Animal Law Litigation Clinic
The Animal Law Litigation Clinic (ALLC) focuses on the legal protections and rights of farmed animals. It is the nation’s only clinic focused exclusively on animal law litigation. Under the leadership of professor Delcianna Winders, the clinic advocates for farmed animals in the courtroom through cutting-edge lawsuits aimed at establishing and expanding legal protections and legal rights for farmed animals, including by challenging the presumption that common, inhumane farming practices are shielded from judicial scrutiny and pursuing novel causes of action.
Cases are selected to maximize student learning opportunities while also making the most change for farmed animals. Students are involved in every aspect of litigation, including appearing in court on behalf of animals. Depending on the procedural posture of the clinic’s cases, work may include interviewing potential clients/client representatives; drafting complaints; briefing and arguing dispositive motions; drafting and responding to discovery requests; taking or defending depositions; pre-trial motions practice; trial work, including voir dire and direct and cross examination; and post-trial briefing.
Students will leave the ALLC with a solid litigation foundation, including experience in assessing the merits and implications of potential lawsuits on behalf of animals and zealously litigating the strongest cases.
Limit: 6 students
Under the supervision of the clinical professor, students work developing and litigating cases to establish and expand legal protections and legal rights for animals, with an emphasis on cases furthering the interests of farmed animals. Depending on the procedural posture of the clinic’s cases, work may include interviewing potential clients/client representatives, drafting complaints, briefing and arguing dispositive motions, and drafting and responding to discovery requests, taking or defending depositions, creating pre-trial motions, participating in all aspects of trial, including voir dire, direct and cross examination, post-trial briefing, and the like. The clinic’s docket is balanced to provide students with opportunities to participate in as many aspects of litigation as possible and to see as much of a case through as possible.
Except in special circumstances, this is a full year course (three credits per semester). Students must take Animal Law Fundamentals as a prerequisite for the Animal Law Litigation Clinic and must enroll in both sections: Animal Law Litigation Clinic I and II.
Each week, students are expected to attend and participate in a 2-hour classroom component, meet with a supervising attorney, and work an average of 10 hours outside of class on cases as assigned. Students learn basic animal law jurisprudence, Bluebook citation, and trial and (when appropriate) appellate level animal law practice, including effective motion practice and general practice skills. Students also benefit from guest lectures by national animal law litigation experts and allied professionals, such as veterinarians and behaviorists. Class attendance is mandatory.
The Animal Law Litigation Clinic is a credit/no credit course with no final examination or paper requirement. Depending on the work in the clinic, there is a possibility that, with professor consent, a Writing Intensive Requirement paper can be completed. In some semesters, with Professor consent, it is possible for students to do additional work for individual research credit that furthers their clinic work and meets the Capstone requirement. The clinic does not include a separate ethics portion for credit, but students will be exposed to, and learn about, professionalism and ethics critical to being an effective litigator.
Prerequisite: Animal Law Fundamentals