Deans | Admissions, Student Information and Services | Advancement | Alumni Relations | Career Development Office | Clinical Education Offices | Communications | Faculty Support | Financial Assistance | Fiscal and Administrative Services | Glazer Institute | Global Justice Program | Global Programs | Information Services | Law Library | Nootbaar Institute | Palmer Center | Parris Institute | Straus Institute | Student Accounts


Deans' Suite

Paul L. Caron - Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean and Professor of Law
Mason Folse - Executive Assistant

The Dean has responsibility for advancing the overall mission of the Caruso School of Law. Some areas of specific responsibility include representing the Caruso School of Law within the University community and to external audiences, enhancing the quality and reputation of the law school, strategic fundraising, overseeing the budget and accreditation matters, recruiting distinguished visiting professors, and securing speakers for special events such as Commencement and the Annual Law School Dinner.

Selina Brandt - Associate Dean for Academic Success and Employer Relations
Margaret Barfield - Executive Assistant

The Associate Dean works directly with the Career Development Office and the faculty to build increased, strategic relationships with employers. The Associate Dean also works to develop individualized strategies for student employment. As the leader of the law school's bar exam preparedness efforts, the Associate Dean coordinates the 3L Bar Exam Workshop, other academic support courses, and serves as the point of contact for all questions related to admissions to the bar.

JD Schleppenbach - Associate Dean for Administration

The primary responsibility is to provide daily operational leadership for the law school. This includes oversight of the following areas: budget and finance, human resources, information services, facilities and construction, and communications and marketing. In addition to the above, the Associate Dean provides support for the assessment, nurture, and professional development of the law school staff. He will continue to serve as chief financial officer, staff director, and director of the Parris Institute for Professional Formation.

Naomi Harlin Goodno - Dean of Students and Professor of Law
Fedelma Zahlit - Executive Assistant for Academic Affairs and Deans' Suite Manager

The Dean of Students will be responsible for non-academic counseling for our students, spiritual life and diversity, and day-to-day operation of the deans' suite.

Michael Helfand, Associate Dean for Faculty and Research

The Associate Dean for Faculty and Research will be leading our faculty's commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. Combining both Trey and Babette's roles, he will advise the dean on teaching loads, course assignments, research grants, scholarship and teaching awards, and new chairs and professorships; administer faculty travel and research assistance support; and coordinate with our inaugural Straus Research Professors, David Han and Barry McDonald, who will together be leading our internal and external faculty workshop series.

Victoria Schwartz - Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Fedelma Zahlit - Executive Assistant for Academic Affairs and Deans' Suite Manager

The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs has primary responsibility for responsible for the law school's academic program, academic policies, and scheduling.

Tom Stipanowich - Associate Dean, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

The Associate Dean will be responsible for the strategic direction and academic oversight of the Straus Institute.

Admissions, Student Information and Services

Shannon Phillips - Dean
Nicole Serleto Chavez - Director
Mackenzee Claus - Admissions and Communications Manager
Courntey Smyth- Prospective Students Coordinator
Sendy Velasquez - Student Services Coordinator

The Office of Admissions, Student Information and Services serves both prospective and current students. The office provides information for prospective students, counsels applicants involved in the admissions process, reviews applicant files for admission decisions, and participates in the student recruitment process. Law school tours and class visitations for prospective students are also coordinated and administered by the admissions staff. Viewbooks and general information packets can be obtained in this office.

The office is also responsible for student registration, grades, transcripts, class ranks, requests for loan deferments, bar certification and information, and degree requirement checks for graduating students.


Advancement Office

Rebecca Malzahn - Assistant Vice Chancellor

The Advancement team engages with alumni and friends of the school to bring in resources for the support of our School of Law programming, and works with the Caruso School of Law Board of Visitors to provide feedback and strategies to further the goals and mission of the school.


