Maritime Law

Navigate the Laws of the Sea in the Cruise Capital of the World  

Maritime Law combines federal and international laws which govern contracts, offenses, and injuries occurring on, in, or near navigable waters. Our students explore admiralty law, coastal law, international law, and law of the sea and can delve deeper by pursuing an LL.M. in Maritime Law. Students have a unique opportunity to learn from renowned faculty and local maritime legal experts and benefit from our strategic location in Miami, the global headquarters of Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean cruise lines. PortMiami, the busiest cruise port in the world, is minutes away from our campus. With more recreational boats registered here than any other state, Florida is the ideal location to study Maritime Law.

Some Facts about Miami and Miami Law:

  • Professor Bernard H. Oxman is the only American lawyer ever appointed to serve as judge ad hoc before both the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg, Germany and at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlands.
  • The LL.M. in Maritime Law one of four programs of its kind in the country and the only one in the state of Florida.
  • PortMiami, known as "Cruise Capital of the World,” is the busiest cruise port in the world in both passenger traffic and cruise lines and FL seaports account for the largest tonnage of cargo than any other state.
  • Miami Law achieved one of the top 10 highest scores in 2020 the 21st annual International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot.
  • Florida has more recreational boats registered than all other 50 states combined.
  • Miami Law was chosen to host the Maritime Law Association of the U.S.

Tanner StiehlWhile I was in American Samoa [in the Coast Guard], I really grasped the gravity of how important commercial shipping was to the global economy. It made the decision to go to UM, where I could chase my dream of becoming a maritime lawyer, the easiest decision I have ever made.”

Tanner Stiehl, J.D./LL.M. ’21 in Maritime Law
Staff Attorney, U.S. Coast Guard
Miami, FL


  • Administrative Law
  • Admiralty Law
  • Coastal Law
  • Comparative Admiralty and Maritime Law
  • Conservation, Tourism, and Development
  • Crimes at Sea
  • International Law
  • Law of the Sea
  • Legal Environment of the Cruise Industry
  • Legal Protection of the Ocean and Its Biodiversity
  • Legislation
  • Marine Ecology and the Law
  • Marine Insurance
  • Maritime and Coastal Legal and Policy Issues in Miami
  • Maritime Arbitration
  • Maritime Personal Injury
  • Piracy, Terrorism, and Drug Smuggling in the
  • Maritime Domain
  • Port Safety and Security
  • Practical Skills for Lawyers
  • Principles of Legal Analysis
  • Professional Responsibility for US and Multinational Practice
  • Regulatory Compliance, Corporate Governance, and Sustainability
  • Taxation of Shipping
  • The Supreme Court and Admiralty

*Course list is not exhaustive and does not set out a path of study.

Jenna Gushue"I always loved the marine sciences but it wasn't until I came to law school here that I realize that I could incorporate that into a career in law," Gushue said. "I found myself taking courses that were based on my interest in marine science, and marine life generally. By the time I reached my 3L year, I had already taken all of the courses geared toward the Masters degree. It just made sense that my interests led me to pursue this degree."

Jenna Gushue, J.D./LL.M. '13 in Maritime Law
Assistant General Counsel,  XO Holding Inc.

float: left; margin-right: 20px; margin bottom: 20px;I realized that the impact of what I was doing on the ocean depended heavily on what happens in the courtroom while the smugglers are on trial. If the attorney does not have a strong case, the smugglers are just going back to trafficking, and we do it all over again. I wanted to be a part of the process at the next level; ensuring that the smugglers are held accountable."

Brian Sattler, J.D./LL.M. in Maritime Law ‘16
Enforcement Division Chief, U.S. Coast Guard
Los Angeles, CA

International Opportunities

Law students at Port of Miami(Pictured: Miami Law students with law students from Colombia at the Port of Miami.)

  • Cali, Colombia - Maritime and Coastal Legal and Policy Issues Exchange Course with Pontifica Universidad Javeriana
  • Perth, Australia - Murdoch University Australia’s International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot Competition

International Moot Court Program - The only one of its kind in the U.S., Miami Law offers a unique and comprehensive program in which students travel and compete, in Spanish and English, in competitions around the world. Some have included:

  • International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot Competition
  • Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition

Extracurricular Opportunities

  • Business Law Society
  • Charles C. Papy, Jr. Moot Court Board
  • International Arbitration Society
  • International Law Society
  • Maritime Law Society
  • Military and National Security Law Society
  • Trial Team

Faculty Experts

  • Raúl J. Chacón Jr. is a partner with the Miami office of Manning Gross + Massenburg LLP.  Chacón’s practice focuses primarily on defense of clients in a variety of marine matters, which involve personal injury, products liability, premises liability, and commercial litigation issues.
  • Michael Karcher practices in the areas of admiralty and maritime law, specializing in recreational yachts, marine environmental law and insurance issues.

Bernard OxmanThe sea is a large common area used for many purposes by nations that have to get along with each other. It is not a matter of anarchy – simply a different system than the territorial principle on land.”

Professor Bernard H. Oxman
Richard A. Hausler Professor of Law
Director,  Maritime Law LL.M. Program


  • Bernard H. Oxman is one of the world's top experts on the laws of the sea.
  • Robert E. Rosen teaches The Legal Environment of the Cruise Industry.
  • Daniel Suman's research focuses on coastal management in Latin America, planning and enforcement in Marine Protected Areas, and public participation in environmental planning.

Denise KreppI owe a lot of my success to Miami Law, I wanted a law school with an international curriculum and environment. The diversity of the Miami Law community, with students from Central and South America, Cuba, and other islands, made law school a very broadening experience.

Denise Krepp, J.D. ‘98
Director’s Action Group, Naval History and Heritage Command
Washington, D.C.

Internships and Externships**

  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Foreman Friedman, PA.
  • Horr, Novak & Skipp, P.A.
  • Oceana 
  • Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line
  • Svitzer
  • U.S. Coast Guard 7th District Legal Office
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Crimes Section (Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Enforcement Section (Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resource Division (Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration-MARAD (Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-EPA (Washington, DC)
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Washington, DC)

**List is not exhaustive and is intended to provide examples of past externships and internships.

Conferences, Lectures, Schools

Keith C. Wold Maritime Law LL.M. Program Teaching Fund -  This fund allows Miami Law to bring in the most renowned experts in the fields of international law and law of the sea to lecture. In February 2020, International and humanitarian law expert Claudio M. Grossman presented the lecture, “The Obligation to Negotiate Access to the Pacific Ocean: The Decision of the International Court of Justice in the case between Bolivia and Chile."

boat docking(Pictured) Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) - The renowned expertise of RSMAS graduate school provides added opportunities to law students wishing to do a joint degree or take courses through the School. As one of the leading academic oceanographic and atmospheric research institutions in the world, the School's basic and applied research interests encompass virtually all marine-related sciences.

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