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Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

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Academic Programs


The Externship Program for the LL.M. Degree and Master's Degree in Dispute Resolution enables students to integrate knowledge of conflict management principles and dispute resolution processes with the development of professional skills through practical application under the supervision of experienced practitioners. Externships offer students a realistic perspective on conflict and its effect and resolution in society.

Each externship must afford a significant opportunity for participating students to meet the following objectives:

  • reinforce knowledge of conflict management theory
  • develop skills in interviewing, analysis, counseling, negotiation,
    third-party intervention, problem solving, and planning
  • identify appropriate dispute resolution services
  • understand and manage their administration and delivery
  • evaluate the effectiveness of dispute resolution processes and their application
  • raise and resolve issues of professional responsibility


Students may participate in externships placements if they:

  • are in good academic standing
  • have completed the prerequisite coursework
  • enroll for the appropriate clinical units
  • receive approval from their Academic Advisor

Externship Overview

Candidates who select an externship component for their Master's (M.D.R.) and LL.M. requirements must complete two separate projects. Externships are evaluated and based on the student's ability to meet program objectives. Every student will be supervised by an appropriate and experienced practitioner. When completed, each externship placement carries two units. At a minimum every externship must contain 105 verified hours of fieldwork. Lunch, breaks and travel time to/from home or campus are excluded from accumulated fieldwork hours. Pursuant to Institute and ABA rules, students may only work for credit and may not be compensated.

The Institute will award credit upon assessment of the student and supervisor's final evaluations. All externships are graded on a pass/fail basis.

Prior to starting your externship, students should set up a time to meet with their Academic Advisor and the Externship Administrator to discuss their choices or present their externship proposal for approval.

A specific, experienced practitioner must supervise each student. The supervisor will be responsible for monitoring assignments, answering questions, providing regular feedback, verifying time sheets, and completing a performance evaluation. If more than one supervisor is necessary, they must all be designated at the beginning of the externship.

Reporting Requirements

After each 20 hour block of fieldwork hours has been accumulated, students must hand-deliver, email, or mail a completed time sheet, signed by a supervisor, to the Straus Institute. Students must submit a one-page progress summary with every time sheet to the Externship Administrator. These summaries should be reflective, and chronicle the experiential component of completed fieldwork. Failure to provide summaries may affect the award of credit. Retain a photo copy of time sheets and summaries for your files. The student's final evaluation, as well as the supervisor's, will also be included in the portfolio.

New and Existing Externships

Students wishing to initiate an externship must apply to the Straus Institute for approval. New and existing externship projects must minimally meet the following four requirements:

  1. Contain a substantial ADR component;
  2. Provide a significant opportunity for experiential learning;
  3. Meet educational objectives of the program; and
  4. Afford adequate field and faculty supervision.