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Alumni Spotlight: Ximena Zimeri (LLM ‘19)

Guatemalan lawyer, Ximena Zimeri (LLM '19), eagerly awaited the chance to learn about the U.S. legal system and begin her practice. She chose to attend the Straus Institute because of her passion for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and the incredible and comprehensive LL.M. curriculum the program offered. She competed her LL.M. in International Arbitration and Commercial Law, under the mentorship of Professor Jack Coe, who directs the International Commercial Arbitration concentration for Straus.

She states, "I love that in ADR, the parties are able to communicate and negotiate informally. We can take into account the needs of both parties and often obtain a win-win solution, avoiding litigation costs and the risk of finding an adverse outcome at trial. ADR gives the parties more control over the process and the results of the case."

Ximena studied for and passed the California Bar Exam in 2019 and currently serves as an Associate Attorney at Samuelson, Gonzalez, Valenzuela, and Brown, an employment and insurance defense law firm in Orange County.

"My education at Straus gave me the necessary skills for negotiating with opposing counsel and reaching a cost-effective solution for clients. I developed legal research and writing skills, negotiation skills, strategic skills, and knowledge of U.S. law, international arbitration and commercial law," shares Ximena. "I was able to learn the common law system of the U.S. through my courses at Pepperdine and then pass the Bar Exam," she adds.

Ximena credits a number of professors who helped prepare her for the Bar Exam, including Professors Cochran, Goodman, and Brandt. Marcelo Rosadilla and Randi Redman, on the Straus Institute staff, also advised her on bar admission requirements. One of her favorite courses was Negotiation Theory and Practice taught by Professor John Lowry. She notes, "It was a very practical and entertaining course, that gave me the opportunity to develop negotiation tactics and communication skills."