LL.M – Aviation Law

What is an LL.M?

An LL.M degree provides juris doctors the opportunity to gain ever more education in a specialized area of law. Virtually every law school in the country has LL.M programs however, not one offers an LL.M in aviation law.

Why an LL.M in Aviation Law?

An LL.M in aviation law would provide attorneys the opportunity to learn more about aviation law in the United States. The law is constantly changing and expanding.

LL.M at the University of Dayton School of Law

Because of Dayton’s and the University of Dayton’s special relationship with aviation, no school is better prepared to introduce an LL.M in aviation law to the United States. Dayton, Ohio is the birthplace of aviation as the Wright brothers were born and raised there. 

Professionals Who Will Benefit from an LL.M in Aviation Law

There are three principle types of professionals that will benefit from earning an LL.M in aviation law at the University of Dayton School of Law (“UDSL”). The first type of professional is recent graduates from law school. Whether these individuals studied at UDSL or another law school they would be highly marketable in the diverse world of aviation law. The job market is very competitive for new graduates and an LL.M in aviation law could set them apart. 

Practicing aviation lawyers are the second type of professional who would benefit from an LL.M in aviation law. Whether the practicing attorney works as; in-house counsel, personal injury lawyer, or insurance defense their education will make them better attorneys.

The third type of professional to benefit from an LL.M in aviation law are non-attorneys that work in the aviation arena. These professionals may range from; consultants to the airplane manufacturer’s, airport managers, employees of an airline operator, life-flight helicopter companies, police departments, drone manufacturers, large construction companies that now use drones on a daily basis, etc.

This third group of professionals could “audit” classes to become better acquainted with aviation laws and how it impacts their companies. Not necessarily for the pursuit of the degree but to make them better employees. This additional education may help companies avoid costly mistakes and potential litigation.

State of Aviation Law

Aviation law is very complex and is constantly evolving as new technologies are developed. In addition to more planes filling our skies everyday the use of commercial drones is becoming highly regulated. Countless drones have already been sold in our country with the expectation that millions more will be sold in the coming years. As the use of these drones become more common it is an area of law that the LL.M program could focus on.

Additionally, the participants in “space tourism” is expected to explode in the coming years. As private companies like Space-X and Virgin Galactic develop this new enterprises there will be an insatiable need for attorneys who can consult them through this extremely complex area of law.

As you can see, the need for professional educated in the different aspects of aviation law is intense. A multi-billion dollar aviation company would jump at the chance of hiring someone with the exceptional qualifications that an LL.M in aviation law from UDSL would provide.   

UDSL and Teaming with Other Universities

Universities across the country offer degrees focusing on different aspects of commercial aviation. For example, the University of North Dakota offers degrees in aviation technology management, airport management, air traffic control, and many other degrees. Utah Valley University and many other universities have specialties involving aviation. All of these universities could benefit from creating an affiliation with UDSL and its LL.M program.

This affiliation could allow their students to tap into UDSL’s vast treasuretrove of aviation knowledge. These students studying commercial aviation at other universities could benefit by having a better understanding of the interaction between their future employment and aviation law. This additional knowledge would make them more well-rounded students and better prepared to enter the real world of commercial aviation.

Benefits to the University of Dayton and the School of Law

UDSL will become known throughout the world as the epicenter of American aviation law. UDSL will increase the number of law students attending its juris doctorate program. Future law students who know they want to practice aviation law will attend the law school when they might not otherwise have.

The program may bring in additional grants to the University of Dayton itself. As the University continues to become known as a go-to place for aviation engineering it is likely that more companies and government funding may go to the school.   

Implementing the LL.M Program at the University of Dayton Law School

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way” and once the University of Dayton School of Law understands the enormous benefit of this program then all of the pieces will fall into place. Finding professors who are willing to and skilled to teach classes won’t be too hard to find. By taking advantage of modern technology these professors may not even need to relocate themselves. Practicing aviation attorneys will jump at the chance to teach these classes. Not only will it put a few extra dollars in their pocket but it will also be used as a sign to their clients/potential clients that they are experts in the field of aviation law.

