1L summer, Olivia returned to her hometown to extern for the Hon. Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. For her 2L summer she spent time with the firm Donaldson + Callif in Beverly Hills. On campus she has been heavily involved in the Womxn of Color Collective and the Entertainment Law Society. In her spare time, Olivia enjoys watching too much reality television, crafting and keeping up with her favorite dog Instagram accounts (shoutout @anakin_bernese).

After an incredible year as a peer mentor Olivia is excited to continue her involvement with the program and welcome the Class of 2023!

Olivia Treister

Undergraduate: University of Notre Dame


Olivia was born and raised in Pasadena, Calif. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts in history and minors in constitutional studies and Italian. During her time at Notre Dame, she served as the advertising manager for the Observer, the daily, student-run newspaper. She also studied abroad in Rome, Italy, during the fall 2015 semester.

Prior to attending law school, Olivia moved to Arlington, Va. She worked for the Committee for Economic Development of the Conference Board (CED), a small think tank. She oversaw foundations relationships and managed several of CED’s programs including the Early Childhood Education Program, the Money in Politics Program and the Advancing Women in Corporate Leadership Initiative.

While attending USC, Olivia has worked for the Post-Conviction Justice Project and for the Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice (RLSJ). She will serve as a senior copy editor for RLSJ and as a member of the Peer Mentor Executive Board during her third year.

Olivia is looking forward to meeting the incoming 1L class.

Welcome to Gould! Fight on!

2020-21 Peer Tutors

Genevieve Zimmerman (Sections A-E)

Undergraduate: UCLA

Genevieve is a Berkeley, California native and graduated from UCLA in 2017 (Go Bruins!) with a major in World Arts & Cultures and Communications Studies. She then worked in San Francisco for two years at a digital marketing firm. After traveling for three months throughout Israel, Greece, and Thailand, Genevieve was excited to come back to LA to start 1L at Gould. During her 1L summer, Genevieve was a public service fellow with the New York Attorney General's Office's Public Integrity Bureau. In her free time, Genevieve enjoys yoga, throwing ceramics on the wheel, going to concerts, and hiking with friends. Since staying at home, she has started baking sourdough bread and trying to take her cat on walks (bread has been successful, but cat walking not so much). She is excited to welcome the Class of 2023 to the Trojan Family!

Tia Kerkhof (Sections F-J)

Undergraduate: California Lutheran University

Tia grew up in Palos Verdes, California. She graduated magna cum laude from California Lutheran University in 2019 with a major in Political Science and minor in Legal Studies. During her time at CLU, she played volleyball, worked at a family law office, and studied “abroad” in Australia and Washington D.C., where she interned at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. She spent the month before law school road-tripping California and living in her truck. During her 1L summer, Tia was a summer associate with Dorsey & Whitney. This past year, she was on the Public Interest Law Foundation Board, played with her pet bunny, and finished her first marathon in under four hours. Outside of law school, she enjoys hiking, camping, playing sports, dying at Orange Theory, and being at the beach. She is so excited to welcome the Class of 2023 to the Trojan Family!

Abby Sellers (Sections K-O)

Undergraduate: Arizona State University

Abby is originally from Phoenix, Arizona and loves living in Los Angeles where you can’t fry an egg on the hood of a car. She graduated from Arizona State University in 2018 where she studied Biochemistry and Spanish Linguistics. She is a 3L and Editor-in-Chief of Law Review. During her time at USC, Abby was a summer associate at Stoel Rives in Salt Lake City and a summer associate at Irell & Manella in Los Angeles. After finishing law school, she will be clerking on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. In her free time, Abby enjoys doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles and bingeing the latest show on Netflix. She is excited to welcome the Class of 2023 to the Trojan Family!



2021 awards honor students, faculty, staff
April 21, 2021

USC Gould School of Law community members honored for outstanding efforts


From chemistry to family law
April 12, 2021

Q&A with Nicole Martinez, partner at Higgs Fletcher & Mack and San Diego Gould Alumni Association chair


Message from the Dean: Retirement of Scott Bice
April 1, 2021

Scott Bice is a former Dean and beloved professor, whose name is synonymous with the Gould School of Law