Animal Law Clinic
The Animal Law Clinic (ALC) at the Center for Animal Law Studies serves as a resource for students, professors, attorneys, organizations, media, and individual clients.
ALC assists organizations and attorneys involved in animal protection litigation, legislation, and policy work. It also researches and analyzes developments in animal protection law. Although ALC focuses on matters of national and international importance, it maintains close connections with the local community and facilitates animal protection progress in Oregon.
As the only year-long clinic dedicated to animal protection issues, ALC provides unique and rewarding clinical experience for students. Through ALC, students develop their legal research, analysis and writing skills while also learning about litigation, negotiation, drafting, and advocacy. ALC provides a valuable resource for students to gain real-world experience
ALC students conduct research, represent clients, work on clinic projects, and with attorneys outside the clinic to develop the field of animal law and encourage consideration of the interests of animals in legal decision making. Their work includes research, transactional work, litigation, and strategic planning. Where possible, students also shadow local lawyers, work with lawyer partners around the country, observe legal proceedings, and conduct field work to better understand the problems facing animals.
The ALC is a year-long course for which students will earn 6 credits. Students participate in a weekly 2-hour class covering substantive issues and lawyering skills, meet weekly with the clinic faculty to discuss their work, and spend an average of 8-10 hours per week on clinic work. Students must take Animal Law 449 as either a pre-requisite or co-requisite for the ALC.
The ALC is a credit/no credit course with no final examination or paper requirement. While the clinic will not include a separate ethics portion for credit, students will be exposed to and will learn about professionalism and ethics critical to being an effective legal advocate. Students are encouraged to obtain certification, but it is not required.
Currently, the ALC is working on the regulatory barriers to alternatives to animal testing, and determining how best to address some of the problems resulting from factory farming. Additionally, the clinic is working with the Oregon Humane Society to determine the origins and scope of its authority; and with the County Attorney’s Office to consider changes in the procedural rules for dangerous dog hearings.
The ALC hopes to collaborate with the other clinics at Lewis & Clark to enhance the work of the clinics and the experiences available to the students. In furtherance of this goal, the ALC is working with the Small Business Legal Clinic on a project to form a tax-exempt non-profit organization for a client whose mission is to stop the slaughter of chimpanzees in Cameroon as part of that country’s bushmeat trade. The ALC is exploring the potential of working with the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center on factory farms and with the International Environmental Law Project regarding the regulations of dolphins in petting pools.
For further information, please contact Animal Law Clinic Director, Professor Kathy Hessler, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- More information about Lewis & Clark’s animal law curriculum.
- Read Professor Hessler’s recent article, The Role of the Animal Law Clinic, 60 J.LEGAL EDUC 263 (2010).
- View Professor Hessler’s complete bio.
- Animal Law Clinic Report to ODA: T he Animal Law Clinic was asked to evaluate the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) handling of the state’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program with respect to Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). The Clinic wrote this report as a result of the research and analysis it conducted into this issue.