The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution hosted 90 middle and high school students from the greater Los Angeles County area for a day of peer-to-peer mediation training on June 1. Intended to educate younger students about mediation and provide them opportunities to practice mediation, the workshop was co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center.
“Our main goal was to support the work the students are doing as peer mediators,” said Shellee Warnes, associate director of the Straus Institute. “We wanted to give them an opportunity to interact with our faculty to learn how these skills can impact their lives and their professional goals."
Peter Robinson, managing director of Straus and associate professor of law, welcomed the students, calling them emerging leaders at their schools and in their communities. He said, “Here you are, even as middle and high school students, learning to see what’s involved in mediation, and learning to ask yourself, ‘what do I want to be a leader for?’”
In the afternoon sessions students asked professors about their experiences with mediation and law. They also participated in mock mediation sessions overseen by Robinson and Wendy Wright, director of the California Academy of Mediation Professionals.
The Straus Institute at Pepperdine has been ranked as the #1 law school dispute resolution program in the nation by U.S. News and World Report: Guide to Graduate Schools for seven consecutive years. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, the International Academy of Mediators, the Southern California Mediation Association and the Los Angeles County Bar Association have also recognized Straus for excellence in dispute resolution educational programs for practicing professionals.