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.
The Animal Law Clinic focuses on national, state and local policy addressing animal welfare issues, such as puppy mills, feral and community cats, and former racehorses.
Kim Diana Connolly, Director
University at Buffalo,
School of Law
507 O'Brian Hall, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
The Animal Law Clinic is four-credit clinic (for returning students, a different credit hour allocation can be requested). The Animal Law Clinic works to promote animal protection on behalf of individual and organizational clients.
The work is exciting and challenging. Student attorneys are called up by many different clients to provide legal and policy advice to people and organizations with an interest in non-human animals and their welfare. The work ranges from dealing with local issues in Western New York, through to work on state laws, federal, and international issues.
Student attorneys will work on issues such as assessing how state laws protect companion and domestic animals, amending local and state government laws related to the protection of companion animals, wildlife law, and those impacting other domesticated animals, analyzing international laws as they may impact certain species, and providing legal support for corporate formation and function issues for organizations serving non-human animals.
Student attorneys are exposed to many aspects of legal practice, from intake to closing matters, from interviewing to counseling to appearing in front of a court or other setting, etc. from digging down into details of corporate law and preparing documents for submission to state and federal agencies, and from assessing the many levels of laws that touch on animal issues. In addition to pure service, student attorneys choose particular goals upon which to personally focus, and engage in deep reflection on the process of becoming a lawyer throughout the semester. Student attorneys will leave the clinic with experience in applied research, client interviewing and counseling, advocacy, fact investigation, drafting, teamwork, interdisciplinary coordination, and other profession-ready skills.
There are weekly group classes on campus, some involving all clinic students in the clinical program. There are also separate team meetings (scheduled around other student attorney obligations) with the professor to address current client matters, devoted to instruction in substantive law and important legal skills, as well as project reviews, strategy making, problem resolution, and work assignments. Student attorneys often schedule additional working meetings with colleagues on their own throughout the semester. Active participation in these meetings, and in occasional client and stakeholder meetings that may take place off-site during the day and in the evening, is expected of each student enrolled in the Clinic.
Register for this clinic: To participate in this clinic, please apply online. Along with your online application, be prepared to upload the following additional materials for this clinic: Statement of Interest, Transcript, and Resume.
Admission to this clinic is by permission of the instructor only.