Research and Publications in Space Law Workshop

The University of Nebraska College of Law’s Space, Cyber, and Telecom (SCT) Law Program was selected by NASA to establish the Space Law Network (SLN).  As part of this program, SCT leadership, Professor and Co-Director Matt Schaefer and Executive Director Elsbeth Magilton hosted the Nebraska Publications in Space Law Workshop in Lincoln, NE April 6-7, 2019.

Part of the Space Law Network initiative was the creation of this weekend workshop, intended to help students and new scholars focus on publication and scholarly writing in the field of space law. Some travel stipends were provided via the NASA program award and self-funded attendees were also encouraged to register for the workshop.

Over 27 unique institutions were represented over the weekend.

The workshop  featured a mixture of sessions detailing the international and domestic foundations of space law, including multiple practice focus areas, while highlighting holes in current policy or scholarship ripe for discussion. The workshop also included working sessions, dedicated to developing topics and outlines, and sessions on legal research and “how-to” publish in a variety of forums.

Our key objective is that every attendee walked away from the weekend with an idea (or two), the beginning of an outline and questions to be considered, and a plan of action for publishing their work in their desired venue. Ultimately we hope to see a notable increase in new scholarship in space law in the coming year.

To facilitate that goal, we are proud to announce...

The NASA Space Law Network Writing Competition


Opens: May 1, 2019

Closes: September 1, 2019 at 5:00pm cst

Purpose and History:

Through the Space Law Network students representing over 45 law schools, from every region in the United States, had opportunities to attend conferences focused on space law, compete for 8 paid internship positions at NASA Centers, and attend a space law focused research workshop with the aim of increasing new scholarship in space law.

The final activity associated with this project is a writing competition for students. The competition was first announced at the research workshop and hopes to inspire students to begin and complete their research on a space law topic.  However, the competition is open to all students not just those who attended the conference.

Theme and Details:

Papers should discuss a current issue in space law ranging from treaties and foreign space legislation, U.S. space legislation and the intersections of domestic space law and international law, arms control and the law of armed conflict in space, procurement and government contracting, ITAR and export control, contracting and transactional practice, to intellectual property, and/or other areas of law intersecting with space law.

Papers should be 5,000 to 7,000 words (excluding footnotes) and follow the Blue Book formatting style. Papers should include a brief 300 word abstract or forward summarizing the paper. The cover page should include the author’s name and the title of the paper.

Authors can discuss paper ideas and particular arguments with practitioners, officials, and professors in the field but cannot have any substantial review and proposed edits to the paper done by outside reviewers nor professors.  Accordingly, students may not use a paper submitted for a law school class or journal (e.g. law school note) in the competition.  It must be a new paper written specifically for the competition.

Papers should be submitted as a PDF directly to Bambi King at Papers will only be accepted electronically via PDF. Ms. King will remove names and institutions from the papers, assigning numbers, for anonymous review. The winning paper will selected by a committee comprised of NASA grant administrators and space law faculty.


The selected paper author will receive airfare and hotel to attend the 2019 Nebraska Law Space Law Conference in Washington DC on Friday October 18, 2019 and have the opportunity to do a 10-15 minute presentation of their research. Their 2019 conference experience will include a NASA visit the day prior to the conference, a networking reception following the conference, and the option to extend the return airline ticket to accommodate attending the International Astronautical Congress the following week.

Please note, hotel accommodations will only be provided to cover the evenings necessary for the October 17th-18th NASA visit and conference attendance. 

Only U.S. citizens are eligible for the award.