On October 15, 1968, a meeting was held at the Grand Hotel at Point Clear, Alabama, for the purpose of organizing an Admiralty Law Institute to provide a forum for the discussion of admiralty and maritime law, and its practice and administration, among practitioners in the ports of the Southeastern United States.

Mr. Edward T. Brennan of Savannah, Georgia, was elected chairman of the meeting and was subsequently elected Chairman of the Board of Governors of the organization.

The meeting adopted the name of Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute.

Regular membership in the organization is limited to attorneys admitted to practice in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Maryland, who are interested in the practice of admiralty law. Attorneys from other states are eligible for non-resident membership, and any citizen of the United States who is not an attorney but who is engaged in a maritime or maritime-related occupation or activity is eligible for associate membership.

The Institute currently has 558 Regular Members, 23 Associate Members, 25 Non-Resident Members and 1 Honorary Member.

The By-Laws were adopted in October 1976 that included expansion of the organization by adding Virginia and Texas.