Alumni Relations & Events

Jessie Fahy – Director, Alumni Relations and Employer Outreach

The Office of Alumni Relations builds, supports and develops the 10,000-plus strong Pepperdine Law Alumni family. The Alumni Relations team meets regularly with students to connect them with alumni, hosts events for alumni in the Los Angeles area and across the country, communicates regularly to the alumni and student community through the monthly "Surf Report" and yearly "Making Waves" magazine, maintains and shares an online database with alumni contact and professional information, interfaces with the Pepperdine Alumni Association officers, and invites alumni to be mentors and preceptors through the Parris Institute. The Office of Alumni Relations works closely with the Career Development Office, the Advancement team, and the Communications team. Please see the alumni website for more information at:


Career Development Office

Chalak Richards - Assistant Dean
Michelle Feinstein - Director
Alexis Joyce - Associate Director
Andrea Yang- Associate Director
Delaney Hendershot - Recruiting and Employer Outreach Manager
Cathleen Horton - Administrator and Events Coordinator

The mission of the Career Development Office (CDO) is to provide every Pepperdine law student and alumnus with a high level of individualized career services through proactive placement assistance, career counseling, professional development programs, effective marketing to employers, and productive relationships with the Caruso School of Law community.

Through one-on-one counseling, panel presentations, speaker programs, workshops, job postings and the facilitation of networking efforts between students, alumni, and employers, the CDO assists students and alumni in understanding the legal profession, establishing career and professional goals, and developing effective job search strategies.


Clinical Education Office

Jeff Baker – Director of Clinical Education, Director of the Community Justice Clinic,  and Associate Clinical Professor of Law
Brittany Stringfellow-Otey - Director of the Legal Aid Clinical and Assistant Clinical Professor of Law
Tanya Cooper - Director of the Restoration and Justice Clinic, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law
Sophia Hamilton - Director of Externship and Pro Bono Programs, Interim Director of Appellate Advocacy Program
Nancy Hunt - Director of the Washington D.C. Externship Semester, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law
Sarah Nissel - Director, Jewish Divorce Mediation Clinic and Adjunct Professor of Law
Isai Cortez - Supervising Attorney and Director of the Law Income Tax Clinic
Jeremy Rosen - Director of the Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic and Adjunct Professor of Law
Sam Wu - Supervising Attorney and Director of the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic
Kellie Kamimoto - Clinical Program Manager

The Pepperdine Clinical Education Program provides students with opportunities to practice law, work with clients, learn from expert practitioners, observe the work of lawyers and courts, grow as professionals, and seek justice in our communities. JD students may choose from six clinics and diverse externships and five practicums.

In the clinics, students practice law under the supervision of law professors with real clients, in a rigorous learning environment where students develop as lawyers and work toward justice for vulnerable clients. In externships, students work in the field for academic credit with expert practitioners and judges in hundreds of field placements throughout Southern California, the nation, and the world. Externship students earn credit for legal work in state and federal courts, governmental agencies, public interest firms and in select in-house corporate and entertainment law offices. In practicums, students work in specialized field placements under supervision of experienced practitioners at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles and Ventura County Public Defender's Office.

Law students are eligible for the Clinical Education programs after they have completed their first year of law school. For more information please contact the Clinical Programs Office by calling 310.506.7449, emailing or visiting

Marketing/Communications and Events

Kim Prince - Assistant Director of Marketing and Communication
Chelsea Audibert - Senior Content Manager
Lauren Ryan - Events Manager
Kylie Larkin - Communications and Research Manager 

Monique Smaby - Events Coorinator

The Marketing/Communications and Events Departments oversee and manages internal and external marketing and public relations initiatives to advance the law school brand and build awareness of the academic programs, institutes and student, alumni, and faculty achievements. The team manages all of the school's media and communications channels including the website, news and social media platforms, events, print materials, videos and media relations. The marketing team collaborates closely with all law school departments and stakeholders including the Dean's suite, Faculty, Development and Alumni offices and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution to support communications efforts and provide tools, training, and expertise for event and communications planning. The Events team partners with students, faculty, and staff in the planning and execution of law school events, managing room scheduling, event calendaring, event design, and logistics for numerous events each year. The annual events put on by Pepperdine Law include student organization meetings, lunch events, conferences, symposia, alumni celebrations, friends and donors events, and community-wide events like the Annual Caruso School of Law Dinner. 

Faculty Support Services

Stacey Nelson - Manager, Faculty Support
Maryann Ferrari - Faculty Support Specialist 
Michael Martinez - Faculty Support Specialist

Financial Assistance and Student Accounts

Steven L. Chaparro - Director, Financial Assistance

The Financial Assistance team is dedicated to providing financial aid resources to students. They are available to help students seek, obtain, and make the best use of the financial aid resources available to them. They provide an ethical operation of administering financial aid, and maintain integrity as stewards of the federal financial aid programs. The Financial Assistance Office's guidelines model the Federal Student Aid Handbook and staff members are kept abreast of current regulations, policies and procedures.

