Pepperdine moves ADR summer courses online


Pepperdine University Rick J. Caruso School of Law is turning to remote instruction for its well-known Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, which offers classes for law students, attorneys and foreign attorneys.

“Now more than ever, we need empathetic leaders, effective peacemakers, and skilled problem solvers,” said professor Sukhsimranjit Singh, who oversees the Institute, and expects a greater demand for conflict resolution skills. “We need individuals to identify challenges, manage conflict across languages and cultures, and help rebuild resilient communities.”

The Strauss Institute is known for its hands-on instruction and small group training style, and has offered online degrees since 2017.

“The ability to effectively conduct negotiations online arises naturally from this format,” said Tom Stipanowich, Associate Dean of the Straus Institute. “The field of virtual mediation will become increasingly important in the years to come.” 

The Straus Institute offers classes for law students in dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration, and conflict management in two-week or intensive weekend formats. Programs began May 18 and will run through August 1, with a second session planned for later in the summer. Juris doctor candidates from an ABA-accredited law school can enroll as visiting law students and receive credit toward their J.D. degree 

The Institute’s Professional Skills Program has been reimagined for the coronavirus era. Traditionally held in Malibu as an intensive three-day session, the special Summer 2020 Professional Skills Series will feature 4 to 6 shorter webinar-based classes. Sessions will be focused on mediation and negotiation in times of crisis, and practicing these skills in online formats.

Mediating the Litigated Case is designed for practicing attorneys, and will be conducted by professors and experts from around the world. The Gateway to Straus program, a summer institute designed to introduce students to US law and alternative dispute resolution (ADR), will be held over five days and in its online format.

Beyond its dispute resolution classes, Caruso Law will expand the traditional summer schedule for its JD students with additional courses. Six classes will be taught online during the first session, and at least one class will be offered in the second. This larger course catalog will allow students to progress further in their law school career during a season in which fewer law firms and courts are able to hire summer interns. 



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