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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Summer 2020 Professional Skills Series

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Preparing You for the ADR Landscape in Response to COVID-19

Series Overview

This Summer, the Straus Institute is pleased to offer the Professional Skills Series of courses that provide timely strategies and innovative techniques to address practice challenges posed by COVID-19 for lawyers, mediators, students, and professionals at all levels.

The current global pandemic has fundamentally changed ADR across the United States, and indeed the world. In the span of a few short weeks, litigation, dispute resolution, and virtually all business-centered transactions have moved online. Professionals have had to adapt to virtual practice norms, quickly learn online platforms, and develop new ways to connect with clients and audiences online. The Professional Skills Series reimagines Straus' long-standing Professional Skills Training Program and addresses diverse topics that respond to changes in the ADR field brought by COVID-19.

Join our Distinguished Faculty in Straus' Virtual Classroom

Courses are taught by accomplished faculty, thought leaders, and nationally-recognized experts, who are skilled in online teaching, inspiring meaningful dialogue, and building connections in the virtual classroom. The Professional Skills Series Courses will include engaging presentations and interactive components that equip professionals with skills they can immediately employ in their practices.  Participate from anywhere within a convenient, online format, selecting a single class or take multiple in the Series. We recommend using Google Chrome web browser for registration.


Additional Program Information

  • TIMING OF COURSES:  Each seminar will be held from 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM (PST), making it a 4-hour course, with an additional 30-minute break.
  • ONLINE MCLE CREDIT:  For participants outside California, please confirm online CLE hours will be accepted by your state bar.  If not, and there is sufficient time, Pepperdine can apply to be pre-approved.   One state bar could not guarantee a time frame for a request and it's acceptance.  The program must be pre-approved prior to the start of the program in order for credit to be given.   Also note that CLE credit is available only to those participating in the live sessions. 
  • SOLD OUT COURSES:  Registration can be made to view the recorded session once the program takes place.  A reminder that CLE credit is not available for the recorded sessions.
  • COURSE CANCELLATION: Please note there is a $35 processing fee for canceling a course(s). If a course is sold out, please cancel by the Tuesday prior to the class start date. If we are not able to fill your space, there is an additional $50 non-attendance fee. Participants who do not cancel prior to the program start date will not receive a refund.
  • WEBINAR RECORDING: By participating in a Straus Institute/Pepperdine Caruso Law webinar, you automatically agree to authorize the recording of audio and visual content presented during the live event and consent to subsequent use of the recording by Pepperdine Caruso Law. This recording may include questions and poll responses provided by you during the live event. This recording will be made available after the conclusion of the live event as part of the webinar archives and will remain available indefinitely. If you do not wish to consent to the recording, please do not join the live event, and contact straus@pepperdine.edu to discuss your concerns.

Back to Summer 2020 

Course Descriptions

Strategies and Best Practices for Remote Mediation - Recorded Course

June 19, 2020 - This course is SOLD OUT! Register to view recorded session

This course equips dispute resolution professionals to take their practice online. Participants will gain skills in online business development and practice management as well as in online mediation techniques of active listening, building consensus, and negotiating an agreement.

Faculty: Professor Sukhsimranjit Singh and Judge Danny Weinstein

Duration: 4 hours of content, with an additional half-hour break

Facilitating Dynamic Online Meetings and Groups During COVID-19 - Recorded Course

June 26, 2020

We may be in a new norm of being socially distant, but we can still have good meetings and connections via online platforms! For many years now, Pepperdine professors have been facilitating dynamic regional, statewide, and international discussions using online platforms to help people meet without having to travel for face-to-face meetings. COVID-19 has upped the numbers of online sessions and the level of engagement needing to be achieved via online platforms by mediators, facilitators, managers, non-profit groups, and even families!

Faculty: Donna Silverberg and Charles Wiggins

Duration: 4 hours of content, with an additional half-hour break

Psychology of Conflict: Topics of the Moment - July 10

July 10, 2020  This course is SOLD OUT! Register to view recorded session

How do the current COVID technological and sociological adaptations impact the behaviors of litigants and their advocates? What is the impact on conflict in our homes, workplaces, and schools? This course examines the four pillars of the psychology of conflict: attention, empathy, leverage, and decision-making, through a post-COVID lens. Continue to create your own version of mediation "magic" by updating your understanding of human behavior with insights from the areas of cognitive and social psychology, neuroscience, and communication theory.

Faculty: Professor Stephanie Blondell

Duration: 4 hours of content, with an additional half-hour break


Leadership, Ethics, and Decision Making in Crises - July 17

 July 17, 2020

The global pandemic has led to extensive organizational change in our society. Nonprofits, universities, law firms, startups, and corporate sectors have been working through difficult operational decisions. This course delivers insights on ethical leadership and equips participants with best practices on decision making in uncertain times.

Faculty: Professor and Associate Dean Tom Stipanowich

Duration: 4 hours, with an additional half-hour break

Civility and Culture in the Public Sphere - August 14

August 14, 2020

COVID-19, and the accompanying Stay at Home orders, have changed the culture of public discourse. The stressors of navigating uncertainty caused by the pandemic and communicating online have created unique challenges for advancing civility and building consensus. Participants will be equipped with knowledge on diverse workplace cultures, strategies on facilitating dialogue and promoting collaboration among difficult constituencies and stakeholder groups.

Faculty: Aparna Gupta, Anuj Gupta, and Professor Sukhsimranjit Singh

Duration: 4 hours of content, with an additional half-hour break

Apology, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation - August 21

August 21, 2020

This class will examine each of the themes of Apology, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation. A spectrum of definitions and meanings of each theme will be explored. A variety of approaches on how to implement each theme will be discussed. The material will be addressed from the context of governing our own lives, providing professional advice to another as an advocate, and serving as a mediator. Class material will include religious and non-religious perspectives on these themes.

Faculty:  Peter Robinson 

Duration: 4 hours of content, with an additional half-hour break

Questions may be directed to Lori Rushford at lori.rushford@pepperdine.edu or call 310.506.6342.