The University of Southern California Gould School of Law (USC Law), offers its students a prime location in the heart of Los Angeles, especially perfect for those who want to practice on the West Coast. It is currently ranked #18 by U.S. News and World Report.
USC Law is noted for its esteemed faculty, collegiate atmosphere among students, and gorgeous campus. Although tuition is high, USC Law is also known for generous financial aid packages, including scholarships, to accepted students. It is quite competitive to attend as reflected in its 21% acceptance rate in 2009, so getting your application in as early as possible is recommended.
USC Law's three-year Juris Doctor (J.D.) program operates from mid-August to mid-May; there is no part-time or evening program. The school's website also contains information on housing.
699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0071
Fast Facts (Class of 2012)
Female students: 54%
Students of color: 31%
Students from outside California: 37%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 1: 12.7
Class of 2010 GPA/LSAT Scores
LSAT 25/75 Percentile: 165-167
LSAT Median: 167
UGPA 25/75 Percentile: 3.47-3.71
UGPA Median: 3.60
Costs and Fees (2009-10)
Estimated Budget: $67,918
Application fee: $75
Rolling admissions, but will begin accepting applications for admission the following Fall on October 1.
Applicants must apply online through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). In addition to the application and fee, applicants must submit:
- LSDAS report and LSAT score
- Personal statement
- At least two letters of recommendation (will accept up to four)
- College transcripts through LSAC
- Resume, diversity statement or socio-economic statement optional
For complete information on admission procedures at USC Law, see Admissions Information.
USC Law accepts applications for transfer from students who have completed one year of full-time study at an ABA-approved law school and who are in the top 20% of their class. Interested students should submit the application and fee as well as the following between May 1 and July 1 of the year in which transfer is sought:
- Personal statement
- Law school transcript
- Letter of good standing
- Letter of recommendation
- LSDAS report
For more information on transferring to USC Law, see Transfer Student Information.
Degrees and Curriculum
In order to earn a Juris Doctor degree, a USC Law student must earn 88 credit hours; in addition to the required first-year curriculum below, degree candidates must also complete an upper level writing requirement and a practical skills course. For more detailed information, see Juris Doctor Degree Requirements.
The first-year curriculum consists of the following courses: Law, Language, and Values; Torts; Procedure; Contracts; Constitutional Law; Criminal Law; Property; and Legal Profession.
USC Law also offers many dual degree programs, including J.D./M.B.A, J.D./M.P.A., and J.D./M.S.W.; the school also offers an LL.M. degree program for international students, an LL.M. in Taxation, and an LL.M. in Comparative Law. USC Law also runs a Summer Law & English program for those who would like to improve their English skills and knowledge of the U.S. legal system before beginning classes in the fall.
USC Law offers study abroad opportunities in London and Hong Kong.
Law Journals and Other Activities
USC Law has three student-run law journals: The Southern California Law Review, The Interdisciplinary Law Journal, and The Review of Law and Social Justice.
Along with many student organizations, the law school also has several centers and workshops for specific legal interests such as the Center in Law, Economics, and Organization, Center for Law and Philosophy, and the Southern California Innovation Project.
Bar Exam Passage Rate
Most USC Law School graduates take the California Bar Exam; in 2007, they achieved an 85.1% pass rate while the state average was 65%.
USC Law reports that from the 2008 graduating class, 97% were employed nine months after graduation. Seventy-six percent went into private practice, 6% accepted positions in business, 6% pursued public interest careers, 5% secured judicial clerkships, 4% entered government careers, and 3% entered academia.
The median base salary for those in private practice was $160,000, while for those in public interest, it was $45,000.