Sir Francis Drake American Inn of Court

About the Drake Inn

Charleston, South Carolina is a city with a rich maritime heritage and a vibrant present-day maritime economy. Over the past three centuries, it has produced a global network of legal professionals with relationships to admiralty lawyers and judges alike. It is the combination of these factors that inspired the Charleston School of Law and the Charleston Maritime Law Institute to create the Sir Francis Drake Admiralty Inn of Court, the only Inn in the United States of America dedicated to Admiralty and Maritime Law.

Francis Drake was chosen as the namesake of this Inn because he was a legendary mariner and a member of the Middle Temple Inn of Court. After earning lasting fame by circumnavigating the globe on a voyage from December 13, 1577 until September 26, 1585, Drake returned to England after a successful campaign in 1586. On his return home, he promptly renewed his friendship with his lawyer companions by attending a dinner party at the Middle Temple.

On September 20, 2011, Justice Donald W. Lemons, a Justice on the Virginia Supreme Court and President of the American Inns of Court, presented the official charter to the members of the Drake Inn. Attorney Ed Mullins, a member of the Inn of Court Foundation Board, also spoke to the members of the Drake Inn and congratulated them on becoming members of the chartered International Society. Following this meeting with the Drake Inn, Justice Lemons traveled to London, England to meet with the Middle Temple. For more information, please visit

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