NSS Legal Fellows Program Accepting Applications

planetary justice

The mission of the National Space Society’s (NSS) Legal Fellows Program is to provide gifted and highly motivated law students with a national platform to make their voices and ideas heard in respect to the continuing evolution of international and national space law. The NSS Legal Fellows comment on, and provide legal analysis of, NSS policy and position papers, encouraging and facilitating innovation of ideas and strategies. NSS Legal Fellows also have the opportunity to introduce new and original concepts and views supporting—and even hastening—the development of sustainable and successful human communities in space.

The NSS Legal Fellows are mentored by space lawyer, and President of NSS, Michelle Hanlon. Hanlon is the Co-Director of the Center for Air and Space Law at the University of Mississippi School of Law. She is also the Co-Founder and President of For All Moonkind, the only organization in the world dedicated to protecting human heritage in space, starting with Tranquility Base, the site that hosts humankind’s very first offworld bootprint.

The NSS Legal Fellows program aims to provide the next generation of lawyers with the experience, knowledge and background they need to fully support the unfettered growth of the space industry as space law, and commercial space law in particular, evolve and mature.

NSS Legal Fellows serve for a period of two years, with the opportunity to move into leadership positions after their first year.


Applicants must be enrolled in a U.S. law school, or earning a first law degree (J.D., LL.B., and Bachelor of Laws) from a non-U.S. law school at the time of application. Applicants must be able to serve for a period of two years.


Selection as an NSS Legal Fellow is based on a combination of the following:

  • A record of remarkable academic performance;
  • Evidence of leadership skills and the potential for further growth;
  • The ability to work effectively as part of a team; and
  • Strong research and writing abilities.


  • Resume
  • Writing samples
    • Submit a brief, typed writing sample, in essay format, on the following topics:
      • Why did you choose to pursue your present course of study?
      • What are your plans following graduation?
      • What is your perception of the National Space Society?
      • Why are you applying to the NSS Legal Fellows program?
      • How will serving in the Program contribute to your personal and career goals?
    • A typed, academic, unpublished paper or brief of your choice that is no more than 10 pages.

Materials must be sent to Bailey.Cunningham@NSS.org. Please refrain from sending letters of recommendation or transcripts unless specifically requested. You will be contacted if selected for an interview.


The application will open on May 24, 2021, and close on June 30, 2021. Once applications are reviewed, interviews will be scheduled throughout July. Finalists will be notified of their acceptance at the end of July. The new class of NSS Legal Fellows will begin its term on August 9, 2021.

For more information, please contact Bailey.Cunningham@NSS.org.


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