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LLM (Master of Laws) In Dispute Resolution


LLM in Dispute Resolution – what's it all about? 

An LLM in Dispute Resolution is about gaining an understanding of the different methods of resolving conflict, managing conflict within organisations and how conflict impacts on society. It also involves learning the methods and systems that are in place on a national or international level.

Dispute Resolution is a diverse area of the law that can lead to a wide range of different career paths. Some LLM courses in Dispute Resolution will focus on arbitration, litigation and mediation, whilst others focus on International Dispute Resolution which will have a greater focus on international peacemaking and co-operation. There are also LLM programs in Dispute Resolution that focus more heavily on Corporate Law or on Family Law, so it's important to do your research about the modules that will be taught and the emphasis of the course. 

The system of Alternative Dispute Resolution is used around the world, especially in Europe, the United States and India, as an alternative to court cases. The emphasis is on saving both valuable time and money when a conflict has arisen and there is no legal need for a precedent to be set to solve the conflict. 

LLM in Dispute Resolution

Number crunching the LLM in Dispute Resolution 

20 law schools focus on Dispute Resolution in the United States

1999 was the first year that the University of Missouri offered the first specialisation in Dispute Resolution in the United States. 

1 year on a full-time basis to complete an LLM in Dispute Resolution. 

LLM in Dispute Resolution – who's it for? 

An LLM in Dispute Resolution is a good choice for those wishing to combine years of legal understanding, however it also offers a brilliant starting off point for those at the beginning of their careers. Many students who are not working as lawyers, but have a role with a significant legal base in Dispute Resolution also undertake LLMs in Dispute Resolution. The career path for students who have undertaken an LLM in Dispute Resolution is varied, so you will find them in almost all organisations involved in legal mediation or most forms of legal work. 

Where can you study an LLM in Dispute Resolution? 

There are many law schools that offer LLMs in Dispute Resolution around the world. Pepperdine University, the University of Oregon and Northwestern University all offer specialisms in Dispute Resolution in the United States. In the UK students can study LLM courses focusing on Dispute Resolution at King's College London, the University of Manchester, the University of Aberdeen and the University of Portsmouth. In Australia, students can study Dispute Resolution at Melbourne Law School, and the University of South Africa is your go-to place in South Africa

What qualifications do you need? 

Generally, most students will need an undergraduate degree in Law to undertake an LLM in Dispute Resolution. Many courses are competitive, so some relevant work experience is always useful. Some courses, such as the LLM course at Harvard University, do not necessarily require students to have an undergraduate Law degree, however, they do require the student to have a substantial legal element to their current employment. 

Law Student Case StudyStudent case study 

Beatrice Kioko completed an LLM in Transnational Dispute Resolution at the University of Manchester in 2017.

She has already found the networking opportunities have benefited her career now she has returned home to Kenya and the critical thinking skills she gained have been invaluable in coming to her own conclusions. 

An LLM in Dispute Resolution advances careers in... 

International Arbitration 

Peacemaking Organisations 

Corporate Dispute Resolution 

Family Mediation 

LLM in Dispute Resolution5 fascinating facts about LLMs in Dispute Resolution 

1. In 2017 the Department of Justice in the United States saved $15,521,275 by using Alternative Dispute Resolution.

2. Alternative Dispute Resolution is the first option for many legal cases in Europe due to the 2008 European Mediation Directive.

3. 7,800 Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators were working in the United States in 2016. 

4. The median salary for Mediators in the United States is $60,670 per year. 

5. The third Thursday in October each year is International Conflict Resolution Day. 

Recommended readings 

Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits, Lainey Feingold 

The Conflict Paradox, Seven Dilemmas at the Core of Disputes, Bernard Mayer 

The Choreography of Resolution: Conflict, Movement, and Neuroscience, Andrew Floyer Acland et al 

Alternative Dispute Resolution in a Nutshell, Jacqueline M. Nolan-Haley


Featured Instituiton

Pepperdine University 
Pepperdine Law


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