About USC Gould
USC Gould is a top-ranked law school with a 115-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 rigorous and interdisciplinary curriculum, our invaluable experiential learning opportunities, and the breadth and depth of our specialized areas of concentration and certificate offerings.
- Student Life
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
Alumni and Giving
The global Trojan network of more than 10,000 law alumni and donors include recognized leaders in numerous fields who are deeply committed to supporting student and law school success.
- FACULTY DIRECTORY
- LECTURERS IN LAW DIRECTORY
- EXPERTS DIRECTORY
- FACULTY IN THE NEWS
- SCHOLARSHIP AND PUBLICATIONS
- DISTINCTIONS AND AWARDS
- + CENTERS
- 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
Franita Tolson joined USC Gould School of Law in June 2017. Professor Tolson’s scholarship and teaching are focused on the areas of election law, constitutional law, legal history and employment discrimination. She has written on a wide range of topics including partisan gerrymandering, campaign finance reform, the Elections Clause, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Her forthcoming book, A Promise Unfulfilled: Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Future of the Right to Vote, will be published in 2019 by Cambridge University Press.
Her research also has appeared in leading law reviews including the Boston University Law Review, the Vanderbilt Law Review, the Alabama Law Review, the Notre Dame Law Review, and the University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online. She has written or appeared as a commentator for various mass media outlets including The Huffington Post, The Hill, Reuters, and Bloomberg Law.
Prior to joining the USC Gould faculty, Professor Tolson was the Betty T. Ferguson Professor of Voting Rights at Florida State University College of Law. Tolson was also a visiting assistant professor at Northwestern University School of Law.
Before entering academia, she clerked for the Hon. Ann Claire Williams of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Hon. Ruben Castillo of the Northern District of Illinois.
Tolson is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, where she was a member of the University of Chicago Law Review and won the Thomas Mulroy Prize for Oral Advocacy in the Hinton Moot Court Competition.
Works in Progress
- Reinventing Federalism?: The Status of Madison’s Constitution after the Reconstruction Amendments
- The Legislative Record
- De Minimis Constitutional Violations
- A Promise Unfulfilled: Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Future of the Right to Vote, under contract (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2019).
Articles and Book Chapters
- "The Spectrum of Congressional Authority over Elections," Boston University Law Review 99 (forthcoming 2019).
- "Election Law “Federalism” and the Limits of the Antidiscrimination Framework," William & Mary Law Review 58 (forthcoming 2018).
- “The Equal Sovereignty Principle as Federalism Sub-Doctrine: A Reassessment of Shelby County v. Holder,” in Controversies in American Federalism and Public Policy, edited by Christopher P. Banks, 171-186 (Routledge, 2018).
- “Offering a New Vision for Equal Protection: The Story of Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections,” in Election Law Stories, edited by Joshua A. Douglas and Eugene D. Mazo, 63-86 (Foundation Press, 2016).
- “What is Abridgment? A Critique of Two Section Twos.” Alabama Law Review 67 (2016): 433. - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- “Introduction: The Law of Democracy at a Crossroads: Reflecting on Fifty Years of Voting Rights and the Judicial Regulation of the Political Thicket.” Florida State University Law Review 43 (2016): 345. - (Hein) - (www)
- “The Federalism Implications of Campaign Finance Regulation.” University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online 164 (2016): 247. - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- “Protecting Political Participation through the Voter Qualifications Clause of Article I.” Boston College Law Review 56 (2015): 159. - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- “Congressional Authority to Protect Voting Rights After Shelby County and Arizona Inter Tribal.” Election Law Journal 13 (2014): 322. - (SSRN) - (www)
- “The Constitutional Structure of Voting Rights Enforcement.” Washington Law Review 89 (2014): 379. - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- “The Union as a Safeguard Against Faction: Congressional Gridlock as State Empowerment.” Notre Dame Law Review 88 (2013): 2267. - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- “Second-Order Diverse in Name Only?: Sovereign Authority in Disaggregated Institutions.” Tulsa Law Review 48 (2013) 455. - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- “Benign Partisanship.” Notre Dame Law Review 88 (2012): 395. - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- “Reinventing Sovereignty?: Federalism as a Constraint on the Voting Rights Act.” Vanderbilt Law Review 65 (2012): 1195. - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- “Partisan Gerrymandering as a Safeguard of Federalism.” Utah Law Review 2010 (2010): 859. - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- “The Boundaries of Litigating Unconscious Discrimination: Firm-Based Remedies in Response to a Hostile Judiciary.” Delaware Journal of Corporate Law 33 (2008): 347. - (SSRN) - (Hein)
- “Increasing the Quantity and the Quality of the African-American Vote: Lessons for 2008 and Beyond.” Berkeley Journal of African-American Law & Policy 10 (2008): 313. - (SSRN) - (Hein)
FACULTY IN THE NEWS
Orin Kerr was cited for his recent editorial on his experience taking the California bar exam much later in life in order to practice law in another state. "It’s not like you can test lawyerly competence among 20 topics any better than with 10 topics," Kerr commented. "It just requires more time memorizing, and it’s not obvious what that has to do with lawyerly ability.”
"Blindspot: Faith-Based Discrimination and the Misinterpretation of Sherbert v. Verner," Conference on Law, Religion and Complicity, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.
"The Great Patent Grab", The Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.
"Parental Control Rights." In Philosophical Foundations of Children's and Family Law, edited by Elizabeth Brake & Lucinda Ferguson. New York: Oxford Univerity Press, 2018.