Elsbeth Magilton

Elsbeth Magilton Director of Externships, ADJUNCT LAW PROFESSOR, and Executive Director of Space, Cyber, and Telecom Law

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Elsbeth Magilton is an attorney and educator serving as the Director of Externships and the Executive Director of the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law programs at the University of Nebraska College of Law. She formerly served as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center, an interdisciplinary research center combining law, engineering, business, and journalism. Elsbeth speaks internationally on space law and representation in technology. She is a passionate academic leader with a background in building connections across industries and facilitating practical and experiential learning.

She has appeared at SXSW in 2021 and has been quoted in The Atlantic, The Verge, and a host of other regional publications. 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 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 tech 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 a lecture series for the New Zealand and Australian Space Council on behalf of the U.S. Consulate in Auckland, New Zealand.

In 2022 Elsbeth was named a “NExt Pioneer” fellow with the Nebraska Tech Collaborative – a workforce initiative examining tech talent retention in the Midwest. She is also a member of the Legal Expert Pool for the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats. Magilton sits on the editorial board for the U.S. Air Force Academy Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense Studies Journal. In September 2018 Elsbeth and Matt Schaefer 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.

Elsbeth is the board president for Girls Code Lincoln, a nonprofit organization striving to ignite passion for technology and leadership in 4th-9th grade students of underrepresented genders by hosting multi-week technology clubs. Elsbeth was the host of monthly Girls Code Lincoln Podcast, interviewing and profiling underrepresented people in technology each month throughout 2021-2022. She also sits on the Advisory Board for the Branched Oak Observatory, an outdoor and indoor (open-roof) sky park supported by science education professionals and astronomy enthusiasts. The observatory’s goal is simple: to share the wonders of the night sky with Eastern Nebraska. Elsbeth is also a Lincoln Public Schools volunteer and a Girl Scout Troop Co-Leader. She would almost always rather be outside or making art and building robots with kids.

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.

In 2021 Elsbeth was nominated for two Inspire Lincoln Awards in the Education and Large Business Categories. Run by the Lincoln Journal Star these community awards recognize women leaders and the impact they are making in the community

Personally, Elsbeth enjoys being a mother of two, reading, and hanging out with her chickens. She is married to a concert and event chef who has fed musicians and athletes around the country.


Field Placement (Externship) Course Law 792
The Field Placement (Externship) Class is the classroom components for Nebraska Law students completing field work and is required when registering for externship hours. The general course is designed to complement fieldwork, offering opportunities for thoughtful reflection about student experiences and to enhance and improve student skills.

Nonprofit Board Service Field Placement (Externship) Program Course Law 592
Second- and third-year law students should be encouraged to begin thinking about how lawyers lead others, including serving in their community. Many attorneys are asked to join non-profit boards, bringing their skills to these important organizations. This “course plus externship course” is an opportunity for students to learn about this type of service, engage with alumni, and reflect on how they can use their developing professional skills to benefit their community. In the Board Service Program law students who are in, or have taken, Nonprofit Organizations may extern on a nonprofit board of directors in a non-voting seat.


On-Orbit Satellite Servicing Standards Are a Necessity for the Private Space Industry.  American Bar Association Forum on Air and Space, Air and Space JournalSeptember, Volume 31, Number 3, 2018 Co-Authored with Danielle Miller.

Ready Party One: The History and Developing Role of Online Dispute Resolution Technology From VoIP to Virtual Reality  Penn State Arbitration Law Review, 2018

“Confidence in Contracting and Cutting Costs: Why Attorneys Need to Pay Attention to Blockchain Systems” reprinted with permission  SC Lawyer Magazine

“My Journey Preparing Women for Success in Tech and Space Policy.”  American Bar Association Law Practice Today, February 2018

Science and Strength: The History of the Relationship Between Civil and Military Space Organizations in the United States  presented and published in theproceedings of the 73rd International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Copyright ©2022 by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF)

US Department of Defense Commissioned Conference Report and Summary as part of a Task Order under FA4600-12-D-9000 under the University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) Engineering, Advanced Operational Law Conference (Principal Investigator and Editor)  U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs, November 2017

Diplomatic Impact in the Stars? A Review of the Impact of the Artemis Accords on Global Relationships  The Catholic University Journal of Law and Technology, Co-Authored with Josh Lee and Amelia Ruffolo

International Astronautical Congress 2019 Proceedings, IAF Education Symposium  “10 Years in Space Law: Lessons in Educating Post-Doctoral Students in Space Law"

Book Chapters

Wisconsin NASA Space Grant Consortium Annual Conference, Opening Plenary/Keynote, "Regulating the Final Frontier: The Role of Law in Innovative Space Activities" University of Wisconsin Platteville, August 15, 2019

CBS and Creation Entertainment Officially Licensed Star Trek Convention, invited academic guest, "Can Regulation Help Us Boldly Go? Real World Space Law Through a Star Trek Filter." Las Vegas Nevada, August 1, 2019

