Preparing for Pomp



Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010

To graduate, students have more than finals to tend to

-By Jason Finkelstein

In just three short months, hundreds of juris doctor and master of laws students will complete their courses of study and be recognized at USC Law’s 2010 Commencement. But before all the pageantry and fanfare can take place, graduating students need to make sure they have dotted all their i’s and crossed all their t’s.

USC Law Graduation FairTo make the process as painless as possible for students, representatives from several school and campus offices and organizations lined the lobby outside Ackerman Courtroom for USC Law’s Graduation Fair on February 18, a one-stop shop for all things Commencement.

The organizations represented included the Student Bar Association, Development and Graduate Relations, Student Affairs, Financial Aid, Career Services, Academic Support, Graduate & International Programs, the Office of Public Service, the Registrar’s Office and the Events Office.

If you missed the Graduation Fair, here are a few announcements these departments made regarding Commencement and what graduating students need to do in the months leading up to it:

Events

Visit http://lawweb.usc.edu/events/commencement/ for all information about the May 14 Commencement festivities. The site features information on everything from graduation announcements to hotel accommodations to parking.

Financial Aid

Since actual diplomas are presented on the day of Commencement, please make sure any financial holds on your account are cleared by doing the following:
1) complete required loan exit counseling if you have borrowed student loans during your attendance at USC Law.
2) pay any outstanding balance on your university account. Your account can be checked by logging into MyUSC and clicking on USCe.pay.

Students may set up appointments to discuss loan repayment options/strategies. You can obtain a listing of your loans at http://nslds.ed.gov.

USC Law Graduation FairStudents who may be employed with a government/public interest employer are encouraged to get their names on the LRAP mailing list and should also research additional options for forgiveness/repayment. Useful sites include http://equaljusticeworks.org and http://ibrinfo.org.

Students requiring Bar Study Loans should obtain pre-approval from a lender ASAP.

For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office.

Student Affairs

All graduating students need to turn in their commencement confirmation forms to Room 104 by February 26. Extra copies of the form are available in Room 104.

Public Service

USC Law encourages graduating students to remember a commitment to pro bono and community service will add value to your life professionally and personally.

Here are several links to help find the program that is best for you:

ABA National Pro Bono Volunteer Opportunities Guide
ABA List of State and Local Bar Associations
LA County Bar Association Volunteer Opportunities
California State Bar Pro Bono Resources
Directory of Programs Serving Children
National Domestic Violence Pro Bono Directory
Military Pro Bono Project

Academic Support

The Early Bar Prep Program is offered by Academic Support in conjunction with Kaplan PMBR. It is complimentary for USC 3L students and begins March 1. Contact Catherine Coleman in Academic Support to register.