Home United States Louisiana › You are here

Admiralty & Maritime Law Education at Tulane University

tulane university law school

Located on the main campus of Tulane University in uptown New Orleans, Tulane Law School has been accredited by the American Bar Association since May 1925. The JD student body comprises 750 students from throughout the US, with just 15% from the state of Louisiana. At least 45 states are represented in the student body, as are close to 200 undergraduate schools. An additional approximately 50 students are enrolled in Tulane Law School's LLM and SJD programs. Approximately 40% of the student body is female, and about 20% are students of color.

Among the things that set Tulane Law School apart are the breadth and depth of its curriculum. Its curricular strengths include international and comparative law, maritime law, and environmental law. It offers five certificates of specialization in: European Legal Studies, Civil Law, Maritime Law, Environmental Law, and Sports Law. It offers seven different live-client clinics: criminal defense, civil litigation, juvenile litigation, environmental law, domestic violence, mediation, and legislative and administrative advocacy.

The 12th oldest law school in the United States, Tulane University Law School is acknowledged around the world as a leader in the admiralty field. Every other year in March, hundreds of lawyers, both practicing and academic, converge on the Tulane campus for the Admiralty Law Institute, the oldest (since 1966) and largest continuing legal education program devoted to maritime law.

 Tulane's Maritime Law Center, a division of the Law School endowed by admiralty law and shipping firms, coordinates the many maritime programs operating at the Law School and fosters legal scholarship in the field. The Tulane Maritime Law Journal is a student-edited law review devoted to admiralty issues. Tulane's law library contains one of the most extensive maritime collections in the United States. Tulane co-sponsors an admiralty moot court competition each year. A credit-bearing maritime law externship is available with the US Department of Labor, and a summer position with the Center for Seafarers' Rights in New York is reserved for a Tulane student each year.

tulane law campus

Academic Programs

Graduate Programs

  • LLM in Admiralty: One-year, full-time programs leading to the degree of Master of Laws (LLM) are offered to eligible candidates already holding the first law degree (JD or LLB or equivalent). Candidates for the LLM in Admiralty must fulfill the General Degree Requirements and must also complete at least 13 of the 24 credits required for the degree in admiralty courses.
  • Certificate of Specialization in Maritime/Admiralty Law: Candidates may use a portion of their elective hours during the second and third years of law school to obtain the Certificate of Specialization in Maritime Law. Students must complete and pass Admiralty I and Admiralty II, plus three additional full-semester admiralty courses, for a total of 12 credit hours. At least 35 students each year pursue this option and receive a certificate at graduation.

Courses Offered

  • Admiralty I
  • Admiralty II
  • Carriage of Goods by Sea
  • Charter Parties
  • Collision Law & Limitation of Liability
  • Marine Insurance I
  • Marine Insurance II
  • Marine Pollution
  • Personal Injury & Death
  • Regulation of Shipping & Commerce
  • Tugs & Towage
  • Vessel Documentation & Finance

Mini Courses Offered

Many of these courses are taught by admiralty practitioners in New Orleans. Apart from these courses, there is usually at least one one credit mini course taught per year. Recently offered courses include:

  • Advanced Marine Insurance
  • International Carriage of Goods
  • International Conflicts of Maritime Law
  • International Marine Pollution
  • International Maritime Conventions, Safety at Sea Regulations and their Impact on Private Maritime Law
  • Law of Maritime Salvage
  • Maritime Liens & Claims
  • Maritime Legal History
  • Maritime and National Security
  • Maritime Salvage & the Marine Environment
  • Ocean & Coastal Law


Tulane Law School is especially well situated to offer its students specialized study in admiralty and maritime law. New Orleans and its environs constitute one of the largest ports in the world, and the second largest admiralty bar in the United States. Tulane regularly offers 15 semester-long admiralty and maritime law courses, and at least two specialized mini-courses in the field each year. Two full-time Tulane faculty members teach in this area, as well as adjunct faculty from New Orleans' distinguished admiralty bar. In addition, prominent scholars and practitioners from the US and abroad visit Tulane each year to give lectures and teach month-long courses. These include visitors from Canada, Norway, England, Italy, and Israel.

  • Campus: The Law School is located on the main campus of Tulane University in New Orleans. Located in the heart of Uptown New Orleans, the University campus faces historic St. Charles Avenue, directly across from Audubon Park. St. Charles Avenue is lined with the beautiful architecture for which New Orleans is renowned.
  • Accreditation: Tulane Law School has been accredited by the American Bar Association since May 1925. Tulane University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, doctorate, and professional degrees.
  • Maritime Law: Maritime law is among the oldest branches of law. In every country in which maritime law exists, it is treated as a separate and distinct area of the law. In general terms, maritime law concerns events and transactions that occur on navigable waters, whether they be the vast oceans, gulfs, or inland waterways. Although initially concerned with maritime commerce, the body of law has expanded to address contemporary issues such as those involving the environment and the widespread use of recreational vessels.
  • Externship & Summer Position: A maritime law externship with the Office of the Administrative Law Judge of the US Department of Labor in one of the prominent feature of the program. In addition a summer position with the Center for Seafarers’ Rights in New York is also arranged.
  • Career Services: The career services program drawing law firms from throughout the United States to interview Tulane students trained in admiralty is conducted for the benefits of the students.
  • Admiralty Faculty: In recent years, Tulane has hosted professors from McGill University in Montreal, the University of Oslo in Norway, Abo Akademi University in Finland, the University of Southampton in England, Dalhousie University in Canada, University of Siena in Italy, and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In addition, senior practitioners and barristers from New York and London have taught at Tulane, as has an in-house counsel from a giant French oil company based in Paris. Also the school hosts visiting research scholars from Australia, the People’s Republic of China, Finland, Croatia, South Africa and Venezuela.
  • John W. Sims Distinguished Admiralty Practitioner in Residence Program: This program brings a distinguished admiralty practitioner or an individual involved in the shipping or marine insurance industry to Tulane Law School to lecture and exchange ideas with students and faculty. In recent years, senior admiralty practitioners and officers of the Maritime Law Association, from prominent firms in Baltimore, San Francisco, New York, and Jacksonville have come to Tulane through the Sims program.
  • Maritime Law Society : The Maritime Law Society is an active student organization at Tulane, arranging field trips to maritime industry sites and speaker programs on campus. Scholarships and awards dedicated to the maritime program have been created. The LLM in Admiralty brings as many as 20 lawyers to Tulane each year to pursue advanced study in maritime law, many from abroad. Continuing legal education programs and conferences, including the biennial Admiralty Law Institute, bring hundreds of practitioners to New Orleans and to Tulane each year, providing valuable networking opportunities for students.