The Financial Assistance Office coordinates the administration of student financial assistance awarded to ensure equity and consistency in the delivery of financial aid funds and follows the standard formula of federal methodology in awarding campus based aid, and federal student loans.  The Financial Assistance Office is student-centered, with a goal of making students' financial aid experience a positive one.

Berenice Hernandez - Student Aid Program Manager
Judith Tapper - Student Aid Coordinator
Briana Enriquez-Roven - Student Accounts Coordinator

The Office of Student Accounts is located within the Office of Financial Assistance at the Caruso School of Law. Student Accounts is open from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Questions regarding payment to student's accounts, payment plans, and student refund checks are handled by the Office of Student Accounts. If you have questions or concerns please contact the Student Accounts staff in person, by phone at (310) 506-4918, or email

Fiscal and Administrative Services

J.D. Schleppenbach - Director
Terry Utter - Associate Director and Computer Systems Manager
Connie Lee - Assistant Director
Ventura Delgadillo - Utility Clerk

The Fiscal and Administrative Services' areas of responsibility include preparation and monitoring of the law school budget, personnel, security, management of purchasing and business services, overseeing the physical plant maintenance, administrative computer systems management, and mail services.


Strategic Planning and External Relations

Jason Jarvis - Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives
Christina Lopez - Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives
Kirk Leslie - Graduate Programs Coordinator & Assistant to Director of Strategic Initiatives

The Office of Strategic Initiatives manages the marketing, recruitment, budgeting, admissions, registration, and student services for the following programs: LLM in U.S. Law, LLM in Entertainment, Media, and Sports (EMS) Law, Certificates in EMS, and the online programs. This office provides support to the faculty and advisors of each of the above programs, as well as non-academic support for students in the LLM and Certificate programs.

The Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies

Ed Larson - Director and Professor of Law
Michael Helfand - Associate Director and Associate Professor of Law
Monica Welsh - Program Coordinator

The Glazer Institute was established based on the understanding that, as a Christian University, Pepperdine's students are especially open to discussions of faith and identity, but are often unacquainted with Christianity's historical and ongoing relationship with Judaism. Through work in the classroom, international opportunities, and co-curricular programs, it continues to expand horizons, challenge stereotypes, and open doors to lives of service, understanding, respect, and faith.

Global Programs


Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law offers opportunities for students to further their legal education through its programs in Washington, D.C. and London, as well as through an exchange program with the University of Augsburg in Germany.

Washington, DC Externship Semester

Nancy W. Hunt - Director and Assistant Clinical Professor of Law

The Washington, DC Externship Semester is a spring semester full-time externship program offering our students an opportunity to live in our Nation's capital and gain valuable work experience at externships in the courts, government agencies, lobbying firms and in myriad legal positions at NGOs. In addition to participating in the full-time externships, students take additional coursework at Pepperdine's facility, which is located on Pennsylvania Avenue, just a few blocks from the White House. A limited number of graduate student apartments are available at the Pepperdine facility or students may choose to find their own housing. Students in the Washington, DC Program will typically earn a minimum of 12 units of academic credit toward their degree and, with advance permission of the Academic Dean, students may enroll in one elective course at a Washington, DC area law school.

London Program Fall 2019

David Han - Director and Associate Professor of Law

The Caruso School of Law is operating a fall semester program in London during fall 2019, to provide students with the opportunity to study law in an international setting. The curriculum is a mixture of American law courses and international law courses together with international moots and externships. The program is conducted in the University-owned Pepperdine London Campus in South Kensington, which is shared with the undergraduate students. The London Campus contains a library, administrative offices, classrooms, a computer center, a study room, and a student lounge. Students enrolled in an ABA accredited law school may attend the London program for a maximum of two terms. A maximum of 29 units earned in the London Program may count toward the JD degree.

University of Augsburg Exchange Program

Peter T. Wendel - Director and Professor of Law

The Law School currently has a student exchange program with the University of Augsburg in Germany. Students participating in this program are officially enrolled at Pepperdine and pay tuition to Pepperdine, but will take courses at the foreign university. Coursework at the University of Augsburg is in English in the summer, which is when most Pepperdine law students participate in the exchange. Students studying at Augsburg during the academic year take courses in German. All coursework credits are transferred as "pass/fail" credits.

