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.
USC Gould helps prepare you for a stellar legal career. You can pursue a JD degree, one of our numerous graduate and international offerings, or an online degree or certificate.
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
Geoffrey Cowan is a University Professor and dean emeritus who specializes in communications and media law. He holds a joint appointment with the USC Annenberg School for Communication, where he holds the Annenberg Family Chair in Communication Leadership and served as Dean from 1996 to 2007. After his tenure as dean, he served as president of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands from 2010-2016, and founded the Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, which he continues to direct.
Cowan is the former director of Voice of America, a position to which he was appointed by President Bill Clinton. He also served as associate director of the United States Information Agency and director of the International Broadcasting Bureau. Earlier, he founded the Center for Law and Social Policy, a public interest agency which has represented civil rights groups, women's organizations, labor unions, and environmentalists in landmark FCC proceedings. He also is a founding member of the Vera Institute for Justice's Police Assessment Resource Center Board. In 2001, Cowan was appointed by California Govenor Gray Davis to a bipartisan commission on Internet political practices. In addition, he has worked as a television producer, receiving an Emmy Award as executive producer of the movie “Mark Twain And Me.”
Cowan graduated from Harvard University, where he received his BA, and Yale University, where he earned his LLB. In addition to his numerous scholarly writings, he has authored books including Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary, The People v. Clarence Darrow: The Bribery Trial of America's Greatest Lawyer, and See No Evil: The Backstage Battle Over Sex and Violence on Television.
- Let The People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2016).
- The People v. Clarence Darrow: The Bribery Trial of America's Greatest Lawyer (Times Books, 1993).
- See No Evil: The Backstage Battle Over Sex and Violence on Television (Simon and Schuster, 1979).
- The Democratic Choice: Report of the Commission on the Democratic Selection of Presidential Nominees, co-author (1968).
Articles and Book Chapters
- “Leading the Way to Better News: The Role of Leadership in a World Where Most of the ‘Powers That Be’ Became the ‘Powers That Were.” Discussion Paper Series, Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard University (February 2008).
- “Moving from Monologue to Dialogue to Collaboration: The Three Layers of Public Diplomacy.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 616, No.1 (March 2008).
- ‘Surge’ Meet ‘Escalation’ the fight for clarity in language: a case study. Columbia Journalism Review (November/December 2007).
- “Whatever Happened to Local News?: The ‘Vast Wasteland’ Reconsidered.” 55 Federal Communications Law Journal 493 (May 2003). - (Hein)
- "The Other Coast Weighs In" (with others). 39 Columbia Journalism Review 46 (March/April 2001).
- "Another Voice." 38 Columbia Journalism Review 6 (1999).
- Introduction to Forgive Us Our Press Passes (speeches by Daniel Schorr) (O'Brien Center for Scholarly Publications, 1998).
- "The Legal and Ethical Limitations of Factual Misrepresentation." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 155 (November 1998).
- "Criminal Enforcement of California's Occupational Health Laws: A Preliminary Analysis of Occupational Carcinogens Control Act Violations." 8 American Journal of Criminal Law 43 (1980). - (Hein)
- Top Secret (play about the Pentagon Papers). Produced by Los Angeles Theatre Works, National Tour 2007-2008 and broadcast by KPCC Public Radio, June 28, 2008. Six week New York City production scheduled for March-April, 2010.
- "A Man for Some Seasons." American Lawyer 56 (December 1999).
- Letter, "Voice of America: A Significant English Teacher" (with Nancy R. Hensel). The Christian Science Monitor, September 11, 1996, at 19.
- "Yes, We're Still in Business: Does the Post-Cold War World Still Need Voice of America? Absolutely." 32 Across the Board 51 (May 2, 1995).
- "Journalism Under the Gun; Radio: Voice of America Has Enemies Everywhere." Los Angeles Times, February 24, 1995, at B7.
- "The Voice of America." Vital Speeches of the Day, August 15, 1994, at 649.
FACULTY IN THE NEWS
Franita Tolson was interviewed about how federal lawsuits from North Carolina, Alabama, and Arkansas test the limits of the Voting Rights Act, the boundaries of state government authority, and the ability of voting rights groups to file racial gerrymandering cases. “These doctrines and approaches in these cases fundamentally reset the rules of the game,” she said. “In 2030 we will live in a completely different world than we lived in in 2020, and 2020 was not favorable to minority voters at all.”
"Saltwater Sovereignty: Tribal Marine Management Authority Along the Pacific Coast.” Online Environmental Law Workshop. University of Maryland School of Law, Baltimore, MD.
“Comment on Choi, Erickson, & Pritchard, ‘Coalitions among Plaintiffs’ Attorneys in Securities Class Actions’,” Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, Virtual, Toronto, ON, Canada.
“Who’s on First? The Mind-Blowing Attempt to Conceptualize Deference in the Midst of Decision Delays and Agency Repeals,” J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Environmental Law Symposium for the George Washington University School of Law, Virtual, Washington, D.C.