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Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

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The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine School of Law is honored to have the support of both JAMS and the Beijing Arbitration Commission for sponsoring a full-tuition scholarhip for Pepperdine's International Commercial Arbitration LLM for the 2013- 2014 academic year. JAMS is the largest for profit provider of mediation and arbitration services in the United States, with offices in more than 25 cities and more than 300 retired judges and senior lawyers on its panel. JAMS has been focusing on international opportunities, including the opening of an office in London, and sees this scholarship as an expression of its support for future international arbitration practitioners.  

The Beijing Arbitration Commission (BAC) is a not-for-profit permanent organization devoted to providing a forum for impartial and efficient alternative dispute resolution including arbitration and mediation. It was founded in 1995 following the passage of the Arbitration Law of the People's Republic of China. The BAC focuses on contractual and property-related disputes, both commercial and international, among citizens, legal persons and other organizations.

Students travel from around the world to study conflict and dispute resolution at the Straus Institute. Some of our most recent students and graduates have traveled from Canada, China, Germany, Korea, Mexico, Argentina, Greece, Republic of Georgia, Spain, Nepal, Czech Republic and Jordan to study dispute resolution. The Straus Institute has also hosted a variety of Fulbright scholars from Germany, Czech Republic, Tunisia, El Salvador, Panama, Egypt, and Ukraine.

International applicants can apply to two of our academic program for studies in dispute resolution. Candidates with the first degree of law required to practice or teach law can apply for our Masters of Law (LL.M.), an advanced law degree in dispute resolution. Candidates without a law background who have a bachelor's degree or equivalent can apply for our Masters in Dispute Resolution (MDR) program.

Masters of Law (LL.M.) in Dispute Resolution

The Masters of Law or LL.M. in Dispute Resolution is an advanced law degree available exclusively for attorneys or judges. Applicants for our LL.M. program must have completed the first degree of law required to practice or teach law. For candidates in the United States this requires a JD degree from an ABA-accredited law school.  The following two LL.M. programs are available at Pepperdine:

LL.M. in Dispute Resolution
The LL.M. is a 28 unit program which can be completed as a full-time student in two semesters, or can take up to three years as a part-time student. The traditional LL.M. in Dispute Resolution allows students to receive a general dispute resolution education and focuses more on practice with the required Mediation Clinic course.  Students can choose to graduate with one of three different LL.M. Concentrations including Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation, or graduate without declaring a concentration.

LL.M. in Dispute Resolution with a Concentration in International Commercial Arbitration
The LL.M. with a concentration in International Commercial Arbitration offers specialized training for the international market.  The ICA program is designed to be completed in one year with requisite courses from top international commercial arbitration faculty and practitioners from organizations like the World Bank, Jones Day, Freshfields, King & Spalding and more.  The requirements for the ICA program will differ from the traditional LL.M. in Dispute Resolution and must be declared at the start of the program.

Both LL.M. programs will provide enough electives for international students to be able to sit for the New York or California bar exam.

LL.M. to JD Transfer Program

Pepperdine LLM students can apply to the JD Program as transfer students without taking the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The applicant's grades and relative difficulty of coursework pursued in Pepperdine's LLM will be very important factors. Successful applicants will usually have good grades in at least four substantive law courses tested on the bar exam.

If the applicant is accepted into the JD Program, he or she may transfer the credits from law classes taken toward completion of the LLM degree. The student must then complete the first year curriculum in his or her second year at Pepperdine. In the third year, enough advanced courses must be completed in order to satisfy the JD graduation requirement. Students transferring from the LLM to the JD will be awarded the JD degree upon completion of the JD requirements and will not be awarded an LLM degree. Only students currently enrolled in Pepperdine's LLM program may apply in the manner.

Masters in Dispute Resolution

The Masters in Dispute Resolution (MDR) program provides practical dispute resolution training for candidates who do not have a law background or degree. Students in the MDR program consist of people from a variety of professions including business and other graduate students, executives, human resource professionals, doctors, psychologists, peacemakers and social workers. Through the MDR students will gain experience through the required Externship program and Mediation Clinic class. Students can also delve deeper into specialty areas including Labor, Dispute Resolution Systems Design, Ombuds and more. Please refer to course descriptions for a full list of courses.

The MDR Program is a 32 unit program that can be completed in 1 year as a full-time student with courses available at the Malibu or Orange County campus.

Certificate in Dispute Resolution

The Certificate program is a 14 unit program consisting of foundational courses in Mediation, Negotiation and Arbitration. Students can complete the program full-time in one semester or over three years as a part-time student. Professionals who participate in the Certificate program are looking for more depth than can be provided by professional training programs and the additional credibility of our Certificate Program. Those that complete the Certificate program and want additional training can also reapply for our M.D.R. or LL.M., and if accepted, transfer their Certificate units into the other programs.

Application Requirements

International students must complete the following requirements for admission to our dispute resolution programs:

  • Submit transcripts to an evaluation agency
  • Complete International Student Data Form with supporting information from their banking institution verifying the necessary funds required to complete our academic program.
  • Submit examination results demonstrating an acceptable level of English proficiency. The Straus Institute only accepts the TOEFL and IELTS examination.

  • A three to four page personal statement.
  • Current resume or vita.
  • $50 Application Fee.
  • Three completed Personal Evaluation forms or narrative letters of recommendation.

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