Students may learn more about these programs on the law school website at

University Travel Policy

In the interest of preserving their safety and security, students in the Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law Global Program are not permitted to travel to countries for which the U.S. Department of State has issued Travel Warnings, even if the warning only provides details on a specific city or region within the destination country. The current list of Travel Warnings may be viewed at Students are also not permitted to travel to locations which Pepperdine University has issued its own travel warnings, or against the direct instruction of Pepperdine staff. Locations to which travel is prohibited may include an entire nation, a specific region within a nation, a city, or a specific area within a city. Such warnings will be given to students on a timely basis and will be reviewed frequently. A student may petition for a specific, one-time exception to a travel ban through their program coordinator, contingent upon consideration and approval by the Executive Vice President and the Provost. Students who fail to receive special approval and travel to locations with a Travel Warning from the U.S. Department of State will receive sanctions, which will likely include dismissal from Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law Global Program. Students will be responsible for paying all cancelled travel costs. Additionally, it is the student's responsibility to update their emergency contact person(s) on Wavenet. The University's Travel Policy may be found at:

Information Services

Phillip Bohl - Assistant Dean for Information Services
David Dickens - Director of Information Services Operations
Hong Kha -- Associate Director for Instructional Technology Services
Gilbert Marquez - Manager, System Administration
Scott Woeckel - Audio Visual Production & Instructional Systems Manager

The Information Services Department provides technology services and support to the Caruso School of Law community. These services include student computing support. Students will find the Information Services staff happy to help them with connecting to the network, printing issues, computerized exams, email setup, basic troubleshooting, and other related services.

Law Library

Catherine Kerr Dodds - Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor of Law
Don Buffaloe - Senior Research & Student Services Librarian
Joy Humphrey - Associate Director
Kerstin Leistner - Access Services Librarian
Denise Sims - Public Services Supervisor

The law library is the indispensable center of the research and learning process of the law school environment. It is the desire of every member of the library staff to encourage and maximize each student's use of the collection. As a research source, the library contains over 400,000 volumes of primary and secondary materials, and multiple access points to LexisNexis, Westlaw, and other electronic resources.

The Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics

Robert E. Cochran, Jr. - Director and Professor of Law
Jenna DeWalt - Program Manager

Religious views of law vary greatly, with some people celebrating law, some condemning it, some speaking prophetically to it, and others just wanting law to leave them alone. Legal views of religion vary greatly as well, with some people welcoming religious views to the public square and others wishing to exclude them.

Recognizing the great value in an exploration of an understanding of law and religion, we seek to draw from a broad range of religious and legal voices on the relationship between law and religion. While affirming Pepperdine University's Christian identity, the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics (Nootbaar Institute) attempts to draw from the diverse range of religious voices represented by our faculty and student body, seeking dialogue and common ground among faith traditions.

The Nootbaar Institute holds conferences addressing the broad range of issues at the intersection of law, religion, and ethics. These issues include morality and the practice of law, bio-ethical legal issues, constitutional religious issues, clergy sexual abuse, religious lobbying, litigation within religious organizations before ecclesiastical courts, international human rights, tax exempt organizations, politics and the pulpit, government funding for faith-based services, law and poverty, and family law.

The Sudreau Global Justice Program

The Sudreau Global Justice Program touches all corners of the world through its initiatives in international human rights and religious freedom, advancing the rule of law, and global development.  Through these initiatives, students and faculty collaborate to seek justice and create a lasting impact in some of the world's most vulnerable places. Under the umbrella of the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute for Law, Religion, and Ethics, the Sudreau Global Justice Program is growing rapidly in response to student interest and demand from global partners.

The Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law

David Feingold - Executive Director
Robert Anderson - Faculty Co-Director and Associate Professor of Law
Ahmed Taha - Faculty Co-Director and Professor of Law
Monica Welsh - Administrative Assistant

The purpose of the Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law is to equip law students to leverage their law degree in the field of entrepreneurship. Unique in the nation, the Palmer Center achieves this goal through an integrated program focused on three main components: academic course work, industry specific internships, and professional networking and mentoring. Upon completion of this 12-unit, two-year program, graduates earn a Certificate in Law and Entrepreneurship. This certification distinguishes Palmer Center Fellows to potential employers as uniquely educated, experienced, focused, and driven in their chosen field of law. Built on the ideals of innovation, leadership, ethics and social responsibility, the Palmer Center embodies Pepperdine University's commitment to strengthening lives for purpose, service and leadership.

