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Standalone Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Certificate

U.S. News & World Report: Best Grad Schools (Law) 2018
USC Gould ranked #19
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Earning the standalone certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) offers you a credential that demonstrates your specialized training in this growing field. In addition to building valuable negotiation, mediation and arbitration skills, you will develop an understanding of underlying policies and legal ramifications for a range of ADR options.

The ADR certificate is offered by USC Gould's comprehensive Judge Judith O. Hollinger Program in Alternative Dispute Resolution. You may begin your studies in the fall or spring semesters.

ADR is a fast-growing field, and our certificate prepares you to meaningfully participate in ADR matters while giving you an advantage in the global employment marketplace.

The freestanding ADR certificate is ideal for:

  • ADR practitioners who seek to deepen their expertise
  • Lawyers seeking to become better advocates through the ADR process
  • In-house counsel who assist organizations with conflict management
  • International attorneys interested in designing ADR processes in their home countries
  • Academics who seek to sharpen their understanding and credentials in dispute resolution
  • Recent graduates seeking to further their career goals

Why Choose the ADR Certificate at USC Gould?

Earn an ADR certificate from a top 20 law school that's also recognized by LLM Guide as offering one of the top 10 ADR programs in the world. Our ADR certificate will provide you with a competitive edge in your field, whether you are a recent university graduate or an established professional.

You will learn alongside our JD, LLM, LLM in ADR and MDR students in dynamic and engaging classrooms. The ADR curriculum provides a convenient, flexible way to pursue this advanced training, while meeting your professional and personal obligations.

You can complete the ADR certificate in as few as two semesters.

USC Gould also offers master's degrees in dispute resolution. View our ADR Programs Flowchart to see which offering might be the best fit for you.


  • You must have earned a first law degree or undergraduate degree by the time you begin the ADR certificate.
  • Prior experience in law is not required.
  • You are not required to take the LSAT exam; however international applicants are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam.
  • If you hold a degree from an institution located outside the United States, you must have your transcripts authenticated and evaluated by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).

If you are completing your first law degree or undergraduate degree, you may apply for admission. You must submit academic records of all law and undergraduate coursework completed at the time you apply. If admitted, you will be required to submit final transcripts showing your degree was awarded before you begin the certificate.

Learning Outcomes

Through the standalone ADR certificate, you will:

  • Develop an understanding of the wide variety of ADR policies and issues that affect practitioners in an ADR practice.
  • Learn methods for resolving disagreements among parties instead of through costly, time-consuming lawsuits.
  • Be exposed to numerous skills that are invaluable no matter what field of law you work in or practice.

Information on graduation rates, the median debt of students who have completed the program, and other important information, can be found here.