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Master of Laws in Alternative Dispute Resolution (LLM in ADR)
USC Gould School of Law

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Our Master of Laws in Alternative Dispute Resolution (LLM in ADR) is designed for distinguished law graduates and attorneys interested in developing their skills and reputations as advocates in conflict resolution processes and advancing their careers as esteemed mediators or arbitrators.

Graduates leave our program confident in their abilities to effectively participate in negotiations, mediations and arbitrations as advocates or neutrals. In addition to skills-based instruction, students develop a deep understanding of underlying policies and legal ramifications for a full range of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options.

The LLM in ADR is a demanding, yet flexible, 24-unit degree program offered on a part-time or full-time basis. Students may begin their studies in the fall or spring semesters. This LLM is open to anyone with a law degree (JD, LLB or equivalent).

Why Choose USC Gould?

Top reasons to pursue the LLM in ADR at USC Gould:

  • Earn a master's degree from a top-20 law school recognized by LLM Guide as offering one of the top 10 dispute resolution ADR programs in the world.
  • Complete your degree in as little as one year.
  • Dispute resolution ADR is one of the fastest-growing fields in the legal industry.Less than 2% percent of lawsuits make it to trial; today, an overwhelming majority of litigation disputes are resolved through alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
  • Convenient and flexible scheduling. Classes are held during the day, in the evening and on weekends to accommodate working professionals. The law school is located on USC's University Park Campus near Downtown Los Angeles.
  • Scholarships and housing stipends available. All applicants are automatically considered for scholarship awards and housing stipends. Exceptional candidates are also eligible to receive our prestigious Dispute Resolution Scholars Award. Scholarship awards and stipends range in amounts.
  • Receive career development and professional support. USC Gould's Center for Dispute Resolution offers workshops and individually tailored career development advice for mediation or arbitration professionals, as well as mentorship opportunities with dispute resolution experts.
  • Join the Trojan Family, a renowned network of more than 375,000 alumni who are deeply committed to furthering the success of USC graduates. Our more than 14,000 USC Gould law graduates include partners in the world's largest law firms, leaders of civil rights movements, and CEOs and presidents of multibillion-dollar companies.
  • Gain hands-on practical skill development. Learn from award-winning faculty with decades of experience and expertise in dispute resolution. You will have ample opportunity to gain hands-on training and professional experience in the form of clinics and competitions.
  • Create new career opportunities. Organizations increasingly use dispute resolution processes to handle business and human resources issues. ADR expertise increases your marketability for a range of work settings, including business, government, human resources, counseling, education and social work.
  • Become a Member of CIArb, one of the world's most recognized credentials in arbitration. USC Gould is one of only three recognized course provider schools in the U.S. for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), a leading professional membership organization representing the interests of ADR practitioners worldwide. USC Gould students are eligible to join CIArb at the member level upon completion of specified coursework within the ADR curriculum.


The LLM in ADR is ideal for:

  • Professionals pursuing a career path as a mediator, arbitrator, trainer or dispute resolution consultant
  • Dispute resolution practitioners who seek to deepen their expertise
  • Lawyers seeking to become more effective advocates through the dispute resolution process
  • In-house counsel who assist organizations with conflict management
  • International attorneys interested in designing dispute resolution processes in their home countries
  • Academics looking to sharpen their understanding and credentials in dispute resolution
  • Recent graduates striving to further their career goals

Rohit Adlakha, LLM in ADR 2018

Through this program, I have gained a good foundation in international arbitration. The rich selection of international courses and the possibility to tailor the curriculum so as to reflect each student's core interests are strengths of USC Gould's ADR programs.

Rohit Adlakha, LLM in ADR 2018

Sean Galliher, LLM in ADR 2019

Through my LLM in ADR program coursework at USC, I was able to upgrade my membership with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. With an amazing faculty and staff, USC Gould should be the first choice for anyone serious about improving their skills in ADR and gaining world-recognized credentials.

Sean Galliher, LLM in ADR 2019

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Learn more about eligibility for the LLM in ADR and apply online.