Franita Tolson Is Dean of USC Gould School of Law

Franita Tolson Is Dean of USC Gould School of Law

USC Gould School of Law has named Franita Tolson dean and Carl Mason Franklin Chair in Law. She has served as the interim dean at USC Gould since 2023. Prior to that role, she worked as the law school’s vice dean for faculty and academic affairs. She is the first Black and second woman dean in the history of USC Gould.

“I feel inspired and excited for this opportunity,” Tolson said in the announcement. “Our law school is a tapestry of talent, and I look forward to working together with the entire Gould Trojan Family to carry on its legacy of innovation and achievement. I’m honored to lead and serve this outstanding, collaborative scholarly community, which I believe is unmatched by any other.”

Tolson is an expert in election and constitutional law, legal history, and employment discrimination. In 2020, prior to the U.S. Presidential Election, Tolson was a participant on the Reasonably Speaking podcast episode “Faithless Electors: SCOTUS Decisions and Implications for November.” The discussion focused on the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s July 6, 2020 ruling holding that states may replace and even punish “faithless electors,” the term used for a member of the U.S. Electoral College who does not vote for the presidential or vice presidential candidate they pledged to support.

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