I for one, am happy to help in whatever way possible to make this dream a reality.

A Man for All Seasons movie review

My A Man for All Seasons, movie review. I thought this was a really well written, well acted, thought provoking movie. Before watching the movie I didn’t know anything about the story of Sir Thomas More or his impact on world history. (I watched the 1966 version of the movie which won 6 academy awards). Attending a Catholic law school I think was the only person who didn’t know that attorney Thomas More was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church (1935) and declared patron saint of politicians and statesmen (2000).

I enjoyed this conversation between Saint Thomas More and a former friend, Norfolk:

“Norfolk: Oh, confound all this…. I’m not a scholar, and frankly I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not. But damn it, Thomas, look at those names…. You know those men! Can’t you do what I did, and come with us, for fellowship?

More: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?”

Later, More’s future son-in-law, Roper, urges him to arrest Richard Rich, whose perjury will eventually lead to More’s execution.

More answers that Rich has broken no law, “And go he should if he were the Devil himself until he broke the law!” Roper is appalled at the idea of granting the Devil the benefit of law, but More is adamant.

“What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? … And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you – where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s, and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”

As attorneys (or future attorneys) there will be times that we are asked to do things that are legal but against our own moral beliefs. If we aren’t true to ourselves it will be hard to live with ourselves.

Professors Say the Darndest Things…

Yesterday one of my professors said “dot your j’s…ahhh lower case j’s that is “. This reminded me of some of my favorite things professors have said during class; “Using this statute is like wearing a belt and suspenders at the same time”, “if you’re going to sue someone under this tort you better go after them whole hog”, “sack of snakes”– I never did understand what my professor was trying to say when she used this phrase, but she said it all the time and it would make me giggle each time she did. I look forward to adding more phrases to this list over the next year! Let us hear of the funny things you’ve heard professors say.

Law Schools Limit Bathroom Breaks During Exams


As ATL reported several days ago, law schools across the country are worried about wide spread cheating on law exams. How is this cheating believed to occur?… In the bathroom during exams. In response to this possible cheating Syracuse University College of Law has begun limiting the number of bathroom breaks a student can take during an exam to just one! The only exceptions to the one bathroom break one exam rule is for students who provide the dean with medical documentation explaining their need to use the bathroom more than once. I think all this rule is going to do for cheating Syracuse law students is they’ll now spend more time in the bathroom reviewing outlines during their one break. Fordham University School of Law is considering following Syracuse’s lead to prevent bathroom cheaters as well.

Maybe Syracuse and Fordham could take the University of Dayton’s approach and put so many security cameras in the school that you’d be afraid to cheat in the bathroom because there might be security cameras watching you in there as well. There’s no word yet on whether or not any of these schools plan on charging for restroom use that may be one way to cut back on bathroom use and raise revenue at the same time!!!

Word of Wisdom Approved Tea Party


I have to give a shout out to two of my University of Dayton School of Law, classmates for putting together the Dayton, Ohio “Tea Party”. Rob Scott and Perry Reynolds organized the rally where thousands of locals gathered in downtown Dayton, to express their disgust with wasteful government spending. Hundreds of similar rally’s were held all over the country.

Are these protests a sign of things to come? Has the average American finally said enough is enough? CNN said that these protests represented a “small minority” of “angry Americans”. However, I disagree with CNN (that’s not a first) I think that the average American knowns the country is headed down an unsustainable path and something must be done.

University of Dayton School of Law

The University of Dayton School of Law was the first law school in the country to offer the two year J.D. A student graduates in five semesters versus the typical 6 semesters offer at most other law schools. University of Dayton Law Students who are on the two year track simple take one extra class each semester to eliminate the sixth semester. The University of Dayton School of Law is an ideal place for Mormons who may be married with children and could really benefit from getting into the work place a year sooner than law students attending a different school. The third year in law school can cost a student an extra $100,000 versus a University of Dayton law student who graduates in two years. If a student is borrowing $30,000 a year for living expenses and then loses a years worth of income (say atleast $70,000) then there is atleast a six figure expense for staying in school the third year.