Women & the Law

Elsbeth Magilton

Elsbeth Magilton Lecturer, Director of Externships

Elsbeth Magilton is the Director of Externships and a Lecturer at the University of Nebraska College of Law. As part of the Space, Cyber, and National Security Law Program, Elsbeth teaches U.S. Space Law and Policy and was a 2023-2024 Scowcroft National Security Fellow at the Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense in the U.S. Air Force Academy. She has served as a faculty mentor to the U.S. Strategic Command Fellows program at the University of Nebraska-Omaha since 2022, and is also a faculty researcher at the Nebraska Deterrence Lab (NDL). NDL conducts research on multi-actor deterrence, multi-actor quantitative risk, and decision-making for private, public, and defense sectors. In September 2018 Elsbeth’s team received a major NASA Space Law pilot-program grant to create a nationwide network of students, faculty, and practitioners interested in space law and policy. She is member of the “SPACE²” University of Nebraska Grand Challenges Team, whose vision is for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to grow the first acre of corn on Mars’ soil.

Elsbeth was a 2023 TEDx speaker, has keynoted multiple conferences, spoke at SXSW in 2021, and speaks internationally on space topics and education. 

In addition to her interest in space law and technology, Elsbeth specializes in experiential legal education and practical workforce development. In 2022 Elsbeth was named a “NExt Pioneer” fellow with the Nebraska Tech Collaborative – a workforce initiative examining tech talent retention in the Midwest. In September 2022 she was appointed to her present position as the Director of Externships at Nebraska Law. As the program’s inaugural Director she developed a new experiential learning curriculum for law students in field placements outside the college, and teaches the general externship course, the nonprofit board service course, and ‘Public Speaking for Attorneys’ classes.

Magilton is part of the U.S. State Department Speaker’s Program under the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Under that program she most recently visited the Digital Learning Hub and Women In Digital Empowerment groups in Luxembourg, discussing experiential education and workforce development. She also facilitated a roundtable discussion for the UzSpace agency and the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent on Uzbekistan’s commercial and governmental space interests, and gave series of lectures for the New Zealand and Australian Space Council on behalf of the U.S. Consulate in Auckland, New Zealand. Elsbeth is a member of the American Society of International Law and served as the Co-Chair (2020-2021) for the Space Law Interest Group. She is also a member of the Legal Expert Pool for the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats.

Elsbeth previously served (2021-2023) as the board president for Girls Code Lincoln, a nonprofit organization striving to ignite passion for technology and leadership in 4th-9th grade students. She also is a member of the Advisory Board for the Branched Oak Observatory, an outdoor and indoor (open-roof) sky park supported by science education professionals and astronomy enthusiasts. Elsbeth is also a Lincoln Public Schools volunteer and a Girl Scout Troop Co-Leader. She would almost always rather be outside making art or building robots.

Elsbeth received her B.A., cum laude, from Doane University in 2008 in graphic design. After starting her career in web development, Elsbeth shifted into technology policy during law school. She earned her J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law and received a concentration in Cyberlaw. During law school Elsbeth also attended the William and Mary College of Law, working with the Center for Legal and Court Technology.

Personally, Elsbeth enjoys being a parent, reading, and gaming. She is married to a concert and event chef who has fed musicians and athletes around the country.

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