USC one of first schools to make racism course mandatory

Law students at the USC Gould School of Law in Los Angeles will soon have a new class option on racism. USC Gould will require students to take Race, Racism and the Law. 

“The course will help students recognize that their obligation as lawyers, regardless of their specialty, is to understand that law does not always operate equally – that race is an enduring part of the legal profession and our everyday lives,” said Franita Tolson, a professor and vice dean, who co-chaired the committee charged with developing the course.

Student involvement was a key factor in creating Race, Racism and the Law according to the law school and this new class joins a variety of electives at USC Gould that are focused on race, including Critical Race Theory, Racial Ambiguity Blues and Race and Gender in the Law.

“It’s nice to be a trailblazer,” said Professor Ariela Gross, who also co-chaired the committee. “A lot of schools are considering this. Colleagues at many other law schools have been contacting me because they are coming up with proposals. I won’t be surprised to see other schools making announcements about similar courses in the spring.”

To further strengthen Gould’s curriculum on race, the Academic Affairs subcommittee also recommended an optional one-credit yearlong offering on race and law that includes 10 topical modules in the first year of law school. 

USC Gould is the first of the top 25 law schools in the nation to add a required course on race and racism to its curriculum.

 

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