Second- and third-year students at the School of Law are eligible to begin developing a specialty in the field of ocean and coastal law. Students who satisfactorily complete one of three programs will receive an Ocean and Coastal Law Statement of Completion signed by the dean of the School of Law and the director of the Ocean and Coastal Law Center. A statement of completion may be obtained through one of the following programs:
The Center sponsors a small research assistant program (three to four students per year) to provide multifaceted education and training for second- and third-year law students in the field of ocean and coastal law. To obtain the statement of completion, a Center research assistant must spend at least one academic year doing ocean and coastal law research work and write an academic research paper of high professional quality concerning an ocean or coastal law topic approved in advance by the Center director.
The Ocean and Coastal Law Center helps University of Oregon law students pursue graduate student fellowships in marine law and policy, including the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship sponsored by the National Sea Grant College Program and various legislative and resource fellowships sponsored by Oregon Sea Grant. Law students may earn the statement of completion by serving as a marine law or policy fellow in a state or federal fellowship program for at least one semester.
Satisfactory completion of two marine law courses and any combination of relevant courses and seminars totaling at least nine credit hours leads to the granting of the statement of completion.
The demand for professional ocean law services is a present and future reality. Certainly many federal, state, and private legal offices have recognized this reality. There are, in addition, a number of businesses and other private organizations that associate themselves, directly or indirectly, with ocean and coastal resources. These organizations, and the law firms that serve them, also need the assistance of lawyers who have focused on the intricacies of ocean and coastal law.
Together with the law school’s Career Center, the Ocean and Coastal Law Center assists the recipients of the statement of completion and other interested law students in finding positions with governmental agencies, law firms, and businesses where professional training in ocean and coastal law is of value. There is much competition for such positions, and successful placement consequently cannot be ensured. However, the educational emphasis represented by the statement of completion has often provided a significant advantage for those who have earned it.