LLM in Dispute Resolution | Degrees & Programs | School of Law | Pepperdine University

LLM in Dispute Resolution

The LLM in Dispute Resolution is considered the premier program in dispute resolution and offers students the most amount of flexibility in their dispute resolution education.  This 26 unit program is structured with a balance of theory and practice; students will focus on a variety of ADR mechanisms including negotiation, mediation and arbitration, as well as gain practice through the requisite Mediation Clinic and Externship program.  

Students can follow a more general course of study without a concentration, or declare a concentration in mediation, arbitration or litigation.

Required Courses

12 units required (10 units required for those waiving Legal Research and Writing I)

  • Arbitration Course Requirement +
  • Mediation Clinic
  • Mediation Theory and Practice
  • Negotiation Theory and Practice
  • Psychology of Conflict Communication
  • Legal Research and Writing I (Required only for International Attorneys) *

International students sitting for the California Bar exam would complete 12 units of required courses listed above and 12 units of substantive law courses as required by the California Bar.

+ If this course was not taken to fulfill the arbitration requirement, it can be taken as an elective.

Elective Courses

10 units required (8 units required if Thesis option is chosen, or 12 units for those waiving Legal Research and Writing I)

  • Advanced Mediation Seminar
  • Advanced Trial Practice
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Arbitration Law +
  • Arbitration Practice and Advocacy +
  • Criminal Justice Dispute Resolution Practicum
  • Cross-Cultural Conflict and Dispute Resolution
  • Current Issues in International Dispute Resolution: London/Geneva
  • Current Issues in International Dispute Resolution: Hong Kong/Beijing
  • Dispute Resolution in Education
  • Dispute Resolution and Religion
  • Divorce and Family Mediation
  • Environmental and Public Policy Dispute Resolution
  • Ethical Considerations in International Arbitration
  • Faith-Based Diplomacy and International Peacemaking
  • International Commercial Arbitration and the National Courts +
  • International Commercial Arbitration Procedure and Practice +
  • International Commercial Arbitration Theory and Doctrine +
  • International Investment Disputes
  • International Litigation
  • Interviewing, Counseling and Planning
  • Introduction to US Law
  • Restorative Justice
  • Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution:
    • Apology, Forgiveness and Reconciliation
    • Dispute Resolution Systems Design
    • Dispute Resolution and Technology
    • Employment Disputes
    • Entertainment Industry Disputes
    • Ethical Practices in Negotiation
    • Healthcare Dispute Resolution
    • Intellectual Property
    • Labor Disputes
    • Managing Litigation and Conflict for Corporations and Organizations
    • Ombuds
    • Settling Mass Torts
  • Trial Practice
  • Trial Preparation and Settlement or a Substantive Law Class with Advisor Approval

International students sitting for the California Bar exam would complete 12 units of required courses listed above and 12 units of substantive law courses as required by the California Bar.

+ If this course was not taken to fulfill the arbitration requirement, it can be taken as an elective.

Externship or Thesis/Project

Externship (2 units) and LLM Independent Study (2 units)

OR

Thesis/Project (6 units) required

Available Concentrations

Mediation

Students in the LLM in Dispute Resolution can pursue a concentration in Mediation. This concentration will allow students to use their electives to focus on aspects of the mediation process.

Students in the Mediation Concentration will be asked to declare their concentration prior to graduation, and must include three of the below courses:

  • Advanced Mediation
  • Mediation Clinic
  • Cross-Cultural Conflict and Dispute Resolution
  • Divorce and Family Mediation
  • Environmental and Public Policy Dispute Resolution
  • Selected Issues in Dispute Resolution: Apology, Forgiveness and Reconciliation
  • Related Thesis or Independent Study with advisor approval

Arbitration

Students in the LLM in Dispute Resolution can pursue a concentration in Arbitration.  This concentration provides students with the flexibility to balance both domestic and international arbitration topics.

Students in the Arbitration Concentration will be asked to declare their concentration prior to graduation, and must include three of the below courses:

  • Arbitration Law or Arbitration Practice and Advocacy
  • International Commercial Arbitration Theory and Doctrine
  • International Commercial Arbitration Procedure and Practice
  • International Investment Disputes
  • Arbitration Law and the Securities Industry
  • Related Thesis or Independent Study with advisor approval

Litigation

Students in the LLM in Dispute Resolution can pursue a concentration in Litigation. This concentration focuses on understanding the U.S. legal process, and will give students the opportunity to take traditional practice-oriented law courses.

Students in the Litigation Concentration will be asked to declare their concentration prior to graduation, and must include three of the below courses:

  • Trial Practice and Settlement
  • Trial Practice
  • Advanced Trial Practice
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Complex Litigation
  • International Ligation
  • Lawyering Process
  • Related Thesis or Independent Study with advisor approval

Why Get an LLM from Pepperdine?

Qualify for the NY or CA Bar While Focusing in ADR

Swearing in Pepperdine School of Law

With the increased use of dispute resolution, more international attorneys and judges are choosing to specialize in negotiation, mediation or arbitration while meeting the requirements to sit for the California or New York Bar exam

An Executive Format that offers Flexible Scheduling

Students at Straus Institute Pepperdine School of Law

With courses available in one-week, two-weekend and the traditional full-semester format, professionals in the field can pursue the program on a part-time or full-time basis at a pace that matches their busy schedule.  Visit Course Schedules for additional detail

Now Offering the LLM to JD Transfer Program

JD classroom at Pepperdine School of Law

Pepperdine LLM students now have the opportunity to apply to the JD Program as transfer students without taking the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Learn more >

Summer Legal English Training Program

Summer Legal English Training at Pepperdine School of Law

This four-week training program is designed to strengthen legal speaking, listening, reading and writing abilities for non-native speakers, and will meet for four weeks in July. Learn more >

Award Winning Dispute Resolution Education

US News Ranking for Dispute Resolution

In addition to U.S. News & World Report, Pepperdine has been recognized by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, California Dispute Resolution Council, American College of Civil Trial Mediators and the International Academy of Mediators.

Read more

Translate Theory into Practice

Theory to Practice at Pepperdine Law

Gain practical experience learning to negotiate, mediate and arbitrate. Students have the opportunity to develop their skills mediating real cases through the clinical and externship programs.

Most Extensive Dispute Resolution Curriculum

Straus Insitute at Pepperdine School of Law

Pepperdine offers the most comprehensive curriculum with over 50 different dispute resolution courses for the Certificate, Masters and LLM in Dispute Resolution programs, including several dispute resolution clinics and externships.

World's Largest Conflict Resolution Library

AAA Library at Pepperdine School of Law

Pepperdine is home to the American Arbitration Association Library and Information Center Collection. Founded in 1954 the AAA Library is the largest collection of conflict materials with over 24,000 titles.

Related Programs

Mid- and late-career attorneys and judges who cannot dedicate a year to the traditional LLM program have the option to participate in this pilot program in London, England, and Los Angeles, California. 

Learn more 

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