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Curriculum - LLM in ADR
USC Gould School of Law

As an LLM in ADR student, you will benefit from clinical and experiential learning experiences that build and deepen your ADR proficiency. As a graduate, you will be able to implement your knowledge in many areas of law and business practice, and will feel confident mediating, arbitrating, negotiating out-of-court settlements and managing the ADR process.

We recognize that you must balance your law studies with work, family and other responsibilities. We offer flexible scheduling that allows you to take classes during the day or in the late afternoon and evening. We also offer some weekend classes.

Two courses are required for all students:

  • ADR Law and Policy: Arbitration and Mediation
  • ADR Ethics

International students must also enroll in Introduction to U.S. Legal Systems.

You will satisfy your remaining course requirements with electives of your choice, and must earn at least 12 units in ADR-specific curriculum to receive the LLM in ADR degree. Course selection varies each semester depending on interest and availability.

Course Descriptions

Select a course below to view a more detailed description of the course.

ADR Clause Drafting

ADR Ethics

ADR Externships

ADR Law and Policy: Arbitration and Mediation

Arbitration Advocacy

Arbitration in the United States

Cross-Cultural Dispute Resolution

Directed Research

Divorce and Family Mediation

Employment Dispute Mediation

International Arbitration

International Investment Law and Arbitration

Introduction to U.S. Legal System (Int'l Students Only)

Mediation Advocacy

Mediation Theory & Practice

Negotiation Theory and Application

Practical Mediation Skills Clinic

*These courses offer G&IP-only sections; LLM in ADR students may not enroll in the JD sections of these courses.

If you seek to apply transfer credit toward your degree, please email to determine eligibility.

Certificate Offerings

You may pursue our Business Law certificate concurrent with your studies. This certificate requires the completion of 12 units of law coursework specific to the certificate. This does not include classes offered outside of the law school. There are no additional tuition costs associated with the certificate.

CIArb Accreditation

U.S. News & World Report: Best Grad Schools
Recognized Course Provider

USC Gould has a Recognized Course Provider status with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), an internationally renowned professional membership organization that provides training and professional services for judges, arbitrators, and other ADR practitioners. It also acts as a global hub for practitioners, policy makers, academics and those in business, supporting the promotion, facilitation and development of all ADR methods worldwide. Founded in 1915 and granted a Royal Charter in 1979 as a not-for-profit organization, CIArb has a growing membership of 16,000, and is based across 133 countries and supported by an international network of 39 branches.

CIArb offers a progressive ladder of opportunities leading to professional designations that show increasing levels of competence in arbitration and mediation, starting with Student, then Associate (ACIArb), Member (MCIArb), and finally Fellow (FCIArb). As a USC Gould student, once you successfully complete our International Arbitration (LAW-817) course, you become eligible to apply for CIArb membership at the Member (MCIArb) level, helping you to climb the CIArb accreditation ladder more quickly and economically towards your goal of achieving a highly coveted professional credential with international recognition.

Degree Outcomes

Through the LLM in ADR degree, you will develop:

  • an understanding of underlying policies and legal ramifications for the range of available ADR options
  • an expansive skillset for conducting ADR processes
  • appropriate ethical guidelines as a neutral while conducting ADR processes
  • an understanding of the wide variety of ADR policies and issues that affect practitioners in an ADR practice
  • an understanding of the arbitration process nationally and internationally, as well as the principles that underscore the enforceability of arbitration agreements and awards (if you select arbitration coursework)
  • sensitivity to cultural factors that affect ADR and practical experience in conducting mediations in the litigated case environment (if you select mediation coursework)

Career Resources

As a graduate of the LLM in ADR degree, you will be able to achieve greater levels of success within your current organization, or may use the degree to prepare for a career as a mediator or arbitrator. USC Gould offers career workshops to our ADR degree students. These workshops include specific student group and individualized guidance on:

  • preparing for a career in and building a network as a mediator or arbitrator
  • building business plans for ADR practice
  • developing materials to market your ADR practice
  • networking to build your ADR practice
  • operating your ADR practice as a business

In addition to developing a practice as a mediator or arbitrator, many types of careers benefit from exposure to ADR practices. Our courses are developed to build widely useful skills such as communication, problem-solving, management and team-building.