The school offers three dual or concurrent degrees in conjunction with the university's other graduate schools. In addition to their J.D. degrees, students can receive Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), International Master of Business Administration (I.M.B.A.), or Master of Arts in International Relations (M.A.) degrees. By participating in these master's programs and the J.D. program simultaneously, students can generally save at least one semester's worth of work and expenses and begin their dual programs during their second years.
The school also offers five centers and institutes for students interested in various aspects of the law: the Institute for Law and Philosophy, the Center for Public Interest Law, the Children's Advocacy Institute, the Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC), and the Institute on International and Comparative Law.
The USD School of Law has partnered with universities around the world to sponsor the Institute on International and Comparative Law. The institute offers programs in six countries, each with variations on the institute's concentration.
There are two programs offered in England. The London program concentrates on international business law, particularly banking, taxation, corporations, antitrust, and labor law, while the Oxford program examines and compares English and American law, which derive from common origins but are divergent in some areas.
The French program is held in Paris and concentrates on international and comparative law, with a focus on the cultural differences that affect international dealings. The Dublin program in Ireland specializes in human rights issues. In the Florence, Italy, program, students study laws pertaining to intellectual and artistic creativity. The program in Russia, which takes place in Moscow and St. Petersburg, analyzes the variety of legal systems found in countries that were once socialist and the problems lawyers who deal with them face. Finally, the Barcelona program concentrates on European law.
According to Dean Kevin Cole's note to prospective students, USD has "one of the highest rated law faculties in the United States, ranking 23rd in the nation based on scholarly impact according to a recent survey. In April 2006, USD was ranked ninth in the nation in tax law. 11 faculty members belong to the prestigious law reform group the American Law Institute."
Faculty members are internationally renowned in areas such as administrative law, children's advocacy, civil rights, commercial law, constitutional law, criminal law, international and comparative law, professional ethics, public interest law, tax law, and interdisciplinary studies, including law and economics and law and philosophy.
The career services office offers students a variety of services needed to help them land jobs, including resume and cover-letter review, video mock interviewing, and continuous job strategy sessions. The office also sponsors workshops and informational panels, co-sponsors career fairs with other Southern California law schools, and provides students with opportunities to meet practicing attorneys.
The school of law offers more than 30 organizations for students to participate in during their time in law school, including the Federalist Society, Environmental Law Society, National Lawyers Guild, Pride Law, and Pro Bono Legal Advocates.
San Diego is the second-largest city in California, with more than 1,255,000 residents and a metropolitan area inhabited by more than 2.9 million people. The city, which is located just north of Mexico, shares a border with Tijuana. It is home to several major sports teams, such as the Padres and Chargers, as well as several women's teams, including the Siege and the Scorpions.
San Diego is also home to a thriving arts scene. It is packed with museums, including the San Diego Museum of Art and the Museum of Photographic Arts. Music performances are major draws for locals.