Feel like your odds of successfully navigating the law-job field is approximately 3,720 to 1? Perhaps you should consider a career in the area of Space Law. As reported in the International Business Times, the practice of Space Law, while still relatively small, is growing, and law schools are beginning to take notice.
As you might suggest, “space law” is an emerging area of law that focuses on issues relating to space. This could touch almost any traditional area of law: regulatory issues of space travel by companies such as Virgin Galactic, contract issues between governments and private actors in an increasingly privatized industry, or even new property issues as nations and companies look to begin mining valuable minerals from asteroids.
Governments will need to develop policy, corporations will need to follow regulations and laws, and (unfortunately) private entities of all types will doubtlessly encounter disputes relating to space-related business ventures. More and more nations are becoming involved in space travel, and more and more private companies are trying their hand at making a profit outside our atmosphere. This virtually guarantees that more lawyers will be needed to deal with unforeseen issues. Maybe finally someone will get to decide what to do about that guy who likes to “sell” people property on the moon.
Law schools at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and the University of Mississippi both have space law programs. Ole Miss has published Journal of Space Law since 1973, and the International Air and Space Law Association has help annual moot court competitions since 2010, with regional competitions in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Practitioners of space law will not only get to argue and litigate the issues, they will actually have a chance to help develop the very tenets of space law. Since it is a relatively new and rapidly evolving area of the law, future space lawyers will be able to have an influence on its development in ways that most lawyers won’t get to experience.
So, if you’re having trouble finding gainful legal employment, space law might be something you’d find interesting. At the very least, you’ll be able to advise a client on how to get out of a speeding ticket after attempting the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.