First Space Lawyer (2008 and 1941)

The first space lawyer has graduated from the University of Mississippi. Michael Dodge has received a space law certificate along with his law degree, the first person in the US to do so.

The additional distinction of a space law certificate is provided through the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law at Ole Miss.

"The professors and personnel here are the highest quality that can be found anywhere in the world, and I have learned from them the necessary skills I will need to effectively practice space law," Dodge said in a statement. "Ole Miss is, simply put, the space law expert, and anyone wishing practice in this field should get their legal education here."

The university offers the only dedicated aerospace law curriculum in the nation from an American Bar Association-accredited law school, and requires courses on U.S. space and aviation law, international space and aviation law, and remote sensing; participation in the publication of the Journal of Space Law; and independent research. The National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law was founding in 1999.

Science fiction writers were way ahead of the curve on this one. The always-entertaining Nat Schachner created an early sfnal space lawyer for several 1941 stories, including Jurisdiction, which appeared in the August issue of Astounding Science-Fiction.

"Young Kerry Dale? Yes, sir, he blasted off four Earth-days before. In what? Why... uh... seems like the young fellow had bought himself an old tramp freighter and fitted it out for salvage operations. Had incorporated himself, in fact, under the laws of Vesta. Mighty flexible and generous, the Vestan corporation laws, sir. Nothing like those of Earth and Mars. Initial fees nominal, sir, and the taxes are practically nothing."

Kerry Dale specialized in laws regarding salvage and asteroid mining claims; this might come in handy for upcoming missions to nearby asteroids.

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