Gould School of Law
Graduate School
University of Southern California

4.2 of 5 stars Overall Student Rating (68 Student Reviews)

5 Stars (51)
4 Stars (92)
3 Stars (34)
2 Stars (4)
1 Star (2)
0 (1)

Displaying 1-10 of 68 Student Reviews


4.5 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

The professors are all incredibly kind and accessible. They're all willing to take the time to meet with you and will generally bend over backwards to fit into your schedule. They also host groups of students for lunch at school, some even have students come to their homes. I spent a great Saturday hiking with one professor and his family, and my torts professor hosted several movie nights for our whole class. There are great clinics available to give students the opportunity to represent clients as early as the first summer. And the clinics pay! One thing that also surprised me is how much support USC offers. There are peer mentors assigned to every small section of 17 or so students. They give you advice on everything from how to make an outline to the best place for Italian food in Santa Monica. Then there are ASSIST tutors who are available 24/7 to help with any academic issues. Plus there is a staff of advisers willing to discuss academic issues as well. Law school could easily be a place where you simply sink or swim. USC is not like that. Everyone gets help, more than you could imagine.


Downers

Living in Terrace (the law student housing) is great. It's nice to meet other people and live close to school, especially on critical paper due dates. The campus is gorgeous, though the law school building itself is more like a dungeon than a place of learning. However, the palm tree-lined pathways and gargantuan student center make up for the law building's shortcomings. There are great dining options on campus. In the way of fast food, there is Panda Express, Baja Fresh, CPK, and Carls Jr. among others. Just across the street from the law school are a Cold Stone, Quiznos, Chipotle, and Chik Filet. For sit-down dining, there is (pricy) Morton Fig right on campus. There is also great (and cheap) pizza at Rosso Oro's (also across the street from the law school) and a variety of quirky American food (plus a great drink selection) at Lab Gastropub. And of course Los Angeles as a whole has infinite options in the way of dining and entertainment.


Comments

There are amazing financial aid options, and they do not change your aid money if you have low grades. There are opportunities to apply for a full scholarship and a guaranteed track to internships and a possible job with Skaaden.


Level

1L


Graduation Year

2013


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5.0 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

Some classes employ the Socratic method, others are problem method. Some teachers emphasize theory/policy, some emphasize practicality. There is a lot of academic support. Classes are small. The students are collaborative and not overly competitive. Grading is on a curve. Many professors have been teaching the classes for many years and are prominent in the field.


Downers

There is a large range of housing options.Many first year students elect to live close to campus. The library has great hours and resources. There is a courtroom and three computer labs. I feel very safe on campus because there is a lot of security. Students are generally very happy.


Comments

LSAT score, essays, application fee


Level

1L


Graduation Year

2013


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3.7 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Comments

Received scholarship, above 75th percentile in GPA and LSAT


Level

1L


Graduation Year

2013


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3.8 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

Some professors are absolutely horrible, just clinging to tenure and closing on 90 years old. Others are much better. Some are unapproachable, some aren't. Some are clear, some aren't. Some cold-call, some don't. Overall, I have not been entirely pleased with the professors because it is very inconsistent across the board and throughout the 1L class.


Downers

Cost of living varies by the area of Los Angeles but on-campus housing is extremely expensive. Facilities are great, but library is only open until 11pm.


Comments

Top percentile GPA and LSAT, standard LSAC/LSDAS process. I sent in three letters of recommendations, was awarded a merit scholarship.


Level

1L


Graduation Year

2013


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4.3 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

I have been blown away by the quality of the academics here. The professors have all been teaching for some time and have the material down pat. There is a good mix of theoretical and practical discussion that is often engaging and exciting. The Socratic method is used, but not to berate or intimidate students.


Downers

The cost of living is what you would expect from a big city. The neighborhood around the campus isn't the greatest, but it is filled mostly with students and is very close to the major downtown area. The law school has wonderful facilities and the general amenities around campus tend to be at or above average quality.


Comments

It was a very standard application process. The school looked at the application, a personal statement, LSAT score, and letters of reccomendation. The school also had a process for applying for scholarships that was very easy to work through, and I received a partial scholarship that has made attending law school much more reasonable.


