As I am coming out of finals, graduating from law school, and staring the Bar exam dead in the eye, I am fascinated by this article on Res Communis about the first law student to graduate with a specialty in space law. It should come as no surprise that I'm planning a career in transnational law but I take my hat off to anyone that is planning a career in space law-- that is just too international and out-of-this-world cool! I'll admit it, I'm jealous!
The University of Mississippi Law School is the only ABA-accredited law school in the nation with a program specializing in space law. This spring law student Michael Dodge will be the first law student in the history of U.S. jurisprudence to graduate with this unique distinction. Requirements to earn the certificate include courses on U.S. space and aviation law, international space and aviation law, and remote sensing; as well as participation in the publication of the Journal of Space Law and independent research.
Law Dean Samuel M. Davis said, "We are particularly proud to be offering these space law certificates for the first time, since ours is the only program of its kind in the U.S. and only one of two in North America."
According to the article, Dodge said his interest in space law stems from a fascination with space exploration that began when he was a young child, so when he started law school, his interest in space was based mostly on science and history.
"Once I came to the law school, I read that there was an attorney here that specialized in space law," he said. "After that, I became curious as to why space needed regulation, and how legal regimes could be constructed to govern such an expanse. After meeting Professor (Joanne) Gabrynowicz, my curiosity only grew, and ever since, I have been dedicated to researching legal issues associated with humankind’s utilization of space."
While most major law schools are just recently overhauling their programs to focus on transnational law (or what they call "international" law), Ole Miss is taking the lead on what I'm sure will prove to be a very important field of law in the very near future.