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USC Law School - Acceptance Rate & Admission Requirements

February 13, 2024
5 min read


Reviewed by:

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 2/13/24

USC Law School can help prepare you for a prosperous legal career. To learn more about how to get into this law school, read on!

USC Gould was Southern California’s first law school. It was founded in 1900 and has always been known as one of the most diverse schools in the nation. Since its early beginnings, it enrolled women and students of color and continues to admit the most diverse student population and international students.

USC also offers students unparalleled opportunities in one of the top legal markets in the country, Downtown LA. Additionally, this law school was one of the first pioneers of interdisciplinary legal education and clinical learning, both of which are heavily infused in their current legal programs!

But enough about how amazing USC Gould is and more about how you can join it!

USC Law School Acceptance Rate -12.5%

The acceptance rate for USC Law School is 12.5%, which is relatively low. This relatively low admission rate should be an indicator of how strong an applicant’s application must be to gain admission into the school. 

Here is a table of USC Law School’s admission rates for the past three years. 

Year Acceptance Rate
2023 12.5%
2022 12.7%
2021 13%

This table should give you an idea of how competitive USC Law School is, so ensure you keep your application competitive to gain admissions. 

Is It Hard to Get Into USC Law School?

Admission to USC Law School is challenging because of its relatively low admission rate. Strong academic credentials, competitive LSAT scores, well-crafted personal statements and recommendation letters, and relevant extracurricular activities are key factors for a successful application.

USC Law School Ranking

USC Law School is a prestigious law school that gets many applicants yearly. So it’d make sense that the school would have impressive rankings. Here are the USC Law School positions in rankings.

  • #16 in Best Law Schools 
  • #17 in Business/Corporate Law 
  • #19 in Contracts/Commercial Law 
  • #19 in Environmental Law 
  • #24 in Tax Law
  • #42 in Intellectual Property Law 

As you can see, USC Law School is ranked high in many areas of law. You should consider applying if you’re interested in any of these areas! 

USC campus birds eye view

USC Law School Requirements

Knowing the USC Law School admission rate, you may wonder how to make it into this selective group. USC aims to enroll students who demonstrate outstanding academic and professional promise and can contribute to their community’s diversity.

To assess these traits, the committee requires the following application materials:


The first way to demonstrate your academic potential is to do well in your undergraduate studies. While law schools do not favor one major over another, they do expect students to pursue challenging courses from a range of disciplines. Choose a major you’re interested in and explore your academic interests! 

Ensure you pursue courses that can develop your critical thinking, writing, reading, communication, and research skills, as you will use these skills every day in law school. You will also be expected to maintain a GPA as close to 4.0 as possible to be considered a competitive applicant. The median GPA of previous students was 3.87.

Standardized Test Scores

USC is one of the growing number of law schools that gives students the option to write the LSAT or GRE. Review both tests to see which one will best reflect your abilities and intellect. 

While students are allowed to write the GRE, the majority still submit the LSAT, as it has been used for law school admissions for decades. The USC Law School LSAT score of past admitted applicants was 168, on average. 

To achieve this score, students are recommended to dedicate at least two to three months to their studies and rely on useful prep resources. While you can retake the LSAT if you do not achieve your target score, you should keep in mind that USC will review and consider all of your scores, not just your highest one. 

Personal Statement

Your personal statement is a critical part of your law school application. It is your opportunity to discuss who you are beyond the numbers and scores. USC is particularly interested in learning how your background led you to pursue law. You may discuss academic and/or non-academic experiences.

This statement should be two to three pages long. It should be clear, concise, and compelling! Do not simply list your greatest achievements, you will have the opportunity to do this on your resume. Instead, create a narrative where you’re the main character! Talk about your inspirations, life experiences, strengths, and aspirations.


Your resume should illustrate your volunteer commitments, employment history, extracurriculars, and the awards/honors you’ve received. It should not exceed two pages, and each section must be organized chronologically, with your most recent experiences first.

Letters of Recommendation

USC Law School requires two letters of recommendation but will accept up to three. If you submit a third recommendation, ensure it shares different information than your other two. 

The most influential recommendations are those written by professors who can attest to your academic potential and know you well enough to evaluate your performance. 

Both of your recommendations should come from professors, but if you have been out of college for a while, letters from employers will be accepted. These letters should focus on your oral and written communication skills, leadership abilities, and potential to succeed in the legal field.

Contribution to Diversity Statement (Optional)

When looking at the USC Law admission rate, the 12.5% of students admitted to this law school differ in their backgrounds, experiences, and abilities. USC is committed to admitting the most diverse students, so it allows applicants to submit diversity statements.