Level

1L


Graduation Year

2013


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5.0 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

All of the students are very bright and engaged. Everyone is motivated to learn. That said, the environment is collegial, not competitive. People are friends and everyone is open. The faculty is extremely accessible - your teachers will know you by name, most will have you to their homes or do lunches with you, etc. Most 1L classes use Socratic method, but to varying degrees (tends to be more popular among older professors) and it definitely gets more relaxed 2nd semester of the 1L year. Strong emphasis on both theory and cases. Writing program is absolutely amazing - arguably the best at a top 20 school.


Downers

Cost of living is typical for a large city, but better than NY. The campus is gorgeous. Libraries on campus are good, but not great. COmputer lab is great. Courtroom is great. Dining at the law school is okay, but lots of other options since the law school is actually on the main campus unlike some schools. Law school has its own security guards so it's safe and you park in a locked structure so your vehicle is safe as well. Everyone seems really happy - hard not to be happy in beautiful Southern California!


Comments

Strong LSAT and GPA will get you in; if you are just okay on numbers, a great personal statement that is detailed and really gets at who you are will give you a good shot. if you have good numbers and a great persoanl statement, you'll probably get a good scholarship.


Level

1L


Graduation Year

2013


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4.3 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Comments

The admissions process is standard. A personal statement, application, LSAT score are all required. There are numerous scholarship opportunities and the school assists with the financial aid process.


Level

1L


Graduation Year

2013


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4.7 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

Classes have been great. While professors vary, just as at any law school, you will get a good mix of some who teach more with a focus on practical study and some who focus more on the theory behind the law. Very few professors actually cold call and none that I have had have used a pure Socratic method. Class size is relatively small, averaging around 70-80 students most of whom you have all your classes with your first year. Second year the classes get smaller/bigger depending on what subject it is. While everyone wants to do well I have seen no signs of the usually cut throat competitiveness of other top law schools. Everyone shares outlines, answers questions, and is generally supportive of the people in their section. Almost every professor hires research assistants so the opportunity to do directed research for units is always available. Grading is pretty standard- curved to a 3.3 for first years and varies second and third year. So many notable faculty! Bice, Roithmayr, Shapiro, Stone, Scotten, Shulman, and those are just the one's I've personally had or met! There are constant study abroad opportunities. The work load is significant, you can't deny that, and though it can feel overwhelming at times it is do-able.


Downers

Downtown Los Angeles can be expensive but there are tons of places in close driving distance with reasonable rents- though you do need to own a car. The campus is gorgeous and looks like it belongs in New England rather than South-Central Los Angeles. The libraries are huge with plenty of study space, and the computer labs are always open with a technician to assist you. The law school even has their own specific IT person who will do everything in her power to trouble shoot your computer. She can get next day service for Dells and Macs! There are tons of fast food options around, though not a lot of nicer options in walking distance, but thats probably a result of the fact that it's a campus area. Crime can be an issue but if you are smart and walk in well lit areas you are fine. I think in general USC students are happier than most, and I know the law students are much happier than most other law students. We have so many social events, the faculty CARE and want to help you, every student cares about one another and gets along. It is really almost too good to be true.


Comments

The admissions process is not significantly different from any other school. However, I do feel that they emphasize GPA more than LSAT, put a lot of stock into what undergrad you came from, and appreciate the well-rounded candidate more than some peer institutions.


Level

1L


Graduation Year

2013


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4.7 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

Classes tend to be small, and most faculty are very good (if a little bit quirky). I did not do very well in my first year, so I have been working with the Academic Support people who are terrific. Already my performance has improved dramatically. I give a 10/A+ to the people working in Academic Support.


Comments

People in the admissions office were very friendly and quite responsive. It was a pleasant surprise. Very welcoming.


Level

2L


Graduation Year

2012


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4.2 of 5 stars
Date: 2011


Uppers

USC Law is a school where students are competitive with themselves rather than each other. Students consistently help others when they are in need (i.e. if they miss class b/c of sickness or family emergency).


Comments

Call the admissions office if you have been admitted to another prestigious law school. A friend of mine did that when she had been offered a scholarship at the other school but not at USC Law. When she informed USC Law they offered her a scholarship.


Level

2L


Graduation Year

2012


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