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Admission Requirements

The Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) is offered as part of the law school's graduate programs. Admission to the MDR will require a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

Those not holding a bachelor's degree can receive dispute resolution education through our various training programs and conferences. Please visit our Training Programs and Conferences page for a list of upcoming programs.

All applicants are required to submit:

  • Application form
  • A three to four page personal statement
  • Current resumé or CV
  • Three complete Personal Evaluation Forms or narrative letters of recommendation

Eligibility

The LLM Program is offered as part of the law school's graduate programs. Admission to the LLM will require a Juris Doctor degree from an ABA accredited institution, or for international candidates the first degree of law necessary to practice or teach law in their country of origin.
Those that do not meet this requirement can consider the Certificate or Master of Dispute Resolution programs, or can receive dispute resolution education through our various training programs and conferences. Please visit our Training Programs and Conferences page for a list of upcoming programs.

Application

Applicants for all of our programs complete the same application for admission to our academic programs. There will be a space on your application to indicate your intended program.

Personal Statement

The LLM, Master's Degree, and Certificate Programs in Dispute Resolution are designed to combine a graduate level academic experience with a commitment to the development of professional skills, especially those related to dispute resolution.

Please include a three to four page personal statement indicating your reasons for wanting to study dispute resolution, why you chose to apply to Pepperdine University School of Law, what use you anticipate making of the education you receive, what contribution you will make to the program, and any further information that you feel should be considered by the Admissions Committee.

Please include in your personal statement a discussion of any economic, educational, or social disadvantages that you have encountered, what you have done to overcome these disadvantages, community service endeavors that you may have participated in, and your plans as they now relate to future community service.

Resumé/Vita

A copy of a current resumé or vita outlining professional and educational experience is required.

Transcripts

Transcripts are required for all applicants for the Certificate, Masters, and LLM program. We must receive Official Transcripts to consider your application, and must be received directly from the university or in a university sealed envelope from the applicant. Transcripts must be included from all institutions attended. If you are currently a student in another graduate program or undergraduate program, we will need your current transcript to date. Transcripts from international institutions need to be submitted through a credential evaluation service.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required for applicants applying for any of our academic programs. Applicants can have their recommenders complete the Prospective Student Evaluation Form, or have their recommenders write a narrative letter of recommendation. This form/letter is an opportunity for the admissions committee to learn about your potential or current work in the dispute resolution field.

If you are currently a working professional or attorney, and are interested in making the transition into mediation or arbitration, this is a good opportunity for you to approach your professional colleagues and talk with them about your interest in making a transition. Through this opportunity you will be able to receive feedback on how you are perceived in your profession while completing this application requirement.

Recommendations can be from co-workers, supervisors, mentors, professors and others that can talk about your experience or potential experience in the field. Applicants are encouraged to provide recommendations from different sectors, professional and academic, to provide the committee will a well-rounded understanding of your experiences. Recommendations should not be from family members.

Application Fee - Waived

The Straus Institute no longer requires an application fee. 

International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above, international students are required to submit their application with these additional requirements.