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Law Faculty

Kathy Hessler

Clinical Professor of Law and Animal Law Clinic Director

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Boley Law Library

Kathy Hessler is a clinical professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School. She is the first and only faculty member hired to teach animal law full time in a law school. She graduated with a J.D. from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary and received her LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center.

After Law school, Professor Hessler worked at Legal Services of Northern Virginia.  From there she went to a teaching fellowship at Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to teaching at Lewis & Clark, Professor Hessler taught in clinical programs at Case Western Reserve University Law School, Cornell Law School, the University of Dayton Law School, the Capital University School of Law, and Georgetown University Law Center.  In those clinics Professor Hessler worked on domestic relations, consumer, housing, transactional, public benefits, and other civil matters.

Professor Hessler was previously a board member with the Animal Legal Defense Fund and helped found the Animal Law Committee of the Cuyahoga County Bar. Additionally, she was the chair and a founder of the Animal Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) and the Balance in Legal Education Section.   She was also a co-chair of the Clinical Legal Education Section of the AALS and is on the board of the Center for Teaching Peace.

Professor Hessler co-authored (with Pamela Frasch and Megan Senatori) the amicus brief submitted in the U.S. v. Stevens case, on behalf of 45 law professors who teach animal law.  She also co-authored Animal Law in a Nutshell (with Pamela Frasch, Sarah Kutil, and Sonia Waisman) and has written numerous other law review and other articles and she is co-authoring a new books on animal law.

Professor Hessler has been teaching Animal Law courses since 2001, and animal law concepts as a part of nonviolence class offerings beginning in 1989. At Lewis & Clark, Professor Hessler is the faculty advisor to SALDF and Outlaw, coaches the animal law moot court teams, and has been an advisor to the Animal Law journal since 1998. Professor Hessler lectures widely on animal law and animal law education issues in the U.S. and internationally.  She also writes and lectures on alternative dispute resolution, First Amendment issues, and clinical legal education.

Specialty Areas & Course Descriptions

Academic Credentials

  • LL.M., 1997, Georgetown University Law Center
  • J.D., 1987, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William and Mary
  • B.A., 1985, George Washington University


Separately Published Works

  • TEACHING ANIMAL LAW ACROSS THE CURRICULUM, Carolina Academic Press (forthcoming 2011).
  • ANIMAL LAW IN A NUTSHELL, Thomson West Publishing (co-authored with Pamela D. Frasch, Sarah M. Kutil, Sonia S. Waisman) (2011).

Works Published As Part of a Collection

  • The Role of the Animal Law Clinic, Journal of Legal Education (forthcoming 2010).
  • Animals in Testing: Concerns and Consequences, GRIDA Symposium — University of Quebec at Montreal (in French), proceedings of the Japanese Association of Legal Philosophy (in Japanese), and Federal University of Bahia/Brazil (in Portugese) (forthcoming 2010).
  • Amicus Curiae brief filed with the United States Supreme Court in the case of U.S. v. Stevens, (drafted with Megan A. Senatori, Pamela D. Frasch, and Laura Handzel) (2009).
  • Exotic Animals as Pets, American Bar Association GP Solo, Vol. 26, No. 5 (co-authored with Tanith Balaban) (2009).
  • Agricultural Animals and the Law, American Bar Association GP Solo, Vol. 26, No.5 (co-authored with Tanith Balaban) (2009).
  • Mediating Animal Law Matters, 2 Journal of Animal Law and Ethics 21 (2007) and CITED in Augillard v. Madura, 257 S.W.3d 494, 503 (TX Ct. of App., 2008).
  • Bridge of Hope, Journey to Justice: An Essay, Volume 3, Issue 1 Seattle Journal for Social Justice 429, (2004).
  • Early Efforts to Suppress Protest: Unwanted Abolitionist Speech, 7 Boston University Public Interest Law Journal 185 (1998).
  • Where Do We Draw the Line Between Harassment and Free Speech? An Analysis of Hunter Harassment Law, 3 Animal Law Journal 129 (1997) and
  • CITED in People v. Sanders, 696 N.E.2d 1144, 1150 (Ill. S.Ct., 1998).
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Kathy Hessler’s office is located in room 150C of Boley Law Library.


voice 503-768-6955

Kathy Hessler Clinical Professor of Law and Animal Law Clinic Director

Lewis & Clark Law School 10015 S.W. Terwilliger Boulevard MSC 51 Portland OR 97219 USA

45.452277975569; -122.67813914946