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Center for Animal Law Studies

General Counsel Topics: Animal Law Seminar (442)

November 13, 2013

Russ Mead
2 credits
*generally offered every spring

This course explores the legal issues inherent in organizing and operating an animal welfare non-profit organization. This course is taught from the practical perspective of a lawyer advising these non-profits. In particular, those non-profits involved in the rescue, transport, sheltering, care, and placement of animals; investigation and assistance in animal cruelty prosecutions; and lobbying for animal protection laws. This course examines legal issues presented by these activities and illustrates how to apply traditional general counsel concerns such as risk management, employment issues, statutory compliance, and protection of property interests, to situations such as using volunteers to transport animals across state lines, rescuing animals immediately after a natural disaster, and assisting in prosecuting animal cruelty.


This is a seminar course with a heavy emphasis on class discussion. 

This class has a writing assignment along with a final exam. The writing assignment is drafting a document that would be typically used by an animal welfare non-profit. The writing assignment will not satisfy the WIE requirement. The writing assignment is 45% of the course grade. The final exam is 45% of the grade with class participation making up the remaining 10%. The final exam is given as an “unscheduled exam,” giving students flexibility in scheduling the exam around other commitments.