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Interdisciplinary Legal Studies

Interdisciplinary Legal Studies

Recognizing the complexity of law practice in an increasingly interconnected world, USC Law pioneered a nationwide shift in legal studies to incorporate interdisciplinary curriculum over 40 years ago. One of the earliest interdisciplinary courses at USC was the groundbreaking, Law, Language, and Ethics, taught for the first time in 1965. Today, USC Law's curriculum is infused with a variety of disciplines, including law and psychology, politics, medicine, economics, and history, among others.

This academic concept has helped to make the school's faculty among the nation's most respected for interdisciplinary research. Papers produced by USC Law professors' many of whom hold a Ph.D. or masters degree in another discipline entirely—have exceptional reach within the legal arena and outside of it as well.

A sample of USC Law professors engaged in interdisciplinary work that transcends the traditional boundaries of law, include:

  • Alexander Capron, a globally-recognized legal expert in health policy and medical ethics. He teaches Torts as well as Law, Science and Medicine. Capron is co-director of the Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics, a campus-wide interdisciplinary research and education center. He returned to USC Law in 2006 after four years as director of Ethics, Trade, Human Rights and Health Law at the World Health Organization in Geneva.
  • Dan Simon, a law and psychology scholar, engaged in experimental projects in criminal law and studying the psychology behind wrongful convictions. Simon teaches a seminar on Wrongful Convictions as well as courses in Criminal Law and Law and Psychology.
  • Ariela Gross, a law and history professor whose research focuses on race and slavery in the United States. She teaches Contracts, History of American Law, and Race and Gender in the Law. Gross earned her Ph.D. in History from Stanford University.
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