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Straus Institute Hosts San Francisco Mini Study Tour in Dispute Resolution

On September 8-10, 2022 the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution hosted a mini-Study Tour to San Francisco in coordination with the JAMS and the Weinstein International Foundation. A select group of LLM students joined the tour, along with Associate Director Sherri Sturgeon (MDR ‘21) and Professor Sukhsimranjit Singh, Ph.D., who serves as Assistant Dean of Graduate Program. 

The first of its kind trip sought to encourage students pursuing their Master of Law degree to more broadly explore the world of dispute resolution and cultivate the unique skills and cultural backgrounds of each individual that make resolving global conflicts possible. Joined by the Weinstein International Foundation Fellows visiting from around the world, the students had the privilege of hearing from Professor Singh, on the role of mediation in international contexts and how each person can aspire to be a “Mediation Leader” in finding a way forward through many of today’s most prolific international conflicts. The students had the opportunity to engage with the Weinstein Fellows, creating space for unique conversations regarding how so many of today’s pressing conflicts could be resolved by the guidance and influence of leaders who guide from a mediator’s skillset. Along with the Weinstein Fellows, in the room were some of the most notable voices in the international mediation space, such as former Rwandan Chief Justice Sam Rugege, Straus Adjunct Professor Leonardo D’urso, former Seventh Circuit Judge Ann Claire Williams, and Judge Rebecca Westerfield formerly of the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Kentucky. In totality, the event included legal and mediation professionals from nearly 40 nations.

The trip was well-received by students and fellows alike. In the words of current LLM Student Aisha Suleiman, who hails from Nigeria, “I loved the diverse insights generated from the discussions about global issues and the practical solutions suggested on how to promote a peaceful resolution of cross-cultural conflicts.”  LLM Student Marcel Woitalla from Germany further stated “The discussion with the entire group of ADR experts was very inspiring.”

The trip further highlighted an alumni dinner, allowing current and past students to share in their passion for dispute resolution, creating the opportunity to explore where a degree from Straus could take them in their careers. The trip concluded with an afternoon of sightseeing around San Francisco’s most notable landmarks, enjoying all the metropolitan city has to offer.