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Kathy Hessler

Clinical Professor of Law and Animal Law Clinic Director

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





            - 61 Revista Brasileira de Direito Animal (Portugese translation)
              Ano 2013, Vol.8, Número 14 (September-December).
            - ANIMAL LAW ANTHOLOGY, University of Zurich (2012). 
            - 60 Journal of Legal Education 263, (Number 2/November 2010).

  • Animal Law in a Nutshell, with Pamela Frasch, Sarah Kutil and Sonia Waisman, Thompson West (2011).
  • Animals in Testing: Concerns and Consequences in
    - Animal Law and Scientific Research: Ethics and Legal Aspects of Animal        Experimentation in Brazil and EUA, Heron Gordilho, Ed. (forthcoming).
    - 89 Revista Brasileira de Direito Animal (Portugese translation) Ano 2011,Vol.            6 Número 8, (January-June).
    Perspectives Philosophiques Sur la Recherche Animale, L’Animal Dans la Spirale des Besoins de l’Humain, (French translation) (M. Lachance (dir.)), Cowansville, Yvon Blais, 2010, p. 265.
    - Perspectives Philosophiques Sur la Recherche Animale, (French translation) 1 Revue Semestrielle de Droit Animalier – RSDA (Observatoire des Mutations Institutionnelles et Juridiques, Limoges, Fr.), 327 (2010).
    - Philosophical Foundations and Animals in Testing: Concerns and Consequences, (Japanese translation), (2010) I. Shimazu ed., Crime, Restoration and Responsibility, Research Project Report No.185, Chiba University Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, pp. 36-44. (From the proceedings of the Japanese Association of Legal Philosophy)
  • Mediating Animal Law Matters, 2 Journal of Animal Law and Ethics 21 (2007).  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, (Fall/Winter 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).  CITED in People v. Sanders, 696 N.E.2d 1144, 1150 (Ill. S.Ct., 1998).




  • Report on the Enforcement of the Clean Water Act as it Relates to CAFOs by Oregon’s Department of Agriculture, with Denise Luk and Suzanne McMillan, Spring 2012.
  • Report and Recommendations on the Status of Clinical Faculty in the Legal Academy, by the American Association of Law Schools Section on Clinical Legal Education, Task Force on the Status of Clinicians and the Legal Academy, March 29, 2010.
  • Exotic Animals as Pets, with Tanith Balaban, American Bar Association GP Solo, Vol. 26, No. 5 (July/August 2009).
  • Agricultural Animals and the Law, with Tanith Balaban, American Bar Association GP Solo, Vol. 26, No. 5 (July/August 2009).
  • 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.  The brief was filed in support of neither party, but rather on behalf of a group of American animal law professors to offer expert opinion on the question of whether preventing animal cruelty is a compelling governmental interest, 2009.
  • Ohio Non-violent Civil Disobedience Protest Manual, 1996, updated 2002, 2003.



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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