If you’ve been wondering how items are generally transported from the countries where they are made to countries where they are sold, or how your faulty imported items got back to the place you bought them from, the answer is most likely that they were transported through shipping. Shipping is a major means of transportation for global trade but it is further categorized into two forms. These are wet shipping and dry shipping.
Wet shipping deals with issues which may occur while a ship is on the sea, while dry shipping focuses more on matters such as charter agreements, funding, and infrastructure of harbors for ships, commerce, cargo claims, among many others.
As you must have already noticed, shipping is quite a crucial part of any country’s economy, and this is where Shipping Law comes into play.
Maritime/Shipping Law Defined
Shipping Law, as it is called in the United Kingdom is also known as Maritime Law (sometimes Admiralty Law) in the United States. It is the body of rules that controls all the processes involved in shipping. While they (maritime/shipping law) are mostly the same, Maritime Law may deal more with conventions and international treaties that make up national laws.
If you are looking to take up a career in Maritime/Shipping Law, you must have undergone an L.L.B undergraduate program. This gives you the necessary background knowledge and certifications in the legal sector. In addition, a course or two in commercial law at the undergraduate level will also add to your knowledge of both domestic and international trade.
Then, an L.L.M (Masters) program in Maritime Law will provide you with an in-depth understanding of all activities in the field. Furthermore, working as a volunteer or a junior lawyer in firms or organisations that specialize in Maritime Law will provide crucial training and valuable work experience which will be useful in starting a career in the field. It is quite important to build on such experiences as they open doors for huge opportunities in your career.
Responsibilities of Maritime/Shipping Lawyers
The responsibilities of a Shipping or Maritime Lawyer will include:
- Negotiating agreements.
- Reviewing and drafting legal documents such as contracts.
- Interviewing witnesses.
- Handling lawsuits involving personal injury to individuals or companies.
Important Skills for Maritime/Shipping Lawyers
As a Shipping/Maritime lawyer, you need to be aware of and be knowledgeable about the shipping industry of your country. Equally, you’ll have to understand its roles in international trade. These give you an edge when it comes to overseas trading and transportation.
Also, good communication skills are just as important as the ability to think critically and analyse technical information. These skills work hand-in-hand and are in high demand. Most employers will also be on the look-out for candidates who have had some level of work experience before they offer full employment.
Shipping/Maritime Lawyers usually work in government agencies, insurance companies, international corporations and companies dealing with sea transport. Also, private individuals employ them for defence purposes whenever claims involving loss of property or personal injury arise. Shipping /Maritime lawyers mostly live in areas surrounded by water, as these are places where their services are most likely required.
The estimated median salary for Shipping / Maritime is about $115,820. However, income will differ based on the company and your roles generally.
Education for Maritime/Shipping Lawyers
Standard and accredited universities that offer L.L.M programs in Maritime Law include:
- Swansea University, U.K
- University of Southampton, U.K
- University of Nottingham, U.K
- City University of London, U.K
- Tulane University, U.S
- National University of Singapore, Singapore
- University of Oslo, Norway
- University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa
- Dalhousie University, Canada
- International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI), Malta
Meanwhile, you should check Intellectual Property Law and Notable Careers in the Legal Sector For other interesting careers in the legal sector. There are so many lucrative careers in the field. One should be your calling.
Don’t waste another second wondering, contact us right away for proper counselling on how to become a Maritime or Shipping Lawyer. We’ll be glad to help!