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Pepperdine Law Hosts German Fulbright Scholar
Fulbright Scholar Felix Doerfelt, of Hamburg, Germany, recently completed his Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in dispute resolution from Pepperdine University's Straus Institute.
Doerfelt came to Pepperdine through the Fulbright Foreign Student Program. A mainstay of America's public-diplomacy efforts, the program brings citizens of other countries to the United States for graduate study, giving students the opportunity to observe political institutions in the United States, exchange ideas, and become leaders in their fields.
After completing law school in Germany and passing the first state exam (comparable to a state bar exam), Doerfelt applied for a Fulbright Scholarship in effort to continue his study of law. He was accepted to the program and began searching out master's programs for dispute resolution.
Pepperdine's Straus Institute was the natural choice for Doerfelt, since it ranks at number one. He spent two semesters at Straus, studying subjects such as arbitration, communication and conflict, negotiation and settlement advocacy, and social psychology of conflict.
Fulbright Scholars are chosen on the basis of academic achievement and leadership potential, and Doerfelt has a history of both. Less than one month after earning his LL.M., Doerfelt is working hard on a Ph.D. thesis, which he hopes to finish within the year. "Presently, I am writing my Ph.D. thesis in Germany about codification of choice of law rules," he said.
After he passes the second state exam, he hopes to practice as a lawyer and mediator. "After having acquired all these mediation skills at Pepperdine, I hope to be able to put them to use," said Doerfelt.
In Doerfelt's long-term plan, he aspires to serve as a notary public (an impartial advisor to all parties involved in legal cases--the equivalent to a superior judge) in Hamburg.