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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Certificate JD
USC Gould School of Law

Earning a certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in addition to the JD degree provides grounding and hands-on preparation in managing conflicts between parties. It also demonstrates specialized training in this growing field.

Students have the option of choosing between two tracks — mediation or arbitration. However, a track is not required to satisfy the certificate requirements.

Students may earn multiple certificates offered by USC Gould. Some courses count toward more than one certificate.

Certificate Requirements

To earn the certificate, students must take at least 12 units of mandatory and elective courses as outlined below. No more than 4 units counted toward the certificate may be taken CR/D/F.

The ADR courses emphasize the importance of acquiring both strong legal skills and familiarity with business concepts. The curriculum features a combination of lecture-style and skill-based courses taught in a workshop format.

Required Courses

  • ADR Law and Policy, Arbitration and Mediation

Students also must take their choice of the following:

  • ADR Clause Drafting, or
  • Cross-Cultural Dispute Resolution, or
  • International Arbitration

The remaining credits must be chosen from the following electives:

Arbitration Track

  • ADR Clause Drafting (if not selected as a mandatory course)
  • Arbitration Advocacy
  • Cross-Cultural Dispute Resolution (if not selected as a mandatory course)
  • Arbitration in the United States
  • International Arbitration (if not selected as a mandatory course)
  • International Investment Law and Arbitration
  • Labor Arbitration
  • International Arbitration Competition (two-semester course)
  • Practicums/Externships

Mediation Track

  • Cross-Cultural Dispute Resolution (if not selected as a mandatory course)
  • Employment Dispute Mediation
  • Family Law Mediation Clinic
  • International Negotiation and Mediation
  • Mediation Clinic (yearlong course)
  • Advanced Mediation Clinic (typically a yearlong course)
  • Mediation Advocacy
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Negotiation Theory and Application
  • Practicums/Externships
  • Mock Mediation and Mediation Competitions

Not all courses are offered every year.

Students may petition to waive any required or elective course if they have taken an equivalent course outside of the law school as part of another graduate degree.

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