Leaders in National Security

A defining feature of the Nebraska Space, Cyber, and National Security Law Program is our long relationship with the United States Air Force, and the Department of Defense. The program trains multiple Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps Judge Advocates each year and has since 2008. Our active-duty alumni are spread across the globe, serving their country.

Co-Director Jack Beard, a Lieutenant Colonel in U.S. Army JAG Corps (retired), previously served as the Associate Deputy General Counsel (International Affairs) in the DOD and leads the DOD and the Defense Intelligence Agency externship programs, where Nebraska Law J.D. students spend a semester in Washington, D.C. working in these offices.

Additionally, Beard is the Editor-in-Chief of the Woomera Manual on the International Law of Military Space Operations, an international manual that articulates and clarifies existing international law applicable to military space operations where Professor von der Dunk also serves as a Core Expert.

Program Executive Director Elsbeth Magilton is Nebraska Law’s liaison to the National Strategic Research Institute, where she is also a Research Fellow, which oversees the University of Nebraska’s Affiliated Research Center with U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). There she spearheads research collaborations across the DOD and identifies opportunities for students. Through Magilton, Nebraska Law is also deeply integrated with the Academic Alliance programs across multiple commands.

As interest and national recognition of space security issues increases, Nebraska’s dedication to supporting our nation has also continued to strengthen. For instance, in spring 2021 Beard was a featured speaker in a panel with Lt. Cmdr. Mark Rasmussen, a '20 LL.M., who is currently working at the United States Space Command, at session co-hosted by the United States Space Command Office of the Staff Judge Advocate and the Law, Technology, and Warfare Research Cell at the United States Air Force Academy. During the panel, Beard and Rasmussen focused on discussing Zones in Outer Space, which is part of a series of monthly webinar series focusing on legal aspects of military space operations with the Air Force Academy, where Lt. Col. Tim Goines, '16 LL.M., is a professor of law. The intent is to bring the community of professionals practicing in and around the area of space law together as the United States enters a new era of space operations.

With invigorated space and cyber commands, attorneys and policy makers with these specializations as well as backgrounds in national security law, are pivotal to national security. Our courses focus on international humanitarian law, the laws of armed conflict, intelligence law, and other laws and policies impacting security. Students focused in this area can also take advantage of our relationship with the Department of Defense through many internships, conferences, and research opportunities.