This year, the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution has partnered with the JAMS Foundation to provide scholarships to international students through the Weinstein International Fellowship program. The purpose of the program is to provide opportunities for individuals outside of the U.S. to study and learn from dispute resolution organizations and universities in an effort to expand or create dispute resolution systems in their home country.
The JAMS Foundation Board of Directors select fellows through a competitive application process, with only seven fellowships awarded for 2008 – 2009. These recipients are from a variety of countries including Ecuador, Nepal, Jordan, Russia, Egypt, Italy and India. Applicants granted a JAMS Fellowship can use the award to fund research and study in the U.S. or choose formal study in an academic program. This is the inaugural year for the Weinstein International Fellowship program, and Pepperdine has been selected as the host university for three of this year’s fellowship recipients; Badri Bhandari from Nepal, Ximena Bustamante from Ecuador and Orouba Qarain from Jordan.
Badri Prasad Bhandari is a practicing attorney for Nepal’s Supreme Court and joins Straus Institute’s LL.M. program in order to learn more about dispute resolution systems used in the United States. Bhandari notes that in his native country, Nepal, access to the justice system is limited. As an attorney for the Supreme Court in Nepal, he has recognized the need to introduce and strengthen mediation practices in Nepal to alleviate the number of cases handled by the court. Badri has mediated cases with the Supreme Court of Nepal and the Patan Appellate Court Mediation Center and has worked as a consultant to national and international organizations working in the field of ADR in Nepal.
Ximena Bustamante comes to Pepperdine as Deputy Director of the Arbitration and Mediation Center offered through the Chamber of Commerce in Quito, Ecuador, and also joins Pepperdine's LL.M. in Dispute Resolution program. Bustamante teaches civil law courses at Universidad San Francisco de Quito and is hoping to expand her course load to teach ADR courses upon her return. Prior to her work with the Chamber of Commerce Bustamante worked to establish the Universidad San Francisco's Mediation Center provides students with the opportunity to gain practical experience through this clinical program by providing services to the local community. Two weeks prior to arriving at Pepperdine Bustamante released her first book El Acta de Mediación, an analysis of mediation agreements in the context of Ecuadorian Law.
Orouba Qarain worked in Amman Jordan as Senior Legal Consultant to the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative program, and is now pursuing her LL.M. in Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine. Prior to her work with the ABA she was a partner at Asali Law Office and Legal Consultant to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). In her work with the ABA Qarain has worked to establish the first Judicial Court Mediation Program at the Amman Palace of Justice, and has also worked with judges to draft a Judicial Code of Ethics, which was adopted by the High Judicial Council. Qarain has also mediated cases at the First Instance Court of Amman, and is currently the mediation and Case Management Manager at DPK Consulting- Rule of Law Project in Jordan.
JAMS is one of the largest alternative dispute resolution providers consisting of over 250 full-time neutrals specializing in mediating and arbitrating complex, multi-party, business and commercial cases. Created in 1979, JAMS handles over 10,000 cases a year with offices located across the nation. The JAMS Foundation is a non-profit organization created by JAMS to offer financial assistance for conflict resolution initiatives with national and international impact. The Weinstein International Fellowship Program is only one of five funding opportunities available through their program. For additional information on the JAMS Foundation, please visit the JAMS Foundation website.
Straus Institute's LL.M. program is an advanced law degree specializing in dispute resolution. Straus' academic programs are regarded as the most comprehensive dispute resolution curriculum in the nation, and continue to be ranked as the number one dispute resolution program in the nation by US News and World Report. Pepperdine also offers a Certificate and Masters in Dispute Resolution (M.D.R.) for non-law professionals.