About USC Gould
USC Gould is a top-ranked law school with a 120-year history and reputation for academic excellence. We are located on the beautiful 228-acre USC University Park Campus, just south of downtown Los Angeles.
Learn about our interdisciplinary curriculum, experiential learning opportunities and specialized areas.
Participate in an unparalleled learning experience with diversity of people and thought. Get involved in the law school community and participate in activities that enhance your studies.
We work closely with students, graduates and employers to support successful career goals and outcomes. Our overall placement rate is consistently strong, with 94 percent of our JD class employed within 10 months after graduation.
Our faculty is distinguished for its scholarship, as well as for its commitment to teaching. Our 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio creates an intimate and collegial learning environment.
- Alumni and Giving
USC Gould School of Law
- FACULTY DIRECTORY
- LECTURERS IN LAW DIRECTORY
- EXPERTS DIRECTORY
- FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- SCHOLARSHIP AND PUBLICATIONS
- DISTINCTIONS AND AWARDS
- + CENTERS AND INITIATIVES
- CENTER FOR LAW AND PHILOSOPHY (CLP)
- CENTER FOR LAW AND SOCIAL SCIENCE (CLASS)
- CENTER FOR LAW, HISTORY AND CULTURE (CLHC)
- CENTER FOR TRANSNATIONAL LAW AND BUSINESS (CTLB)
- INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM INSTITUTE (IRI)
- PACIFIC CENTER FOR HEALTH POLICY AND ETHICS
- SAKS INSTITUTE FOR MENTAL HEALTH LAW, POLICY, AND ETHICS
- + WORKSHOPS AND CONFERENCES
Scott Altman is an expert in jurisprudence, property and family law. In his role as professor at USC Gould School of Law, he teaches Family Law, Property, Jurisprudence and Community Property. He joined the USC Gould faculty in 1988, served as associate dean from 1995 to 2006 and as vice dean from 2007 to 2016.
Altman’s recent research focuses on child custody and divorce issues. He has published articles on judicial candor, commodification, coercion, blackmail, threats to litigate child custody, and equality norms applied to child custody. His publications include “A Theory of Child Support” (International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 2003); “Divorcing Threats and Offers” (Law & Philosophy, 1996); and “Beyond Candor” (Michigan Law Review, 1990).
Altman earned his BA’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he served as developments chair for the Harvard Law Review. He was a clerk to Judge Dorothy Nelson of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals from 1987 to 1988, and he joined the USC Law faculty as assistant professor in 1988. He was named the Virginia S. and Fred H. Bice Professor of Law in 1997.
See Altman’s working papers on the Social Science Research Network http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=17336
Articles and Book Chapters
- "Taking Precautions when Shaping a Child's Future," 87 UMKC Law Review 245 (2019). - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- "Reinterpreting the Right to an Open Future: From Autonomy to Authenticity," 37 Law and Philosophy 415 (2018). - (SSRN) - (www)
"Parental Control Rights," in Philosophical Foundations of Children’s and Family Law, Lucinda Fergusun & Elizabeth Brake, eds, (Oxford University Press, 2018).
- "The Pursuit of Intimacy and Parental Rights," in The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Law (Andrei Marmor, ed., Routledge, 2012). - (PDF)
- "A Theory of Child Support," 17 Int’l J.L. Pol’y & Fam. 173 (2003). - (Hein)
- "Grateful Victims" (draft)
- "Should Child Custody Rules be Fair?," 35 U. Louisville Journal Family Law 325 (1996). - (Hein)
- "Divorcing Threats and Offers," 15 Law & Phil. 209 (1997).
- "Lurking in the Shadow," 68 Southern California Law Review 493 (1995). - (Hein)
- "A Patchwork Theory of Blackmail," 141 U. Pennsylvania Law Review 1639 (1993). - (Hein)
- "(Com)Modifying Experience," 65 Southern California Law Review 293 (1991). - (Hein)
- "Beyond Candor," 89 Michigan Law Review 296 (1990). - (Hein)
- "Case Comment, Posadas v. Tourism Co.," 100 Harvard Law Review 172 (1987). - (Hein)
- "Note, The Inalienable Rights of Surrogate Mothers," 99 Harvard Law Review 1936 (1986). - (Hein)
FACULTY IN THE NEWS
Franita Tolson was mentioned as a participant in a Senate hearing on voting rights. "Apologies Mr. Cruz, your state of Texas, perhaps," she said, when Cruz asked which voter ID laws are racist. "The fact that the voter ID law was put into place to diminish the political power of Latinos with racist intent." Tolson was also quoted in The Washington Post, USA TODAY, Independant, The Hill and Yahoo! News.
Thomas D. Lyon
“Use of global trait cues helps to explain older adults’ decrements in detecting children’s lies” (with Alison O’Connor, Micaela Wiens, & Angela D. Evans) (in press), Legal and Criminological Psychology.
Thomas D. Lyon
“Causal indicators for assessing the truthfulness of child speech in forensic interviews” (with Zane Durante, Victor Ardulov, Manoj Kumar, Jennifer Gongola, & Shrikanth Narayanan) (in press), Computer Speech & Language.
Thomas D. Lyon
“The difficulty of teaching adults to recognize referential ambiguity in children's testimony: The influence of explicit instruction and sample questions” (with Breanne Wylie, Jennifer Gongola, & Angela D. Evans) (in press), Applied Cognitive Psychology.