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Studies & Degrees in Maritime Law

Choose where you would like to study Maritime Law:

GermanyGreeceIndiaIrelandSpainSwedenThe United States

Maritime law, also referred to as admiralty law, is known to be one of the most established and oldest types of law. It involves laws and rules that deal with marine commerce, ships, shipping, and worker compensation claims that arise on the world’s navigable waters. Examples of topics that maritime law covers are maritime contracts, maritime injuries, salvage, towage, etc.

The most common cases that maritime lawyers deal with are when people get injured or property damaged in connection with a vessel in navigation. Contracts that relate to the navigation, business or commerce of the sea, or contracts to repair vessels are also drawn by maritime lawyers. Finally, sometimes the concept of salvage arises, which relates to the recovery of damaged property that includes treasure.

Personal Qualities

Maritime Law is a specific area within general law, for which reason you need to have a keen interest in the subject in order to pursue it. You also need the skills of a lawyer:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent memory
  • Ability to perceive facts and analyze them effectively
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills
  • Integrity

Study Options

Sound educational background is crucial for you to become a maritime lawyer. Due to the fact that maritime law is a fairly unique area of law, in a great part of the world it is subject to specialized statutes and court systems. Most law schools do not offer a great number of classes on maritime law in their basic curriculum. For this reason, the goal to become a maritime lawyer may be best met by pursuing a Master of Laws degree, or LL.M., in maritime law. An LL.M. is an advanced law degree that provides a focused study of one particular area of law. There are a good number of law schools around the world that offer LL.M.s in maritime or admiralty law.

Another factor to consider is the fact that because of the specialized nature of maritime law, many regions have special associations or organizations aimed toward maritime practice. In some places admission to such organizations is compulsory before one can start practicing maritime law.

Career Options

It is very common practice for a new lawyer striving to become a maritime lawyer to find a mentor in the field and work as his or her intern or apprentice for a certain period of time. This way, you would be able to learn the more practical aspects of becoming a maritime lawyer. This is a career that requires a lot of perseverance and hard work, so you would need patience while climbing on the hierarchical ladder. You could work in specialized departments of law firms, within government agencies, or work independently. In any case, pay prospects are very good provided you gain the necessary experience.