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
Newport

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
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
Headshot of Read Porter

Marine Expertise

Read Porter, Senior Staff Attorney, Marine Affairs Institute & RI Sea Grant Legal Program Juris Doctor

Read Porter is senior staff attorney with the Marine Affairs Institute at Roger Williams University School of Law and the Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program. Read directs the Sea Grant Law Fellow Program, an experiential education program in which RWU law students conduct legal research on behalf of outside organizations.

Read full story

Marine Affairs News

  • New Faculty for Fall '18

    In the coming academic year, Associate Professors Tara I. Allen and Christopher J. Ryan, Jr., will bring fresh expertise to RWU's world-class faculty.

  • ‘Force Multipliers’

    RWU Law students gain legal experience helping low-income tenants avoid eviction, while also forging longer-term solutions to Rhode Island’s ongoing housing crisis

Marine Affairs Institute Staff