A maritime lawyer will require particular knowledge and education in the industry of admiralty and maritime law. It requires a distinct specialization that covers most activities taking place on waters. However, the maritime law also covers activities taking place on land, but have maritime characteristics, such as loading ships.
What a maritime lawyer does
A maritime lawyer may have to deal with personal injury cases, as well as wrongful death cases. Federal law normally handles these claims. After all, workers’ compensation laws don’t apply on waters, but only on land. Negligence is quite diversified in maritime law and may be related to the ship-owner or an employee.
However, the maritime law may also be business related, as there are numerous cases involving misunderstandings or discrepancies in how ships are run or the way their owners do business. In other words, this specialization grabs a little from a few other areas.
How to become a maritime lawyer
Becoming a maritime attorney involves going through a few steps. Getting an undergraduate degree is the first one. It doesn’t have to be related to law, but it would help. The next step is to pass the test and join a law school. Once in the law school, there are multiple specializations and one of them relates to the maritime law – everything an aspirant needs to learn, as well as all the potential situations and scenarios. Additional courses are not mandatory, but they’ll certainly help in the process – marine insurance, pollution, admiralty law, international law or injured employee compensation, among many others.
Pros and cons of being a maritime lawyer
One of the main benefits of being a maritime injury lawyer is the possibility to travel. It’s not a general rule, but chances are you will take a few boat trips every once in a while, depending on your cases. You get to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds too.
On a negative note, maritime law cases might take years. Some of them are small and easy to deal with, while others involve large corporations. In terms of injuries, you’ll need to be able to deal with people’s emotions as well.
Salaries of maritime lawyers
Most graduates end up working for maritime law firms for obvious reasons – constant work and a stable income. Working as a self-employed will bring in a higher income per case, yet work is not regular. All in all, a maritime lawyer will make an average of $75,000 a year. Different cases bring in different amounts of money. Some lawyers might go up to $150,000 a year including bonuses, while others can go well under the average.
As a short final conclusion, maritime law is quite diversified. It’s a distinct specialization that might look like a mix of other specializations. In terms of job security, it’s worth noting that accidents do happen – small accidents are more popular, like personal injuries. At the same time, lawyers living in cities located on a coast or a river are more likely to have continuity in work.