The aviation sector is experiencing a period of rapid growth, with air traffic set to double by 2030, led by the Africa and Asia Pacific regions, and private companies trying to commercialize space flight. Regulators, airlines, airports and manufacturers are all grappling with a range of complex legal and regulatory challenges. That means the demand for qualified legal expertise in this exciting and evolving field is booming.
Only a handful of law schools offer an LL.M. in Space Law. But many more offer courses in related fields such as Aerospace Law and Satellite Communication Law. We have ranked the best of them below.
The courses are highly-competitive and enrol only a handful of students each year. That arguably places a premium on holders of these niche degrees. They typically go on to work in a diverse range of careers. This includes at private companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX, for civilian agencies like the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, or even military operations like the US Cyber Command.
In addition, graduates go on to work for think-tanks, consulting companies and law firms which specialize in this diverse and dynamic sector of the economy.
McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law is one of the few institutions that offer a dedicated LL.M. in Space Law. Some 25 students from Canada and abroad are admitted to the 12-month program each year. The students on the course can stay on at the highly ranked law school and work towards a PhD, if they so wish.View School Profile
The University of Nebraska runs a Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law program. The law school runs both an online and in-person LL.M. course along with the only doctoral-level space law degree in the US. Graduates go on to work for private space exploration companies, government agencies, think-tanks and law firms.View School Profile
Leiden University in the Netherlands puts on the LL.M. program in Air and Space Law, run out of the International Institute of Air and Space Law at the university, a leading international academic research and teaching establishment. An intensive one-year course, it combines public air law, private air law and space law. It has a European and international focus.View School Profile
As part of Northumbria’s LL.M. program, students can take the Space Law specialism. Participants acquire vision, advanced skills in policy negotiations and apply scientific understanding to their work. Alongside space, cyber and telecoms law, students will study modules on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Cyber Law, which have significant applications in space activity.View School Profile
The University of Mississippi School of Law runs the Program in Air and Space Law, the first such LL.M. program in the US at an ABA-accredited law school. The Graduate Certificate in Air and Space Law is primarily for part-time, online students who are professionals working in aerospace industries. Students can study online, on-campus full-time or part-time.View School Profile
The University of Luxembourg’s Master in Space, Communication and Media Law combines a range of modules on space law, satellite communication law, media law, intellectual property law, as well as data protection law at a national, European and global level. Students will become experts in the regulation of space, communication, ICT and media law within the context of this exciting and evolving sector.View School Profile
The University of Pretoria Faculty of Law, the highest ranked law school in Africa, puts on the LL.M. International Air, Space and Telecommunications Law. The program can be completed in one or two years. Students will learn about the public and private aspects of air law and the regulatory system of international telecoms, along with the use of space for military purposes.View School Profile
The University of Toulouse in France runs an LL.M. in International Aviation Law. Students on this program benefit from being located in Toulouse, which has been home to major aerospace companies such as Airbus for half a century. Executives from these companies deliver guest lectures and consider internship applications from LL.M. students. The university’s European School of Law offers programs taught in English, which are widely recognized in the business world.View School Profile