🤘Student Spotlight: Brittany Silvester

For this edition of Texas Law’s Student Spotlight series, meet 2L Brittany Silvester!

Brittany Silvester

Tell us about your research in the area of space policy that the Strauss Center recognized you for and how you developed an interest in that area.
As soon as I saw the Hubble Telescope images as a kid, I was hooked. Fast forward to today, I’m still a pretty big space fanatic. But now instead of satiating my curiosity with sci-fi movies, I turn to academia to research questions that excite me. I began my research last fall as a Brumley NextGen Graduate Fellow for Space Safety, Security, and Sustainability under the guidance of UT’s resident space celebrity, Moriba Jah. With his tutelage, I wrote a paper characterizing destructive direct-ascent anti-satellite tests as harmful interference and contamination under the Outer Space Treaty. I then presented my findings at the 2024 IAA Space Traffic Management Conference, where I was honored with the inaugural Aerospace Policy Solutions LLC Award in Space Policy!

What made you want to become a lawyer?
My passion for all things space lead me to pursue an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida. During that time I participated in several internships at NASA, one involving research for disruptive modal coupling technology at NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center. When COVID hit, my boss had to find a creative way to keep my position alive, which meant bringing me in under the Technology Transfer Office. It was there that I learned about NASA’s Patent Office and how engineers often pursue careers in patent law. At that point, I set my sights on figuring out how to combine my love for space and my engineering degree with a career in law.

What is your favorite thing about the culture of UT?
I truly love how encouraging the UT culture is toward carving your own path. Space law is still a relatively new and burgeoning field, so it was initially difficult to find courses and extracurriculars that aligned with my ambitions. The Strauss Center has been especially supportive of my pursuits with the Texas Space Law & Policy Society, my research with Professor Jah, and the development of a future interdisciplinary program for Space Safety, Security, and Sustainability at UT.

What groups/clubs/internships have you participated in while at Texas Law?
I currently serve as the vice president of the Texas Space Law & Policy Society. I am also a member of the Intellectual Property Law Society and the Women’s Law Caucus.

What’s your best advice for incoming 1Ls?
You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room (or feel bad that you’re not)! I actually believe it’s better if you’re not. There’s always someone to learn from, grow from, and be inspired by—professors and students alike. Once you find comfort in this fact and learn to embrace it, a lot of the 1L pressures to be “perfect” will dissipate.

Category: Student Life, Student Spotlight