The discipline was established in 1959, ,the discipline students for master's degree have been educated since 1979.In 2000the disciplinebecame the key discipline of Shanghai. Then in 2000,the discipline of law was listed outstanding discipline of Shanghai Educational Commission. The Institute of Maritime Law, Shanghai Maritime University, established in 2000 and in 2007 it identified as Shanghai humanities and social sciences key research base. The School offers master's degree in international Law(Maritime Law), economic law, civil and commercial law, procedural law，criminal law，environment and resources protection law.
There are academic groups, consisting of 11 professors, and 16 associate professors. The teaching staff were 26 with Ph.D. and they make great efforts to settle theoretical and practical problems in order to establish Chinese maritime law system and to deal with maritime affairs in China. The main research tasks of the school of law include: object of study of maritime law; drawing special provisions of maritime law, search of safety of maritime affairs, research of sea law, research of marine insurance law, economic liability and legal questions of international multi-modal transportation and so on.
To make the graduates competitive, adaptable and knowledgeable in their future legal practice (as is needed by the burgeoning society), the law school attaches great significance to applying theories into practice in both teaching and learning, and strives to integrate legal knowledge with knowledge of other disciplines.