Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and distinguished counsel members of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution celebrated the program's 25th anniversary with a social gathering on June 22 at the Jonathan Club in Santa Monica.
More than 160 guests gathered at the beachfront location to honor the history of the nationally top ranked Straus Institute. Among those in attendance was L. Randolph Lowry III, founder of the Straus Institute, who currently serves as the 17th president of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. Lowry's idea to begin a dispute resolution program was approved by the faculty of the School of Law in 1988.
The program first offered a 14-unit certificate in dispute resolution, originally envisioned to provide an optional experience for law students. Within a few years, lawyers and other mid-career professionals began applying to the academic certificate program after positive experiences at Straus-sponsored workshops and conferences. The demand grew to prompt the inclusion of a master of dispute resolution degree in 1995. In 2002, School of Law faculty approved the LLM degree program. Since then, the Straus Institute has attracted top legal scholars and professionals alike from throughout the world, and has remained at the top of the U.S. News and World Report rankings for dispute resolution programs for eight consecutive years.
"It was wonderful to be with so many of the people who have contributed to Straus' success like Randy Lowry, Ron Phillips, lots of adjunct professors and alumni," said Peter Robinson, managing director of the Straus Institute. "We are humbled by the recognition we've received over the last 25 years. It was also a great opportunity to dialog about future opportunities for service and influence."