USC Gould School of Law Alumni Profiles

Dan Woods

Dan Woods '77

Partner, Musick Peeler

Surprisingly, one of my fondest memories of law school is the work we did on the law review.

Where do you work? What are you up to?

I am a partner and head of the litigation practice at the Los Angeles office of White & Case LLP. I litigate and try complex business litigation cases all over the country. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to try a number of interesting cases over the last few years (10 trials since 2004).

How has USC Law had an impact on your career?

USC Law had a major impact on my career as it showed me the many wonders of being a lawyer. Before attending USC Law, I had very little awareness of what lawyers did. The law school taught me substantive areas of the law, opened my eyes as to the many possibilities open to lawyers, and allowed me the opportunity to develop whatever talent and ability I had.

What is your fondest memory of law school?

Somewhat surprisingly, one of my fondest memories of law school is the work we did on the law review during my time there. While we worked long hours, working on the law review was, in many ways, a lot like working in a law firm and was excellent preparation for working in a law firm environment.

What advice do you have for current students?

My advice for current students is to think of yourselves as lawyers now, and not to think of yourselves as students. You are already part of our profession and everything you do should be aimed towards the goal of becoming a better lawyer. This approach should help you evaluate which classes to take, which extracurricular activities to become involved in, what job to take, and so forth. I also suggest that you aim very high in everything that you do.

Why do you stay involved with the law school?

I stay involved with the law school because I would not have achieved whatever I have achieved in my professional career without what I learned at the law school. It is important to give back and to make the law school an even better institution for current and future law students/lawyers.