Parris Institute for Professional Formation


Jessie Fahy
Chalak Richards


The Parris Institute is an exciting and relatively new initiative at Pepperdine and is quickly becoming a model for the nation in training professional leadership. The legal profession has always demanded the highest standards of character, integrity, courage, and leadership. However, the demands of fluctuating economies, complex global justice issues, and the increasing trend of corruption have sought to erode the social trust in lawyers in recent decades.

Pepperdine refuses to let the legal profession decline and is committed to rebuilding the core internal character competencies that have marked the great contributions of lawyers throughout human history. The Parris Institute provides the inspiration and substance for students to invest as much in who they are as leaders as they do in what they know as legal scholars. Pepperdine is grateful to Rex and Carrol Parris for establishing this vital institute and we are extremely proud of the profound impact the Parris Institute has had on our students during its inaugural year.

The Parris Institute for Professional Formation is dedicated to the professional development of first-year law students, and provides continual mentoring throughout our students' law school careers. Launched in August 2014, the institute focuses not only on professional development, but also health, personal goals, and ethics.

Through our Awards and Student Life Challenge programs, students are incentivized to perform at the highest level, grow as students, and graduate "practice-ready."


The purpose of the Parris Institute is to provide our highly capable, first-year law students with the tools to refine their character, shape their culture, and pursue their convictions, so they will become models of professional excellence.

Key Objectives

To facilitate excellence in professional relationships. To draw out of each student the excellence of their character. To encourage each student to invest their heart and mind in shaping the culture of their class and the law school. To equip each student to pursue their convictions for justice marked by an internalized moral identity. To elevate the importance of living a well-balanced life marked by physical, emotional, and spiritual health. To inspire each student to be an exceptional leader marked by the desire to serve others.

Service & Purpose

Serving the oppressed and underprivileged is the hallmark of pursuing justice in the world. As part of its leadership development efforts, the Parris Institute promotes and encourages students to develop their vision and vocational goals for pursuing justice in the practice of law. Pepperdine provides many life-changing opportunities to experience public interest law, clinical opportunities to serve the underserved, and global justice opportunities to engage with the poor in developing nations

Introduction to Professional Formation Course

The importance of this initiative is demonstrated by the requirement for all first year law students to enroll in the Introduction to Professional Formation Course during the first semester of law school. This groundbreaking course is composed of the following formative experiences:

Launch Week

Launch Week is an intensive integration of legal analysis training, academic success training, legal ethics training, and professional character training, coupled with inspiring messages from world leaders on the meaning and pursuit of justice. Launch Week is designed to be a cutting edge head start to success in law school and life. Packed with leadership training, professionalism training, and legal analysis training, Launch Week is a breath of fresh air and a great way to start your first year. There is a strong emphasis during Launch Week on building important relationships and developing community and a family culture. Students will be given every opportunity to interact with the faculty, upper division students, as well as classmates, and law school leadership during these fast-paced five days. Pepperdine Law prides itself on the availability and investment of its faculty and leadership.

Launch Week helps set the tone for the study of law at Pepperdine, where students are encouraged to explore who they are as leaders in addition to what they learn in the classroom. As part of the Introduction to Professionalism Course at Parris Institute, Launch Week is the first step in the professional development and future success of our first-year law students.

In addition to substantial academic preparation, Launch Week is a blast. It is packed with music, amazing food, competitions, and a barbeque overlooking the ocean. By the end of Launch Week, students will feel connected, at home, and excited about their choice to learn to become excellent lawyers at Pepperdine

The Pepperdine Preceptor Program

An integral part of the Introduction to Professional Formation course, all first-year JD students at the Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law are automatically enrolled in the Preceptor Program, a program that connects students in groups of two or three to an attorney or judge in the local area. These "preceptors" agree to serve as mentors for the students throughout their first semester of law school. The term "preceptor" is a new term to most law students, but it is very familiar to aspiring physicians. A preceptor is simply an expert who provides practical experiences to a student. The idea of learning through practical experiences translates easily to the world of legal education.

The preceptors meet with their mentees several times in the first semester. Although the form of the meetings may take different forms for different situations, the preceptors are encouraged to (i) take the students to work to witness the preceptor in action; and (ii) either attend a class with the students or meet with the students in a social environment for coffee or lunch. The hope is that such meetings will serve as a springboard for discussions that produce valuable learning experiences that would not have occurred in a traditional classroom.

