Student attorneys and faculty with the Animal Law Clinic work on national, state and local policy addressing animal welfare issues, such as puppy mills, feral and community cats, and former race horses.
Despite its name, this is not a clinic where students will do nothing but "animal law.” Law about animals forms a part of the study, but the real focus is the practice of law. This is a clinic where Student Attorneys represent organizations and individuals dealing with various legal issues, connected by the fact that the clients have some connection to animal welfare. Clinic clients come to us for all sorts of reasons. They may be seeking model contractors for animal adopters, seeking drafting and lobbying work to amend local laws to better protect animals, seeking changes to state law that will better protect animals, or seeking help navigating the court system when the laws they are working with involve animals.
Student Attorneys will be learning local government laws related to the protection of community and feral cats, doing research, giving presentations to municipal councils, and working with municipal attorneys to amend local law. Student Attorneys will also work with various non-profits and stakeholders on policies and local laws supporting opposition to puppy mills. Student Attorneys will also draft a model contract for equine adoption. Finally, students will represent a low-income client accused of breaking local laws when caring for outdoor animals.
Graduates of the Animal Law Clinic will leave with experience in direct advocacy in various fora, applied research, working with interdisciplinary professionals, client interviewing and counseling, fact investigation, drafting, teamwork, and other profession-ready skills. They will have also reflected deeply on the process and ethics of lawyering, and begun to develop their professional identities as future members of the legal profession.