We describe a methodology for determining the volume scattering function β(φ) of aqueous particle suspensions from measurements with a laboratory multi-angle light scattering instrument called DAWN (Wyatt Technology Corporation). In addition to absolute and angular calibration, the key component of the method is the algorithm correcting for reflection errors that reduce the percent error in β(φ) from as much as ∼300% to <13% at backward scattering angles. The method is optimized and tested with simulations of three-dimensional radiative transfer of exact measurement geometry including the key components of the instrument and also validated experimentally using aqueous suspensions of polystyrene beads. Example applications of the method to samples of oceanic waters and comparisons of these measurements with results obtained with other light scattering instruments are presented. © 2012 Optical Society of America.