Marine Affairs Institute

Our Mission: Training the next generation of marine law professionals.

The Marine Affairs Institute at Roger Williams University School of Law is a partnership of the law school, the University of Rhode Island, and Rhode Island Sea Grant.  The Marine Affairs Institute is also home to the Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program.  The Marine Affairs Institute/Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program prepares law students to enter the exciting field of ocean and coastal law and policy by providing them with strong academic credentials and practical experiences that help them be practice-ready upon graduation. The Marine Affairs Institute offers a wide variety of opportunities for students, including:

  • Rigorous and diverse maritime and natural resources law courses.
  • Experiential learning and externships.
  • Extracurricular opportunities to develop excellent research, writing, and advocacy skills.
  • Opportunities for professional engagement through workshops and symposia that convene local, regional, national and international experts in a neutral forum to address relevant maritime and marine law issues.
  • Leveraging unique institutional strengths and interdisciplinary approaches of our partners, Rhode Island Sea Grant and the University of Rhode Island.

Through the partnership with the University of Rhode Island, students can obtain their J.D. at the law school and their Master of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island in just three and a half years. Through the partnership with Rhode Island Sea Grant, law students can participate in the Rhode Island Sea Grant Law Fellow Program, an experiential education program that matches second and third-year law students with outside organizations seeking assistance with marine law or policy questions.

Joint Degree

Joint Degree with URI

The Juris Doctor/Master of Marine Affairs builds upon the comprehensive base of marine law and policy courses offered at the School of Law and University of Rhode Island Department of Marine Affairs. In this program, students enhance their legal education and are positioned to holistically address today’s complex maritime, ocean and coastal legal issues.

Learn About Our Joint Degree Program
Sea Grant

Rhode Island Sea Grant Law Fellow Program

Law students selected as Rhode Island Sea Grant Law Fellows conduct legal research and analysis on behalf of outside organizations on real-world issues in ocean and coastal law .

Become A Sea Grant Law Fellow
Academic Experience

Academic Experience

With courses taught by both tenure and adjunct faculty, the Marine Affairs Institute offers students a wide variety of academic experiences during their time at RWU Law.

Learn About the Academic Experience

Research and Outreach

Our research focuses on timely legal and policy issues raised by the development and use of the oceans and coastal zones.

See our Research
colorful container ship coursing through the ocean waves

Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce

The Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce (JMLC) is a scholarly publication devoted to all aspects of admiralty and maritime law.

As of January 1, 2021, the JMLC is under new ownership at the Roger Williams University School of Law. 

The Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce
Post Graduate Experience

Post-Graduate Opportunities

The Marine Affairs Institute prepares students to become professionals in the field of ocean and coastal law. Many are working for the federal government, state government, private law firms, non-government organizations, academia, and have received prestigious post-graduate fellowships. 

Learn About Post-Graduate Opportunities
Nick Battista L'08, RWU Law alumnus

Utilizing Legal Expertise to Positively Impact Coastal Communities

Nick Battista, RWU Law Class of 2008 Juris Doctor

Nick Battista is quick to connect the success he’s having now with all he learned at Roger Williams University School of Law—success that has helped him to have a significant impact on the vulnerable communities of Maine.

Read full story

Marine Affairs News

Marine Affairs Institute Staff