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College of Law

Founded in 1891, the College of Law is accredited by the ABA and AALS. 

College of Law library 

In addition to offering the only Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law, LL.M. program in the country, the College is home to a nationally-recognized Civil and Criminal Clinical Law program and the world's oldest, on-going integrated program in psycholegal studies.

Each University of Nebraska campus is accredited by:

The Higher Learning Commission


Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law, LL.M.

Earth, moon and sun shown in space

Program Description

The online Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law LL.M. program is designed for experienced attorneys who will continue to work in law firms, government offices, or corporate legal departments while pursuing this degree.

The online LL.M. was created to address the growing demand for the on-campus program by experienced practitioners who wish to obtain an LL.M. while maintaining their existing work-life commitments.

Students must complete their degree requirements within a maximum of six semesters.

Online LL.M. students will "attend" classes synchronously (at the same time) with students who attend on campus. Through the use of Adobe Connect, online students may ask questions, view the class, and participate in class discussion.

Online LL.M. students are expected to satisfy all the same requirements on-campus students must satisfy — online students simply have a longer period of time in which to do so.

LL.M. Program Requirements

To complete the LL.M. degree, students must:

  • Complete degree requirements within a maximum of six semesters
  • Complete an introductory course in American law (0 credit course) — for students with foreign law degrees only
  • Complete, or be excused from, the required courses
  • Complete a program of study approved by the Director of the program
  • Complete a research paper of publishable quality
  • Attain a weighted average grade of no less than 6.0 for all courses taken at the Law College

Why Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications?

Space industries are a $250 billion/year global market and growing rapidly. The telecommunications industry is a $1.4 trillion/year global market with continued strong growth anticipated. Cyber issues dominate corporate growth, security, and stability.

The space, cyber, and telecomminications industries share an overlapping legal regime and increasingly share concerns over common problems, including space traffic management, security and risk management of space assets, and national security issues.

These three industries have global implications and a growing demand for well-trained legal experts.

Learn more about UNL's College of Law Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications program >

Delivery Format

Home Campus: University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Method of Delivery: Blended Program - what's this? Some components of the program are synchronous, meaning students and instructor interact in real time. These meetings may be online or face-to-face/on campus.

All online courses are accessed via the Internet and use a learning management system. Technology requirements may vary by program and course, but all campuses have basic recommended requirements. High-speed Internet is required.

Interaction with professors and other students may include:

  • E-mail
  • Online discussion boards
  • Phone or video conferencing
  • Other forms of electronic and print communication

Supplemental materials for some courses may include:

  • Printed material and scanned documents
  • Digital resources accessed through university libraries
  • Videos accessed via the Internet, CDs or DVDs
  • Other media

To be successful, students taking online classes should be reasonably comfortable using a computer and the Internet. Learn more about online student tips for success.

Special Requirements

  • At least three of the 24 credit hours must be completed on campus, including at least one credit in residence during the first two semesters, but otherwise can complete all remaining credits though online courses.
  • Must participate 75% of the time in an online course in real-time (synchronously), unless the student obtains a waiver from the professor of the course and the director of the program.
  • Attend one UNL Space, Cyber, and Telecom Law-hosted conference or seminar in-person.
  • Choose your online courses from among a list of courses approved by the director for online instruction.

Academic Year 2015 - 2016

Tuition rates are effective for the academic year listed. Tuition is subject to change.

Nebraska Resident:

 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$1,541.00$25.00$83.00$83.00$1,732.00
3 credit hour$4,623.00$75.00$249.00$249.00$5,196.00


 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$1,541.00$25.00$83.00$83.00$1,732.00
3 credit hour$4,623.00$75.00$249.00$249.00$5,196.00

Note: In addition to the costs outlined above, students will be assessed a $20.00 registration fee each semester they enroll in courses.

This is a 24 credit hour Master of Laws program. These credits must be taken subsequent to receipt of the student's first law degree and must be taken from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Elective courses for the LL.M. degree will be determined in consultation with a faculty adviser and approved by the Director. View all courses offered by the College of Law here >

Course Name
Course #
Core Courses

International Law

LAW 640/G

This course explores issues of public and private law with an emphasis on public international law. Specific topics covered include the nature and sources of international law, rules related to making and interpreting treaties, the relationship of international law to U.S. domestic law, how international law enters the U.S. courts, limits on a nation's ability to legislate and enforce laws outside its territory, immunity of foreign states and their enterprises from jurisdiction of U.S. courts, methods of international dispute settlement (from the World Court to private commercial arbitration), rules relating to the treatment of another nation's citizens (e.g. protection of investments from expropriation) and rules applicable to non-state actors such as multinational corporations. A visitor from the Washington, D.C. trade policy community may be invited to speak. Prior years' speakers include: U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel, Governor Ben Nelson, Congressional Representative Doug Bereuter and the Honorable Abner Mikva.

Research in a Selected Field

LAW 669/G & 670/G

Individual study under the supervision of a faculty member. Before registering for this course, a student must (1) obtain the approval of the faculty member involved and (2) submit the Research in a Selected Field form to the Law College Registrar. Absent the prior approval of the Dean, no student may take more than six hours of Research in a Selected Field and/or Psycholegal Research.

