Self-Guided Walking Tour

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Welcome to USC Law School! We are excited that you have decided to stop by for a glimpse of what makes us such a dynamic place to study law. Choosing a law school can be a daunting project, and one of the most important decisions you will make. Finding the right fit should be your goal. Sitting in on a class, taking a tour, attending an information session, and speaking with current students and staff, are invaluable ways to better equip yourself in making that decision.

As you exit the Office of Admissions and turn right, you will find the Office of Student Affairs, located in Room 104. Within the Office of Student Affairs, you will find:

  • Financial Aid
  • Registrar
  • Academic Support Program
  • Dean of Students
  • Peer Mentorship Program

The Academic Support Program is designed to help students succeed in law school. They provide a variety of resources to assist all students as they learn how to study law, and support students seeking to improve their academic performance. Workshops such as Case Reading and Note-taking, Outlining and Synthesis, and Exam-taking strategies are offered during the fall and spring semester. They also offer online and written resources, as well as individual counseling.

The Peer Mentor Program facilitates the transition of incoming law students through trusting and guided interactions with second year students at the onset of the first-year experience. Mentors assist with this transition by making new students feel welcomed, connecting them with their new environment, and guiding them to social and developmental resources so that all entering students can become an integral part of the law school community. Students will meet with their Peer Mentor on an on-going basis during the first year.

As you continue down the hall, you will arrive at the Graduate and International Program Office in Room 105. Within this office you will find;

  • Study abroad programs at: the University of Hong Kong, Bocconi University (Milan), University Jean Moulin Lyon (Lyon), and Bond University (Queensland).
  • The LL.M. program for students who have received their law degree outside of the U.S.

All study abroad programs can be taken in the fall or spring of your 2nd year, or the fall of your 3rd year. As only 4 students are selected per program, the selection process tends to be quite competitive. Between 15-30 students apply each year. Workshops for each program are offered during the 1st year.

As you head north (left), you will pass the newly renovated Ackerman Courtroom on your right. The courtroom, a state-of-the-art classroom/courtroom, hosts Moot Court Competitions, USC Law School lectures, lunch-seminars with legal, government and business industry experts, and other special events for web casting, recording or video teleconferencing. In addition, the California Court of Appeals listens to oral arguments here each spring.

After passing the Ackerman Courtroom, you will turn right at the hallway. Continue straight ahead, and at the end of the hall, you will find the Career Services Office in Room 110. Starting November 1st of your first year, the Career Services Office will offer the following resources:

  • Counseling
  • Alumni Mock Interview Program
  • Career skills workshops
  • Panel discussions and guest speakers
  • Fall and Spring On Campus Interview Programs as well as NY and DC Off Campus Interview Programs
  • Online Job Postings
  • Networking receptions - Small Law Firms
  • Judicial Clerkship support

During the month of November, the CSO staff meets with every first year student to learn about their career interests. From there, they start to strategize employment opportunities.

As you return to the east lobby, continue straight ahead down the hall. When you arrive at the west lobby, you will see a set of stairs leading down on the right; this will lead to the Lower Level which includes the following:

  • Office of Public Service
  • Classrooms
  • The Law School Café
  • Some student organization offices such as the Student Bar Association and the Public Interest Law Foundation

Last year, USC law students volunteered more than 4500 hours of service towards pro-bono activities in the Los Angeles, Mexico and New Orleans communities.

If you turn left as you reach the bottom of the staircase, you will see the Copy Center on your left, followed by the Office of Public Service. As you continue around the corner, you will reach the Law School Café. Continuing around the corner, you will reach the elevator; take it to the 2nd floor. When you step off of the elevator, you will be in the Gabriel and Matilda Barnett Information Technology Center and The Asa V. Call Law Library. The Law Library has over 380,000 volumes and is open to all USC students, faculty and staff.

As you walk down the hall, you will pass the Lincoln Room on your left. The collection, which houses a trove of rare books, family portraits, campaign memorabilia and other artifacts honoring one of the nation's most revered presidents, was a gift from the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Foundation. As the nation celebrated the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth in February 2009, the law school offered the public a chance to examine its impressive collection of artifacts by offering tours of the reading room. For the region, law library officials believe the Lincoln artifacts to be second only to those of the Huntington library in San Marino.

Continue down the hallway to the entrance of the law library. As you pass the Service Counter, you will see research work stations on your left, and one of the reading rooms straight ahead. The path will lead you to the right where you will pass the Lexis Westlaw lab on the right, and the Journal sections on the left. Continuing down the hall, you will pass the Computer Lab on your right, followed by one of the computer classrooms. At this point, you can either continue straight ahead into another reading room, or turn right and follow the hall to the end where you will turn right again. You will pass three study rooms, which can be reserved at the Service Counter during the school year. As you pass by the Study Rooms, you will see the Campbell Lounge on your right. At the juncture of the hallway, turn right. This will bring you back to the main walkway in the Journal section where you will turn left and exit the library the same way you came in. To take a Virtual Tour of the Law Library, please visit our website at (http://law.usc.edu/library/services/map/virtualtour.cfm).

Continuing out of the Law Library, you may either take the stairs to the 1st floor or return to the elevator and take it to the 1st floor. The Law School has two addition levels.

Third Level:

  • The Dean's Suite
  • The Legal Clinic Offices
  • The Law Review Office

We currently have 6 clinics which are open to students in their 2nd year. Each clinic takes in approximately 8-10 students per year. Students have the chance to work with actual clients that have been referred by various agencies. The clinic programs are as follows:

  • Small Business Clinic
  • Employer Legal Advice Clinic
  • Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic
  • Mediation Clinic
  • Immigration Clinic
  • Post-Conviction Justice Project

The Law Review is open to students starting in their 2nd year. Approximately 35 positions are available, and staff members are selected on the basis of academic achievement during their first year, as well as their performance in the Write-On, a writing competition that takes place after the end of the first year. Their grades are weighted against their Write-On scores to form a composite score, and the students with the highest composite scores are invited to join the staff.

The law school hosts 3 journals:

The Southern California Law Review strives to publish articles on a wide range of topics and to serve all segments of the legal community. They publish one volume produced as six separate issues between November and September. Each issue contains several articles written by outside contributors, in addition to notes written by Southern California Law Review staff members.

The Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal has a commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to legal scholarship. The issues reflect the relationship between law and various other disciplines, including the social and physical sciences, philosophy, economics, business, and the arts. They publish 3 issues each academic year with articles and student notes.

The Southern California Review of Law & Social Justice promotes the discussion and examination of issues lying at the intersection of social justice and the law. It publishes legal narratives and analyses of case law and legislation that address the law's instrument of positive social change.

Fourth Level:

  • Faculty Offices

At USC Law, we have a dedicated group of distinguished faculty ready to support, challenge, and guide you. We have 51 full-time faculty and more than 75 adjuncts and lectures with legal expertise in a variety of areas, including politics, intellectual property, entertainment, international, business, and ethics and tort reform. The interdisciplinary focus is strengthened by these faculty members, many of whom hold doctorates in other fields. Several faculty have recently published books:

Professor Mary Dudziak, "How War Made America: A 20th Century History" (Oxford University Press, 2009).

Professor Ariela Gross, "What Blood Won't Tell: Racial Identity on Trial in America" (Harvard University Press, 2008).

We are glad you decided to take the self-guided tour, and look forward to seeing you soon at one of our class visits or information sessions! If we can answer any questions, please stop by the office before leaving, or contact us at (213) 740-2523, or via email at: admissions@law.usc.edu.

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