Animal Law Clinic

The original Animal Law Clinic (established 2008) serves as a comprehensive training ground for students interested in the full range of policy and related work to benefit animals through the direct representation of clients. The Clinic provides an opportunity for students to gain real-world experience working with clients as well the chance to develop their professional skills.

  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><blockquote><p> The Animal Law Clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School was instrumental in helping us create policies to support aquatic animal welfare. The work and research they conducted was succinct and comprehensive, offering both the necessary background information to understand existing policies and valuable insights into how these policies could be reformed. We found our partnership with the Clinic to be incredibly rewarding, and we’re looking forward to continued opportunities to collaborate.” </p><p> -Anonymous Client </p></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><blockquote><p> The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has proudly participated in World Aquatic Animal Day since the Animal Law Clinic initiated it in April 2020. On this day and throughout the year we aim to raise global awareness about our friends from the sea and in particular their misuse in laboratories.” </p><p> - Catharine E. Krebs, PhD, Medical Research Specialist, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine </p></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><blockquote><p> Compassionate PDX is a local grassroots lobbying group working on passing animal rights legislation at the local and state level. The Animal Law Clinic at Lewis & Clark provided valuable legal advice, demonstrated professionalism and expertise throughout our time working together and we are very grateful for the service they provide.” </p><p> - Compassionate PDX </p></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><blockquote><p> Wildwood Farm Sanctuary is grateful for the help of the student law clinic. We’re a small and young nonprofit. Lewis and Clark Animal Law students have helped us draft policies and procedures to protect our volunteers, organization, and the animals who rely on us for life-long sanctuary and care. The students are even happy to reach out to research the best practices of larger, more established sanctuaries. They’ve been an indispensable part of our team.” </p><p> - Michelle Blake, VP, Wildwood Farm Sanctuary and Conservancy </p><p>   </p></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><blockquote><p> The Animal Law Clinic at Lewis & Clark worked with us to investigate laws and guidelines related to the care and use of cephalopods in research, testing, and education. The team was wonderful to collaborate with, and our work went toward a petition filed with the U.S. Public Health Service to include cephalopods under the definition of “animals” as worthy of humane treatment under the Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.” </p><p> - Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine </p></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><blockquote><p> Collaborating with the Clinic has enabled Animal Equality to embark on exciting projects which we would not have had the bandwidth to take on otherwise. It is a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside Kathy and her team, and greater numbers of animals stand to benefit as a result!” </p><p> - Sarah Hanneken, Legal Advocacy Counsel, Animal Equality USA </p></blockquote></div>

Students conduct legal research, analysis, writing, work on clinic projects to develop the field of animal law, and encourage consideration of the interests of animals in legal decision-making. Clinic work includes: policy, legislative, transactional, and administrative law work; occasional litigation work; advocacy; negotiation; mediation; ethical practice; and strategic planning. When appropriate, students also work with other lawyers as well as community members, veterinarians, scientists, economists, and other professionals.

  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><blockquote><p> The Animal Law Clinic was one of the most practical classes in my Animal Law LLM program. It provided the perfect balance between delving into substantive legal issues and developing professional legal skills - all in a supportive, empowering and collaborative environment.” </p><p> - Bianka Atlas, Animal Law LLM ’20 </p></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><blockquote><p> As a practicing attorney, I believe that clinical experience is something that should be offered in any law school curriculum. The Animal Law Clinic at Lewis and Clark, supervised by Professor Hessler, provides students with a degree of professional autonomy and responsibility that is otherwise unavailable to inexperienced attorneys during their first several years of practice. To me, this combination of doing important public interest work and obtaining significant experience in the field of animal law is invaluable.” </p><p> -Alena Eckhardt, Animal Law LLM ’14 </p></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><blockquote><p> The Animal Law Clinic rounded out my law school experience by teaching me how to use what I learned in traditional law school courses to help animals in the real world. I believe that the clinic’s collaborative structure and experienced faculty helped me develop critical thinking and problem solving skills that I still use in my work daily. The clinic’s supportive faculty truly advocate for their students and work closely with them to plan for their career goals after law school.” </p><p> - Jonathan Morris, JD ’17 </p></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><blockquote><p> The Animal Law Clinic was more than just an opportunity to gain practical experience; it was a safe place to cultivate ideas, discuss apprehensions about the future, and form close bonds that will stay with us personally and professionally for the rest of our lives. The leadership of the Clinic brought out the best in all of us. Working with real clients on projects that truly mattered, while supported by Professor Hessler, allowed us the freedom to explore our own professional styles while receiving guidance about what being a lawyer means.” </p><p> -Priscilla Rader, JD ’16 </p></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><blockquote><p> It was great to be mentored by Professor Hessler, who is a leading animal law professor. The learning experience from Animal Law Clinic was multifold; getting to interact with clients, working on ongoing animal law issues, and learning by applying animal law were the highlights of being a student at the ALC.” </p><p> - Sahana Ramdas, Animal Law LLM ’20 </p></blockquote></div>

Visit the Law Courses Catalog for course details, prerequisites, enrollment and more.

Animal Law Clinic Faculty

Kathy Hessler

Clinical Professor of Law and Animal Law Clinic Director