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Charleston, South Carolina is a high-volume, expanding port. The Charleston School of Law is located in the historic peninsula of the city within view of eighteenth-century church spires and the busy waterfront. By combining both historic preservation and vital maritime commerce, Charleston is the perfect place for this program.

The primary objective of our program is to bring students together with the most experienced practitioners, judges, and professors in a broad range of admiralty law specialties, and with the non-lawyer maritime professionals that make our port such a success.

The Charleston School of Law begins to review files as they are completed and continues to review files until all seats in the program are filled. The application deadline for the LL.M. program is June 1 for fall admission. An application to the Charleston School of Law LL.M. program requires the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • J.D. from an ABA-approved law school, except for international students.
  • International applicants with law degrees from schools outside the United States must obtain the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to ensure that the degree-granting school is the equivalent of an ABA accredited school.
  • Completed and signed application for admission. Applications are available at LSAC.org.
  • LSAC LL.M. Credential Assembly Service (LL.M. CAS) Law School Report. Registration for the LL.M. CAS is available at LSAC.org.
  • A minimum of two letters of recommendation, at least one from a law faculty member, a lawyer, or a judge. Applicants should use the LSAC Letter of Recommendation (LOR) service.
  • Personal statement.
  • Current résumé.
  • Transcripts from all undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools attended. Transcripts from the degree-granting institution(s) must indicate the degree(s) earned and date conferred. All transcripts should be submitted by the school(s) directly to LSAC.

For more information on the program, download the full academic catalog.

Applicants should be aware that competency in English is critical to success in the LL.M. program at the Charleston School of Law, and that demonstrated fluency in English is an important consideration in evaluating applications.

International applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English by completing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) within two years prior to submitting the application. For information and questions about the TOEFL, please contact Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Applicants should arrange to take the TOEFL at the earliest possible date in order to ensure that their application is completed by the deadline. Please request that official scores be sent directly to the Charleston School of Law.

Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, The Charleston School of Law is mandated to issue an Annual Campus Security Report outlining School of Law security policies and reporting campus crime statistics. The report may be found online here.


The degree requires 24 credit hours, which may be completed in one academic year. Tuition for the most recent year was $30,000 per year. Tuition for the upcoming year has not yet been set. For information about financial aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid by phone, 843.377.1102 or email, financialaid@CharlestonLaw.edu.

Courses that may be offered include: Admiralty I, Admiralty II, International Ocean Carriage & Payment Systems, Law of the Sea, Marine Collision & Limitation of Liability, Seminar on Multi-modal Transport of Goods, Marine Insurance, Seminar on Marine Insurance, Seminar on Personal Injury & Death Litigation, Specialist Seminar on Supervised Research, Salvage & Maritime Cultural Heritage, Tug, Tow and Pilot, Marine Environmental & Pollution Law, U.S. Maritime Policy, U.S. Maritime Regulation, International Business Transactions, Maritime Liens & Mortgages, Charter Parties, Advanced Marine Insurance and Law of Coast Guard Operations.


The LL.M. program also benefits from the Francis Drake Admiralty American Inn of Court. The charter was awarded by the American Inns of Court on September 20, 2011. The School of Law’s Inn of Court is the only one dedicated to the subject of admiralty and maritime law, and it will serve as an important source of mentoring for the students in the LL.M. Program. Maritime lawyers and student make up membership of the Inn.

The Charleston Maritime Law Institute was established in 2004 and serves as an advisory council with regular meetings to support the Admiralty and Maritime Law LL.M. program. This group includes senior maritime lawyers from law firms around the country, chief counsels to major maritime industries, as well as senior State Ports Authority officials and industry leaders from Charleston. With the support of these outstanding people, we conduct trips to the various port facilities to permit our students to see the subjects of their studies in action, from port direction and management to the movement of cargo and vessels.


It is important to familiarize yourself with the requirements for admission to any jurisdictions where you intend to practice. Each jurisdiction is different, and may require you to take steps during law school to be eligible for admission.

Foreign educated LL.M. students should be familiar with the state in which they intend to practice and investigate whether the Charleston School of Law’s LL.M. program qualifies for bar admittance.

More information can be found on the National Conference of Bar Examiners website at ncbex.org. In addition, please review the bar admission websites of any jurisdiction in which you may seek to practice in the future.