Franita Tolson, ’05, Appointed New Dean of USC Gould School of Law

Election law expert Franita Tolson named dean of the USC Gould School of Law

Interim Dean and Professor Franita Tolson has been named the dean and Carl Mason Franklin Chair in Law of the USC Gould School of Law. Tolson is a nationally recognized thought leader and dialogue shaper in election law, voting rights, constitutional law and legal history with research and insights appearing in leading law reviews and major media publications across the country.

“I feel inspired and excited for this opportunity,” Tolson said. “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.”

She becomes the first Black dean and second female dean in the history of USC Gould, which is home to one of the most academically excellent and diverse student bodies of any law school in the nation.

“We are pleased to have Franita Tolson as the next dean of the USC Gould School of Law,” USC President Carol Folt said. “She is respected and beloved by Gould, and I cannot imagine a better person to lead the school into its next phase of excellence.”

Tolson has served as the interim dean at USC Gould, where she held the George T. and Harriet E. Pfleger Chair in Law, since 2023. Before that, she was the law school’s vice dean for faculty and academic affairs from 2019 to 2022.

Read more at USC Today