Howard University offers the only space law course at an HBCU law school, and one of its professors advocates for better representation. Professor AJ Link hopes light can be shed on the importance of the program in schools across the country and even more so for Black students to enter the field.
“Black people need to be part of the growing space sector, not just in STEM-related areas,” he wrote in an essay published by Howard University’s news platform The Dig. “There is a growing recognition that Black people must be included in the space community.”
With a pressing need for greater representation in this niche yet vital field, space law professor AJ Link is committed to preparing the next generation of Black space law professionals ensuring diversity extends beyond our planet. #WorldSpaceWeek https://t.co/MdyhDfThFh
— Howard University (@HowardU) October 10, 2023
Link notes the importance of creating more opportunities for students to learn about space law as he considers it to be a widely under-discussed field of study.
“I am honored to be an adjunct professor at HUSL and to be teaching the first space law class offered at an HBCU law school,” he said. “It is important that we give students the opportunity not only to learn about space law, but to develop a passion for it. With this opportunity, they can realize the careers in being space law experts.”
The adjunct professor adds that space law has been around for over 60 years and that only two law schools offer it as a degree — the University of Mississippi School of Law and the University of Nebraska College of Law.
Upon graduating from the University of Mississippi, Law said he is one of the very few Black people in the world to have the degree. As a professional in the field, he has encountered other Black space law professionals, but none with a specialized degree or academic background.
“Very few of us specifically studied and trained space law professionals,” AJ Link said. “That is unacceptable.”