Examples of backgrounds that would enhance USC’s diversity include:

  • Experiences with adversity, prejudice, economic disadvantage, disability, and social hardships such as race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation
  • Moving from a foreign country or speaking foreign languages at home
  • Having unusual career goals or employment history, such as military or law enforcement experience
  • Having unusual extracurricular achievements

While these are the most common topics students write about when discussing their diversity, it is not a comprehensive list. If you feel you can contribute to USC’s diversity in other ways, ensure you share it with the committee!

Statement of Interest (Optional)

The “why USC” statement allows you to discuss your interest in specific aspects of the JD program at USC. The committee asks that you do not relay details about the faculty, programs, or community but focus more on yourself and what you plan on achieving through and with USC.

Your statement of interest should be no longer than one page, double-spaced. While this is an optional essay, you are highly encouraged to write one to further demonstrate your enthusiasm to join USC! Considering how low the USC Law School admissionrate is, you should use every opportunity you have to bolster your application!

Addendum (Optional)

The final optional application material is an addendum. Your addendum can be used to address and provide context for weaker parts of your application, including a low GPA or LSAT score. Your addendum should be brief and to the point. Do not use it to elaborate on your personal statement.

Stick to the facts, take responsibility for the weakness, and only use an addendum if your explanation is legitimate. You should also write an addendum if there are large discrepancies in your LSAT scores.

Female student writing in notebook

USC Law Application Process and Deadlines

To apply to USC Law, you’ll have to submit an application online through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). As you gather all of your materials, mark your calendar with these dates to avoid any delays or missed deadlines:

Application Component Due Date
Applications Open Early September
Early Binding Decision Application Deadline Mid-November
Priority Application Deadline Early February
LSAT Testing Deadline Early February
GRE Testing Deadline Early March
Priority Filing for FAFSA Application Early March
Regular Application Deadline Early April

Source: USC Law School

Students are admitted to USC on a rolling basis, so you’re highly encouraged to submit your application before the deadline to have the best chances of acceptance.

USC Gould School of Law Tuition Fees 

The tuition cost for USC Gould School of Law is $76,438 a year ($38,219 per semester.) This fee excludes books, extra fees, and health insurance. There is financial aid available to those who need it to help pay for this high tuition cost. 

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Over 95% of incoming USC Law school students receive scholarships, ranging from $10,000 per year to full tuition, and no minimum GPA is required. Since 2011, financial aid for USC Law school students has increased by 172% to enhance affordability and value.

USC Law School also provides unique scholarship opportunities, such as full-tuition scholarships with guaranteed summer employment, like the Rothman Scholars, Public Interest Scholars, and Honors Scholars.

Should You Apply to USC Law School?

Now that you know more about USC’s admission process and applicant expectations, you might be wondering if you should try your luck and apply to USC. Despite the intimidating admission rate and median scores, you should still apply to USC for a number of reasons:

  • Reputation: USC Law is widely recognized as one of the top Southern California Law Colleges and boasts of having world-class faculty that are highly regarded in the legal profession
  • Innovative Programs: USC Law offers a variety of innovative programs and a range of experiential learning opportunities that provide students with hands-on learning and practical experience working under experts
  • Location: USC Law is located in Los Angeles, which is home to a thriving legal market and many top law firms, not to mention a bustling, vibrant city with a rich cultural scene
  • Strong Alumni Network: USC Law has a large and active alumni network that includes leaders in a variety of fields, including law, business, politics, and entertainment, which can help students obtain employment during and after graduation

While you must put in the effort and work to create and submit a competitive application to USC, this hard work will be well worth the rewards!

Female student typing on laptop

FAQs: USC Law School

In this guide, we’ve gone over the USC Law School admission rate and important admissions statistics. For any remaining questions about this school, read on to find your answers.

1. What LSAT Score Do I Need for USC?

To get into USC, aim for an LSAT score of around 168, which is the median score for accepted students.

2. Is USC a Good Law School?

Yes! USC is one of the best law schools in the nation. USC Law provides a rigorous and challenging legal education, as well as access to a wealth of resources and opportunities. Its reputation, faculty, programs, and alumni network make it a top choice for many aspiring lawyers. 

3. What GPA Do You Need to Get Into USC Law School?

To apply to USC Law School, you need to have earned or expect to earn a bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 from a regionally accredited institution.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, USC can offer you a great start in your legal journey. With its resources, faculty, and dedication to its students’ success, you’ll feel confident and excited to enter the legal field! 

Keep the scores and requirements shared in this guide in mind as you begin your USC application to ensure you meet the admissions committee's rigorous standards and give yourself the best chances of acceptance!

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