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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

About Straus

The entire Straus staff standing outside for a group photo with the Pacific ocean visible in the background

Leaders in Dispute Resolution

The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law is one of the world's leading educational programs in the field of dispute resolution. Straus offers two tracks of training - professional training programs and academic programs in dispute resolution including the Certificate, Master's (MDR) and LLM in Dispute Resolution.

Why Choose a Program at the Straus Institute?

Repeatedly recognized as the foremost academic center of its kind, the Institute brings together an unparalleled full-time teaching and research faculty with scholars and practitioners from throughout the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Asia and Europe. Its broad and deep curricular offerings serve emerging lawyers as well as experienced mid-career professionals, business persons, and religious and community leaders. In the over twenty-nine years since its founding, the Straus Institute has established itself as a standard of excellence in preparing effective negotiators, peacemakers and problem solvers and a driving force for improving the culture of conflict in America.


The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution has led the nation in law-school-based conflict resolution and for over a decade, it has been ranked among the nation's best programs by U.S. News and World Report. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, the International Academy of Mediators, the Southern California Mediation Association and the Los Angeles County Bar Association have also recognized Straus for excellence in dispute resolution educational programs for practicing professionals.

 Flexible Course Schedules

Straus Institute program students in class

You can take advantage of several formats that accommodate the working professional. During fall and spring semesters in Malibu, courses are offered Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and evenings, in addition to weekend courses Thursday and Friday evenings and all day Saturday.

Straus Institute Course Schedules

The winter intensive format allows you to complete a two-unit course in one week during the first week of January. This format is offered again at the beginning of the summer, and the week of July 4th, in addition to four blocks of two-weekend intensive courses throughout the summer.

Summer Program

Winter Intensive


Straus Faculty Professor Singh lecturing in a class

The Straus Institute is a unique meeting place for outstanding faculty from around the world, including Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Europe, and every region of the United States.

Meet the Straus Faculty

 Comprehensive Curriculum

professor Peter Robinson chats with a student

The Straus Institute offers over fifty different courses in one of the broadest curricula in dispute resolution education. The required courses ensure theoretical and skills competency in basic dispute resolution processes of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. A wide variety of elective courses provide the application of those theories to practice.

Straus Institute Course Descriptions


Students at Straus Institute smile after certificate ceremony

Studying at Straus will allow you the distinctive opportunity to work with law students, graduate students, and a number of working professionals in the fields of human resources, education, psychology, business, law, and ministry. Due to small class sizes many students have been able to enjoy a network of friends and business relationships that they create here at the Straus Institute.


Malibu campus

The Straus Institute's home base is Malibu, California. Just 20 miles outside of downtown Los Angeles, Pepperdine benefits from the diverse and vibrant culture of Southern California, a leading area in dispute resolution.

In additional to the Malibu location, students can complete coursework in Heidelberg, Germany. Pepperdine also offers two 12 day study tours to London/Geneva and Hong Kong/Beijing to meet with dispute resolution organizations around the world.

More about Straus Locations


Dispute Resolution Library

The Straus Institute stands as the pillar in conflict resolution research with the acquisition of the world's leading library from the American Arbitration Association. Consisting of over 24,000 titles, the AAA library includes titles on subjects ranging from international arbitration to consumer disputes and health law to the history and growth of public and private dispute resolution practices in the U.S. and abroad.

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law Library