Parris Workshops

Parris Workshops is a one-hour session each week devoted to ongoing academic success training, character formation, professionalism, and emotional and relational intelligence training. Every Tuesday the entire first year class will gather together in their Introduction to Professional Formation course to experience, practice, and discuss the most important aspects of life in the legal profession. The skills that cause students and lawyers to stand out among their peers revolve around strengths of character, virtue, relationships, and professionalism.

Developing exceptional habits of effectiveness and deeply rooted virtues of courage, integrity, justice, and wisdom will allow you to shine above others who lack this rigorous and essential leadership training.

The Parris Awards

Spring 2015 marked the first year of the First Annual Parris Awards. The Parris Awards will be celebrated April 4, 2019 to honor those students who exhibit the highest order of the pillars of professionalism. The values of any institution are usually emphasized by that which is honored. At Pepperdine, we value the greatest traditions, ideals, and aspirations of the profession. The Parris Institute has initiated a strategic investment in first year law students with an emphasis on developing who they are as leaders as much as what they know as lawyers.

Among the awards to be presented are:

    • Excellence in Character
    • Excellence in Service
    • Excellence in Leadership
    • Excellence in Public Interest
    • Excellence in Global Justice
    • Excellence in Dispute Resolution
    • Excellence in Professionalism
    • Excellence in Courage
    • The Pepperdine Award

All faculty, staff, and students are invited to nominate candidates for the above awards, making these awards unique and particularly special. Nominations are based on actual narratives of stories that capture each candidates attributes. Ultimately, the faculty and administrators vote to determine the recipients

Student Life Challenge

The Student Life Challenge has been designed to motivate students to incorporate healthy behaviors into their busy lifestyles and to help them excel in law school. A mind works better when the body works hard. All students, faculty, and staff at the Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law are eligible to participate, but only students will be eligible for the grand prizes as well as the prizes offering a free semester of group fitness classes.


Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

Tom Stipanowich - William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution, Associate Dean and Professor of Law
Stephen Lepley - Director of Professional Outreach
Peter Robinson - Director of Strategic Relationships and Professional Training and Professor of Law
Shellee Warnes - Director of Operations
Stephanie Blondell - Associate Director, Assistant Professor of Law and Practice and Director of the MDR Program
Sukhsimramjit Singh - Managing Director, Assistant Professor of Law and Practice
Sarah Park - Associate Director
Lori Rushford - Assistant Director
Deborah Jasmin - Faculty and Class Support Manager
Joanna Reese - Assistant Director
Marcelo Rosadilla - Associate Director
Aparna Gupta - Associate Director of Professional Development and Outreach
Jeannie Ruse - Recruitment Coordinator
Randi Saxer Redman - Admissions and Student Services Program Administrator
Seth Hackett - Admissions and Student Services Coordinator
Robert A. Uhl - Director, Investor Advocacy Clinic

The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution is located on the first floor of the Odell McConnell Law Center. The Institute provides theoretical study and practical training in alternative methods of dispute resolution. As a Pepperdine JD student there are two options available to participate in Straus' Dispute Resolution programs. Pepperdine JD students can apply for a JD/Certificate or a JD/MDR.


Those JD students who elect to participate in the Certificate program use 12 units of their electives to take dispute resolution courses. Since all of the courses will be applied to JD electives, the cost of the Certificate is absorbed in the JD tuition, and courses can be completed within the same timeframe as the JD program. The Certificate program will provide JD students with significant lawyering skills with required courses including Mediation, Negotiation, and Arbitration. Students who participate in the Certificate program are looking for a way to graduate with an additional specialty, without the commitment of a Masters program.

Master's in Dispute Resolution

Students can also elect to complete their JD with a Master's in Dispute Resolution in our joint JD/MDR program. The 32 unit MDR program can be completed in conjunction with the JD program, and participants can still graduate within the same three years required for the JD. The Master's program builds on the Certificate experience to add required courses of Cross Cultural Conflict and Dispute Resolution; Psychology of Conflict Communication; the Mediation Clinic and two externships. Students can also delve deeper into specialty areas including Labor, Dispute Resolution Systems Design, Ombuds and more.

Specific information on the certificate or master's programs offered by the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution may be obtained by calling extension 4655 and speaking with Professor Stephanie Blondell or Randi Redman.