Major Aaron Brynildson is an active-duty Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force. He has been in the Air Force since 2016, having been previously assigned as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. He has an undergraduate and law degree from the University of California, Irvine. As a current student in the LL.M. in Air and Space Law program, he discusses why he chose UM Law.
Q: Why did you choose the University of Mississippi Center for Air & Space Law?
A: The Air Force sends students to three different programs that can lead to space law jobs. I was looking to take a break from the courtroom and move into a practice involving aviation or space. With the creation of the Space Force, I wanted to find a way to be a part of the future space legal community. Ole Miss was an easy first choice as the only program in the United States that offered an LL.M. in air and space. Next year, the Air Force is sending three attorneys to Ole Miss given the increased importance of air and space law.
Q: What do you like about living in Oxford, Mississippi?
A: Oxford is one of the top college towns in the country. It has small town charm with bigger city amenities. The public school system and hospital system are some of the highest ranked in the state. The Courthouse Square is an ideal place for young families to enjoy a bite to eat or visit the local bookstores.
Q: What topics has your research focused on during your time at Ole Miss?
A: My thesis is focused on analyzing how the War in Ukraine is impacting international law, but specifically related to space and the Law of Armed Conflict. Recent current events have challenged previous notions on the use of commercial space services to support an ongoing conflict. I have also researched issues relating to future regulations involving drone usage and aviation safety issues near war zones. The faculty for the Center consists of top-notch researchers and practitioners that aid in the research and thesis drafting process. The law school also has an extensive library of both historic and cutting-edge publications on aviation, space, and military law. It is an exciting time to be researching air and space law in Mississippi!
Q: What are you preparing to do after you graduate?
A: Upon graduation, I will be moving to Colorado Springs to work as the Legal Advisor to Joint Task Force-Space Defense. JTF-SD is a subordinate command of United States Space Command, focusing on defending U.S. military and commercial space assets. I will be the sole on-site attorney helping advise the command on emerging space legal issues, ensuring American space superiority.