Whether the class is theory based or practical, as well as the teaching method depends largely on the professor. When registering for classes students choose those professors who teach the courses in a way that works best for them. Classes are competitive because of the tough curve, but the competitiveness is largely restricted to academics and socially everyone is friendly and agreeable.
The grading system isn't great because of the curve, and unfortunately some of the 1L professors are the worst at the school. Some of the other 1L professors are the best, though, so it is largely luck as to which incoming professor you get. The entire grade for most classes is the final, and some of the worse professors are very arbitrary in their grading, which puts a lot of better students at a disadvantage for summer recruiting which is based almost entirely off of 1L grades.
Professors for the most part are accessible and friendly, and will generally go out of their way to help students. The more academic professors have offices on the 3rd and 4th floors of the building and are usually there for students to stop by.
USC also brings in a lot of partners from large law firms downtown to teach specialized classes, such as insurance, IBT, and others. They also bring in federal judges to teach some topics such as remedies.
The school is expanding their study abroad program, now law students are able to study in Britain, France, Italy, Australia, and Hong Kong, whereas previously it was only Britain and Hong Kong. The school has stated that they are trying to add more programs next year as well.
Quality of Life
The computer labs have been improved this past year and aren't bad, although it would be nice if they could throw in free printing given how much the school charges in tuition.
The law building itself is a little old, you can tell from the courtrooms, library, and other parts of the facility. That being said, it works and although old, it isn't bad.
USC is in the bad part of town. The area isn't great, but it has gotten better and USC is undertaking many projects to improve the area. They just built a huge apartment complex just north of campus with a bunch of restaurants and cafe type places that USC students like. Several new restaurants were also recently added right across the street from the law school.
Most students are fairly happy. School is of course stressful, but between bar review, hanging out with friends, and other law events we manage to have a life too.