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The Women of 50 For 50: Caelan Rottman ('14, JD/MDR '18)

"I hope this scholarship helps encourage students, particularly female students, who are second guessing law school due to the enormous expense, to take the risk, indulge in self-development, and marvel in the miracles they will create."

Pepperdine Caruso Law, Straus Institute, and Seaver College alumna Caelan Rottman ('14, JD/MDR '18) specializes in civil and business litigation. She has represented individuals and businesses in matters involving CFIUS issues, breach of contract, negligence, fraud, unfair business practices, and wrongful foreclosure. With the increased prevalence of social media, Ms. Rottman has experience navigating the complicated laws impacting both social media influencers and their management companies and provides innovative legal advice to empower her clients to utilize the benefits offered by platforms such as TikTok, Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Ms. Rottman has also represented clients in cases involving insurance coverage and defense, family law, and personal injury. Ms. Rottman has a passion for alternative dispute resolution and holds a Masters Degree in Dispute Resolution from the renowned Straus Institute. She has experience representing clients in complex commercial arbitrations and has also mediated over 100 pro bono cases in California Small Claims Courts. She has experience working under a United States Federal Judge and has a thorough understanding of effective advocacy. Ms. Rottman received Pepperdine University's Excellence in Service Award for her extensive pursuits of philanthropy. She has studied Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, and French. Ms. Rottman is also a violinist in the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic.

What inspired you to become a partner in the 50 For 50 initiative?

Throughout my time at Pepperdine, I frequently walked past a quote on the wall that states "Freely ye received, freely give." While I was a student, I did not fully recognize the abundance of generosity that I was the recipient of on a daily basis. Having graduated and had the opportunity to deploy the tools that I acquired, I am completely humbled that I was one of the people fortunate enough to be poured into by the most extraordinary team in the world. The best way I know how to say thank you to Pepperdine is by helping allow other students experience the same.

How would you like to see the 50 For 50 scholarships make a difference for students, and particularly for women?

We, as women of the twenty-first century, stand on the shoulders of all of the women who came before us who fought for our rights. With the increasing freedom comes increasing responsibility. I hope this scholarship helps encourage students, particularly female students, who are second guessing law school due to the enormous expense, to take the risk, indulge in self-development, and marvel in the miracles they will create.

What were your experiences or challenges as a female law student?

Both males and females have a variety of challenges throughout law school. I think gender played a larger role while I was growing up and saw many male lawyers and much fewer female lawyers. Having a role model and mentor is very important for children. If we are lucky enough to have the opportunity to do so, we have the duty to make a difference in this world through our legal career and give the next generation of females someone to relate to and be inspired by.

What kind of special or meaningful support or encouragement did you receive along the way?

I always tell people that remark about Pepperdine's view that yes, the view is breathtaking, but the Pepperdine community is what truly makes Pepperdine unmatched. It is hard to articulate the strong sense of love and community that are experienced at Pepperdine. Law school communities throughout the country are infamous for being competitive in a malicious way. Pepperdine maintains that competitive nature that forges strong attorneys, but it is created through encouragement and support. I found an abundance of resources available to me for whatever I wanted to create for my future. The Career Development Office was key to me obtaining an externship at the District Court. Professors spent countless hours helping explain the law to me during their office hours. Alumni never failed to take my calls and provide me with mentorship. The Pepperdine family provides endless support. Students just need to ask and they will receive.

How has Pepperdine Caruso Law factored into your success?

Pepperdine lawyers simply lawyer differently. Pepperdine lawyers are committed to making a difference in their community by representing the underdog. Pepperdine lawyers are committed to working collaboratively with opposing counsel instead of creating unnecessary controversy simply because they represent opposing clients. Pepperdine litigators know to look for alternative methods of dispute resolution as an option for their clients before wasting client and government funds throughout a litigation. Pepperdine Caruso Law plays a role in every aspect of my success as a lawyer. I know the key to my success is that Pepperdine taught me how to think differently and that is exactly what the United States legal system needs.

The Pepperdine Caruso Law 50 For 50 Scholarship Campaign raises funds in order to alleviate the burden of student debt and to reinforce Pepperdine's place among America's leading law schools. Many of the campaign's founding partners are women, which reflects a nationwide increase of women in philanthropy. The Surf Report is featuring the female founding partners of the 50 For 50 campaign and what it means to them to support this special initiative.

Learn more about the 50 For 50 Scholarship Campaign.