University of Southern California, Gould School of Law

University of Southern California, Gould School of Law

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USC falls three spots behind UCLA in the U.S. News & World Report rankings at No. 18, but the school beats its rival and all other area schools in several important categories.

Most important, it has the best employment rate in the region. Its weighted employment rate for the Class of 2011 was 77 percent, 7 points higher than UCLA. PreLaw magazine uses a weighted employment rate to account for part-time and temporary legal jobs. The average weighted employment rate in Los Angeles is 56.3 percent.

USC also has the best bar pass rate in the region. In fact, its 90 percent bar pass rate has rivaled the best in the state.

“It all starts with the quality of education we provide and our focus on students understanding the law, and understanding the businesses of the clients that they will serve,” said Robert Rasmussen, dean of the school.

Recently, the school has increased its emphasis on working in partnership with other schools on campus — such as the business school and accounting school — to help train students. There are formal programs in which students can gain skills in special areas, including a business law certificate, entertainment and media law certification and courses in health policy. Business and other professional schools on campus encourage law school students to attend discussions and seminars.

The school also encourages law students to interact and network with other students on campus who may someday be their clients, bosses or regulators.

“Our university is world famous for the loyalty of alumni and people they meet on campus to the school and each other,” Rasmussen said.

The school ranks high in the number of graduates landing jobs at the top 250 law firms in the nation.

“But I am concerned about every student we have here,” Rasmussen said. “We work with all students who may want to work in the public interest field or in small to midsize firms.”

Because the school is smaller, with 648 students, there is a strong sense of community, according to Rasmussen.

“They learn to work together and that is one thing that law firms want,” he said. “At the same time, we are a very diverse law school. There is no majority group here. That requires students to get out of their comfort zone.”

Published Winter 2013

Admission Profile
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75th Percentile1663.85
25th Percentile1623.56
Financial Profile
Tuition Part-time
Living Expenses
Median grant$30000
Percent receiving grants93.00%
Estimated net tuition
Employment & Bar Exam Profile
Post-grad employment 89.50%
NJ Employment89.22
Bar Passage88.84%
Academic Profile
Best Law Schools 2019: Most Diverse: 
#13 - Asian