This year the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution celebrates the 7th anniversary of the Orange County Program. Created to meet the need of working professionals, courses at the Irvine campus have varied in formats ranging from seven week to two-weekend courses. Currently all of the courses offered at the Orange County campus are offered in two-weekend formats, attracting commuting professionals across the United States from Texas, New Jersey, Tennessee, Alaska, Hawaii, Utah, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Arizona. Students taking courses at the Irvine Campus are students in the Certificate, Master's, LL.M. in Dispute Resolution, as well as students pursuing a dispute resolution emphasis in Pepperdine's MBA program and professionals looking to audit a course.
Alumnus Ryan Keyt, a Labor Relations and HR Representative in San Jose shares, "the convenient location and innovative class schedules of the Orange County program made it possible for me to fly-in for class, make excellent use of my time while at school, and minimized the disruption of being away from work—I would not have been able to complete the Master's of Dispute Resolution degree while living in San Francisco Bay area, and continue to work full-time without the convenience of the Orange County campus."
Although courses at the Malibu campus are offered in a professional friendly format with classes meeting in the afternoons and evenings, the Straus Institute recognized the growing interest from working professionals outside of Southern California, and began offering two-weekend courses at the Irvine campus in 2002. Across from the John Wayne Airport, Pepperdine's Irvine campus was the ideal location to expand Straus Institute's course offerings.
The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution started through Pepperdine University School of Law as a Certificate program before expanding to the Master's in Dispute Resolution (M.D.R.) and the Master's of Laws (LL.M.) in Dispute Resolution. A program that started with law students over 23 years ago has now developed to include non-law professionals in the M.D.R. and working lawyers and judges through the LL.M. program.
As the first Master's in Dispute Resolution program offered at a law school, Straus Institute continues to break new ground by offering courses in an intensive professional format, while maintain the vision of translating theory into practice through face-to-face interaction. The Straus Institute's academic programs are regarded as the most comprehensive dispute resolution curriculum in the nation, and continues to rank as the number one dispute resolution program in the nation by US News and World Report.