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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Straus-SELPA Trainings

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About the Collaboration

The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law has partnered with  Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Administrators of California to offer training on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practices for special education professionals across the state of California. In this innovative collaboration, the institute brings its world-class training and deep knowledge of conflict resolution processes and mediation techniques to SELPAs, Special Education Administrators with the Local Education Agency (LEA), and other education-related professionals to support their capacity to resolve and prevent disputes around special education.  Read More about this innovative partnership.


Upcoming Training

Mediating the Litigated Case - SELPA Edition

The MLC – Special Education Edition is a sophisticated 40-hour training program, designed specifically for SELPAs and LEA Special Education Administrators and other education-related professionals.

This course offers participants a unique opportunity to learn about the mediation process in a format geared specifically toward special education cases. Taught by experienced lawyers and mediators, course participants will learn the essential skills required to effectively negotiate in challenging situations and mediate disputes.

The program will focus on the various stages of the process, identifying and working with different negotiation styles, cross-cultural communication, and facilitating problem-solving regardless of whether the case involves disputes regarding placements, services, assessments, IEP process, and more.

In addition to providing mediation skills training, the program will focus on issues specific to the adversarial setting including managing attorney advocates, the parameters of confidentiality, and concerns about discovery. It will also focus on issues of particular concern to school-based mediators including maintaining the parent and school relationship, the proscription against dual representation, providing legal advice, conflicts of interest, drafting mediation agreements, and other ethical dilemmas.

Dates Offered

January 31 - February 4, 2022 - REGISTER

March 21-23; 28-30 - REGISTER 

PLEASE NOTE: March 23 and 30 are half-days 8:30-12:30pm.

April 4-8, 2022 - REGISTER

June 20-24, 2022 - REGISTER

July 11-15, 2022 - REGISTER

Registration Coming Soon for Dates Below!

  • August 15-19, 2022
  • October 10-14, 2022
  • November 7-11, 2022



Hear what special education professionals have shared about the first December pilot training: 

"This program is excellent in supporting special education professionals who want to be able to handle conflict in a way that honors all parties involved in a dispute. Participants will learn effective strategies that focus on the underlying issues of the conflict so they can rebuild or maintain relationships with parents moving forward."

"This was an outstanding program that has improved my practice as a professional mediating disputes, supervising staff and working with difficult individuals. The quality of the instruction was fantastic, with useful and practical learning materials and resources. The whole program was inspiring personally as well. "

"The mediation training for SELPA Administrators has left me in a state of deep reflection on how educators can support transparent communication during times of great conflict and confusion within our field. The training has ignited the desire to sharpen my skills in clear communication to support the process of bringing people together to resolve concerns linked to the outcomes, supports, and services for our most vulnerable youth."