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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Dispute Resolution Academic Programs

Stephanie Blondell teaching a dispute resolution class

The Straus Institute offers some of the most comprehensive Dispute Resolution programs in the world. Hands-on faculty, small class sizes, and flexible schedules make our Academic programs accessible and suitable for a variety of professional goals.

Degree and Certificate Programs

 Master of Laws (LLM) Programs

Our LLM program is for those who have already earned a law degree. The 26-unit program comprises an equal amount of required and elective course, as well as thesis and/or externship work for hands-on learning. Pepperdine offers the following LLM program options:

More about the LLM Program

 Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR)

The MDR program is for those with a bachelor's degree. The 32-unit program has 18 units of required coursework, 10 elective course units, and the choice between a thesis project and externship opportunities to round out your education. MDR joint degrees are also available at the Caruso School of Law and in conjunction with Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School and Pepperdine School of Public Policy.

More about the MDR

Online MDR option

 Certificate in Dispute Resolution

A certificate at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution is earned in 14 units and is offered as a stand-alone program, as well as a joint program with a number of Pepperdine University's graduate programs.

More about the Certificate in Dispute Resolution

 Undergraduate Certificate in Conflict Management

The Undergraduate Certificate in Conflict Management is a joint enterprise between the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and Seaver College, Pepperdine University's undergraduate college of letters, arts, and sciences.

More about the Undergraduate Certificate in Conflict Management

 Joint Degrees

The Straus Institute has partnered with a variety of Pepperdine's graduate programs across the university to provide essential conflict management skills to students in different areas. In addition to joint JD degrees, programs are available in conjunction with the Graziadio Business School, The School of Public Policy, and the Graduate School of Education and Psychology.

More about The Straus Institute joint programs

Summer and Winter Programs

 Summer Program

Our Summer Program draws students and faculty from around the world. Offering the most extensive dispute resolution curriculum in legal education, Straus Institute offers courses in a one-week intensive or two-weekend format in the summer with class locations in Malibu, California, and international study tour opportunities.

Summer 2024 Course Schedule

 Winter Intensive Program

Students can earn two credits in one week by choosing a course from five dispute resolution areas. Designed to be interactive, fast-paced, and stimulating, classes will meet over the course of one week from January 3-8, 2022.

More about the Winter Intensive

 U.S. Law and Legal Writing Seminar

Designed for international professionals, the U.S. Law and Legal Writing Seminar provides an overview of U.S. Law while strengthening legal research and writing skills. The program prepares students starting in an LLM program, as well as judges and attorneys looking for a summer training program.

More about the U.S. Law and Legal Writing Seminar


Beyond Academics

Clinics and Practicums

Gain experience through one of our five clinical and practicum programs.


The Externship Program is available to LLM and MDR candidates.

Registration for Training and Conferences

Explore upcoming events and registration information for programs at the Straus Institute that are open to the public.

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A Global Presence

The Straus Institute partners with domestic and international organizations to provide our exceptional dispute resolution programs to working professionals outside of Malibu, California, including London, England, and Heidelberg, Germany.

More about our Global Partnerships

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Why Straus?

In addition to a variety of educational opportunities, the nationally ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution offers flexible class schedules, internationally recognized faculty, and over 24,000 titles in a leading dispute resolution library.

More about Straus Institute

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The Right Opportunity for You

Programs at the Straus Institute are designed to meet the needs of students and professionals at varying levels, including those from outside the United States. Based on who you are and where you are, we have a dispute resolution program for you.

Learn more about Straus