American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Annual Conference, Panelist, Distance and Online Education New Orleans, LA, January 4, 2019

U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services Agency, "Space Law and Supporting Women," Women's History Month Speaker March 27, 2019

2018 US Strategic Command Deterrence Symposium, Moderator of New Thinking on Deterrence and Academic Alliance Panel August 2, 2018

St. Mary's School of Law Women’s Law Association, Guest Lecturer, “Empowering Women to Bridge the Gap Between Law & Technology" St. Mary's School of Law, October 3, 2018

Kansas State University, Pre-Law Ambassadors, Guest Lecturer, "Space Law 101," Kansas State University, October 15, 2018

Newman University, Guest Lecturer, “The Practice of Cyber Law" Professor Kristi Edwards's Course, Social Sciences Department, Wichita Kansas, March 29, 2018

Newman University, Guest Lecturer, “Introduction to the Basic Tenets of Space Law” Bishop Gerber Science Center, Wichita Kansas, March 28, 2018

Doane University Business Law Class, Guest Speaker, “Space Law 101" Crete Nebraska, December 5, 2017

Seattle Museum of Flight Women in Aerospace Groups, Guest Speaker and Workshop Leader for the Women Who Launch and Seattle Space Gals, “Empowering Women to Bridge the Gap Between Law & Technology” Museum of Flight, Seattle Washington, January 9, 2018

Space Entrepreneurs Seattle Meet-Up Group, Guest Speaker, “Introduction to the Basic Tenants of Space Law" January 10, 2018

University of Missouri College of Law, Columbia, Guest Speaker, “Military Space and Cyber Policy: The DoD Perspective” Columbia Missouri, October 1, 2018

Asteroid Day at Mueller Planetarium, Featured Presenter (Recurring Event) June 29, 2017

Guest Speaker, “Space law, national security, and your clients data: how satellite regulation ties industries together.” University of Kansas College of Law, Lawrence, March 7, 2017

Guest Speaker, “Space & cyber law avenues for attorneys in the field: what existing law and modern changes in policy tell us about the job market.” University of Missouri College of Law, Columbia, March 1, 2017

Guest Speaker, “Space & cyber law avenues for attorneys in the field: what existing law and modern changes in policy tell us about the job market.” University of South Dakota College of Law, January 18, 2017

Guest Speaker on the Field of Space Law with Professor Frans von der Dunk Doane University, Professor Wendy Hind’s Business Law undergraduate course, 2014-2016 (on going)

“Space Law Basics” a primer on the field with an introduction to commercial space regulation and national security space law and policy. University of Missouri School of Law Kansas City, Guest Speaker, September 28, 2016

U.S. State Department Speaker Program, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, lecture and roundtable with the UzSpace agency and the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent on Uzbekistan’s commercial and governmental space interests May 2022

Missouri and Kansas National Guard Judge Advocate Continuing Legal Education Conference, Kansas City Missouri, on the history of the military’s relationship to the space domain and current space hot topics June 2021

U.S. State Department Speaker Program, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, lecture series on Commercial Space Issues for the New Zealand and Australian Space Council on behalf of the U.S. Consulate in Auckland New Zealand Spring 2021

South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival, with by Gabriel Swiney, Attorney Advisor, U.S. Department of State and Kathryn Waldron, National Security & Cybersecurity Fellow, R Street Institute, panel ‘A Star Trek Model for Space? How Scifi Impacts Law,’ March 2021

ASCENDxSummit Space Policy and Education, 21st Century Workforce event on Space Law, Panelist October 21, 2020

Nebraska Virtual Space Law Week, Spectrum Issues Before the FCC, Panel Moderator October 1, 2021

Women in Space Law Public Panel Hosted by the Dean of the University of Adelaide School of Law Adelaide South Australia, September 26, 2019

Hamilton Space School, Space Careers Panel and Student Submissions to the Australian Space Agency Adelaide South Australia, September 26, 2019

Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Friday, March 24, 2023

20 Under 40 Young Professionals Making a Difference  Lincoln Journal Star, June 2013

NExt Pioneer, Nebraska Tech Collaborative, named in summer 2022  

Inspire Lincoln Awards Nominee in the Education and Large Business Categories, Lincoln Journal Star, a community award recognizing women leaders and the impact they are making in the community  September 2021

John H. Binning Award for Excellence, nominated by students and colleagues and selected by the Dean, the award is presented to a member of the administration of the College of Law  Oct 2018


Space.com, "Can We Prevent War in Space? These Guidelines May Help," article by Charles Q. Choi  May 2, 2018

Omaha World Herald, "Editorial: NU College of Law is part of international space-law project"  May 21, 2018

“Happy Asteroid Day”  Lincoln Journal Star, June 28, 2015


J.D., University of Nebraska College of Law, 2011
B.A., cum laude, Doane College, 2008

Areas of Expertise