AJ Link, a professor at Howard University, wants emerging Black leaders to be at the forefront of a new legal frontier.
Link recently penned a letter highlighting the potential of introducing a space law program at the HBCU, in which students learn about the black letter law of international space treaties and US space policy.
“Even though space law has been around for over 60 years, it is still not a widely taught area of study in U.S. law schools,” Link writes. “There are only two law schools that currently offer an LLM, or Master of Laws, degree that specialized in space law: the University of Mississippi School of Law and the University of Nebraska College of Law. With the lack of options and access to space law as a field of study for J.D. students, and legal professionals seeking an LLM, it’s no wonder that the space law community is lacking anything close to adequate representation of Black folks in the profession.”
He adds: “When I received my LLM in space law from the University of Mississippi, I became one of the handful of Black people in the world with that degree. Since then, I have met other Black space law professionals. However, not all of them have space law degrees or academic backgrounds. A lot of Black space law professionals have found their way into the field following interesting paths. Very few of us specifically studied and trained space law professionals. That is unacceptable. Black people need to be part of the growing space sector, not just in STEM-related areas. There is a growing recognition that Black people must be included in the space community. Groups like Black In Astro are making sure that Black space professionals and Black students studying space have a community.”