Domestic Telecommunications Law

LAW 726/G
This course addresses the legal framework applied in the United States to most wireline and wireless communications (other than the internet, which is addressed in the Cyberlaw Course). The covered media include cable television, landline telephone, broadcast and satellite radio and television, and mobile technologies. The course will explore the economic, technological, national security, and statutory and constitutional issues that have shaped these media, as well as how these "persistent" issues have evolved over time. We will explore the current policy and academic debates, including spectrum policy and frameworks for regulating similar services offered by different media platforms. We will place particular emphasis on the pervasive role of law, and how the media we use have been fundamentally shaped by legal decisions. More broadly, we explore how law affects the distribution of political and economic power in the U.S. by determining who can speak to whom, for what purpose.

Space Law

LAW 748

This course will address both military (such as intelligence gathering and weaponization) and commercial dimensions (including telecommunications, satellite launch, space tourism and remote sensing) of space law and policy. Course coverage will include the five major international treaties dealing directly with space (the Outer Space Treaty, Liability Convention, Registration Convention, Rescue and Return Agreement and Moon Treaty) and the application of these cold-War era treaties to modern space activities, arms control agreements implicating space, “soft law” instruments attempting to regulate space, U.S. national legislation addressing space issues, private and governmental contracts relating to space activities, as well as the mechanisms for the creation and negotiation of international space law, including the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, to address new or growing problems such as orbital debris, protection of in-space assets, and terrorism. This course will include guest lecturers from the military and private sector.

International Telecommunications Law

LAW 756/G

This course focuses on international regimes for regulating telecommunications and for regulating global cyberwarfare and cybersecurity issues. Regarding telecommunications, we study satellite, phone, and Internet legal regimes, notably through the International Telecommunications Union and World Trade Organization; we also explore some issues particular to developing nations. For cybersecurity, we explore legal instruments governing international cybercrime and cyberterrorism by individuals and cyberwarfare by nations. We explore issues ranging from how the laws of armed conflict apply to cyberattacks to whether the president has unilateral authority to engage in certain cyber-actions. Grade based on exam.

National Security Space Legislation

LAW 747

Course will address the national security and military aspects of space law and policy, including arms control, intelligence gathering, weaponization, rules on use of force as applied to space activities, and security and risk of space assets.

Researching Space Law

LAW 778
This course will give a very brief overview of space law as well as general international law and telecommunications law (because these latter two areas of law are so integrally connected to space law, indeed, the Outer Space Treaty incorporates the UN Charter and general international law) and train students how to research in these three areas of law. The course will place particular emphasis on space law. Students will have research problems to solve in all three areas of law. This course is only open to LL.M. students and J.D. students who have declared space and/or telecommunications law as an area of concentrated study.


LAW 795

University of Nebraska online programs have the same quality instructional faculty as on campus; individuals from a variety of backgrounds, who embody the combined qualities resulting from research experience and professional/field experience.

LL.M. Faculty

Jack M. Beard, Assistant Professor of Law
402.472.1460 Assistant Professor of Law Jack M. Beard

Jack Beard is the newest member of the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law team. Although new to the College of Law, Professor Beard is a veteran scholar and teacher having previously been a member of the faculty at the UCLA School of Law, where he was presented the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2008. At Nebraska Law, Beard will teach international telecommunications, national security law, arms control, and international law courses. Beard previously served as the Associate Deputy General Counsel (International Affairs) in the Department of Defense.

Matthew Schaefer, Professor of Law and Director of Space & Telecom Law Program
402.472.1238 Professor of Law and Director of Space Law Program Matthew Schaefer

Matt Schaefer is Director of our program. Matt graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. He teaches the required international law course in the LL.M. degree and has 12 years of teaching and research experience in international law, foreign affairs, national security and international trade areas. Matt has also served in the National Security Council (White House) as a director in the International Economic Affairs Office and has worked as a consultant for state governors on foreign affairs matters.

Frans von der Dunk, Harvey & Susan Perlman Alumni Professor of Space Law
Phone: 402.472.1240 Perlman Alumni Professor of Space Law Frans von der Dunk

Frans von der Dunk was recently hired by the Law College to teach space law, national security space law, European regulations of space, and national space legislation courses. Frans was previously director of space law research at Leiden University's Air and Space Law Institute and is a recipient of the distinguished service award by the International Institute of Space Law. Frans has nearly two decades of teaching and research experience in the space law field during which he has established himself as arguably the leading academic in the field.

Guidelines for Admittance

To participate in this program the student must:

  • Hold a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from an ABA-accredited American law school or possess a degree in law from a foreign university


Application Checklist

Applications for the 2012-2013 academic year are now being accepted.

  1. Complete an online application
  2. Submit letters of recommendation
  3. Have official transcripts from all previous colleges/universities sent directly from the issuing institution to the College of Law.
  4. Submit a non-refundable application fee of $50.00


International Admissions

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to attain a minimum score of 100 or higher on the TOEFL exam prior to admission.


Application Deadlines

For information about application dates please contact Executive Director Gretchen Oltman, listed below.


Online Worldwide Educational Representative

Program Contact
Elsbeth J. Magilton
Phone: 402.472.1662

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