Charleston School of Law to offer nation's first maritime degree

The Charleston School of Law's library on Mary Street.
The Charleston School of Law's library on Mary Street.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston School of Law is starting the nation's first Master of Laws degree in admiralty and maritime law on the East Coast, Dean Andy Abrams announced Wednesday.

"As the four corners of the world become more connected globally, there's a bright new opportunity developing for our law school here in the home of the 'Four Corners of Law,'" he said. "The Charleston School of Law will start offering coursework in August to meet a growing demand in the United States for a graduate law degree in admiralty and maritime law.

"Offering this new advanced degree highlights our commitment to being the number one school for maritime law in the United States."

The school is seeking about a dozen students to participate in its founding class of graduate students in maritime law. To qualify, students must have a law degree before applying.

In a program that can be finished in one year, students will have to complete 24 credit hours of coursework that ranges from maritime law and jurisdiction to insurance, salvage, Law of the Seas, and various international maritime conventions, including the recent Rotterdam Convention.

When students graduate, they'll receive an LL.M. degree in Admiralty and Maritime Law.

"This is exciting and a dream come true," said Professor Randall Bridwell, who will lead the school's admiralty graduate program through the Charleston Maritime Law Institute. "With as much as the Port of Charleston means to our community, it is a natural fit for us to be on the world stage of law schools that offer an advanced degree in maritime law."