Monday, August 27, 2018
This fall, Pepperdine is launching the Jewish Divorce Mediation Clinic. The name is a work in progress (considering variations on theme, like Religious Family Mediation Clinic, etc.), but the work is innovative and important. In partnership with the Jewish Divorce Assistance Center of Los Angeles, and with generous funding from Ms. Chavi Hertz, the Clinic will mediate cases with Jewish families progressing through civil and religious courts.
For divorcing Jewish couples, parties often must receive a religious divorce in addition to a civil divorce. Students of all faiths or of none will work and learn in the clinic under supervision of Prof. Sarah Nissel and Supervising Attorney Yona Elishis who have deep roots and expertise in this work.
The Clinic’s work lies at the intersection of two of our strongest commitments: conflict resolution and interfaith practice. It also fills an important curricular need for family law practice. Students will engage practice in California family law and divorce mediation, and students will study divorce practices from multiple religions, including Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Sikh traditions.
We are excited to enter this complex and fascinating practice. Our aim is for students to learn family law and family mediation, religious competence, cultural sensibility, and engagement across traditions and communities. We hope to serve our community and neighbors in profound ways that can promote families’ peace and healing during some of life’s most stressful and traumatic moments.
The new clinic joins nine other clinics at Pepperdine for 2018-2019. The other general JD clinics include the Community Justice Clinic, Legal Aid Clinic, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic, and Restoration & Justice Clinic. The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution offers the Investor Advocacy Clinic, Mediation Clinic, and Fair Employment and Housing Mediation Clinic. The Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law continues offering its new Entrepreneurship Clinic.