J.S.D Space Law

This is a European-style doctoral degree for students wanting to do advanced research in Space Law and to produce a book-length thesis on a Space Law topic, and breaks new ground as the only doctoral-level space law program in the United States. The University of Nebraska College of law is the only law school in the United States offering this degree.

Students in Space Law

Research-focused and dissertation-based, the J.S.D. program requires students to write a book-length thesis about an aspect of space law. The degree broadens opportunities for experienced lawyers and legal scholars to delve into the very intricate and complex issues facing the regulation of outer space activities in an in-depth manner. The expectation of the program is that upon completion, the dissertation will be published as a book.

Application Requirements

Apply to this Program

The Applicant must submit a detailed and specific research proposal and must obtain the agreement of a member of the space, cyber, and telecommunications law faculty to review and potentially supervise the doctoral dissertation. Proposals should be 3 to 6 pages long with a one-page table of contents. It should describe the precise issue to be addressed, the importance of that issue, and the relevant laws to be discussed.

The Applicant must hold a JD or LL.M. from an ABA-accredited American Law School; a PhD on a related subject; or a comparable Master of Laws or LL.M. degree from an international institution. The Applicant must submit certified transcripts verifying these degrees. Waiver of this requirement will be possible but very rare.

A proven expertise and/or educational background in Space Law (for example, professional positions, LL.M., specialization in a J.D. program, publications on space law in reputable journals, participation in a reputable space law moot court, etc.) presented via resume or curriculum vitae.

2 Letters of Recommendation from individuals who are familiar with the Applicant’s academic work and potential to succeed in the program. The letters of recommendation must be written in English.

Applicants from non-English speaking countries must submit a TOEFL score of 100 internet-based or 250 computer-based or 600-603 paper-based.

Applicants must apply through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) online J.S.D application.

Applicants must pay a $50 Processing Fee

Deadlines

We are always accepting applications. However, for international students, due to visa timetables, we can not guarantee a fall semester start if an application is not received by March 15.

Faculty

Professor Frans von der Dunk, the Harvey & Susan Perlman Alumni and Othmer Professor of Law, will supervise most of the J.S.D. students.

Professor Matthew Schaefer, Law Alumni Professor of Law, and Director of the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Program, may also supervise students and provide support, along with Professor Jack Beard.

Finances

J.S.D. students pay a total of $30,000 for tuition and fees. This cost is spread out over the first four semesters, although students may take six semesters to complete the program without penalty.

International and Distance

The J.S.D. program is open to international and distance students. The program may be completed remotely. Nonresident students are required to visit the Law College during the first month of their starting semester for a minimum of one week. Students will return to Nebraska Law at the end of their program for their Dissertation Defense.

Students from a non-English speaking country must submit a TOEFL score of at least 100 internet based, 250 computer based, and 600-603 paper based.

Contact

Elsbeth Magilton Executive Director of Space, Cyber, & Telecom Law Programs and U.S. Legal Studies LL.M. Program

Elsbeth Magilton received her B.A., cum laude, from Doane College in 2008. She earned her J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law and received a concentration in Cyberlaw. Elsbeth also studied at the William and Mary College of Law Center for Legal and Court Technology in Summer 2010. Her focus areas included commercial space law and policy, cybercrime, electronic privacy, telecommunications and broadband policy, and electronic discovery issues.

Read more about Elsbeth Magilton