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.