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National Animal Law Competitions


NALC is an inter-law school competition presented by the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark, in collaboration with the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

  • <blockquote><p> “What an amazing experience. I learned so, so much, and met so many wonderful people. The first thing I did when I got home was send an e-mail to our SALDF encouraging people to do this next year (and offering to coach them!).”</p></blockquote>
  • <blockquote><p> “My team and I had a really great time at NALC this year. Thank you…so much for all your hard work in making the event such a success!”</p></blockquote>
  • <blockquote><p> “NALC was a great experience - and incredibly well-run and well-organized!”</p></blockquote>
  • <blockquote><p> “As a trial lawyer for more than 25 years I was very impressed with the quality of the closing arguments of all the competitors. They performed at a level I would expect of a third year prosecutor, not a law student. And the winner was absolutely fantastic, particularly in her ability to think on her feet during the final round. Finding law students interested in not just the issue but bringing those who abuse animals to justice is particularly meaningful for those of us who have been working, often seemingly alone, in animal welfare enforcement.” –Josh Marquis, J.D.</p></blockquote>
  • <blockquote><p> “My partner and I chose to come back to NALC because we had such a great experience last year– thoughtful judges, a well-run competition, and thought-provoking practice problems. Connecting with animal law professionals and supportive members of the bench has been a great benefit of this competition and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.” –Anna Bennett, UC Irvine Law 3L</p></blockquote>
  • <blockquote><p> “Thanks so much! This has been an amazing experience.”</p></blockquote>
  • <blockquote><p> “It is really amazing to practice real skills and get feedback from the most important scholars and practitioners in animal law. The competition fosters relationships between competitors but also amongst the staff and judges.” –Stefanie Wilson, UC Irvine Law 3L</p></blockquote>
  • <blockquote><p> “The experience for my two students was one they will never forget, and the countless ‘adjacent’ conversations we had in the general area of animal rights provided them with tremendous exposure to the issues and to being able to think and converse about them.”</p></blockquote>
  • <blockquote><p> “Just wanted to say a huge thank you for a wonderful event…and for being SO supportive.”</p></blockquote>
  • <blockquote><p> “Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate in [NALC]. This problem was just great, so well crafted, and it was a delight to work on.”</p></blockquote>
  • <blockquote><p> “The National Animal Law Competitions allows students with a passion for advocacy specifically related to animal issues, to hone their skills to become better advocates. I have always enjoyed advocating for people who could not speak for themselves. By competing in the National Animal Law Competitions, I learned how to craft compelling arguments and learn how to present animal law issues to people who may not be as informed of the challenges that animals face. I enjoyed my time as a competitor so much that I signed up with Animal Legal Defense Fund and have assisted The John Marshall Law School as a coach for students competing in the National Animal Law Competitions. One of the greatest testaments of NALC is that it allows law students who are unaware of the plight of companion animals, farm animals, or even animals subjected to experiments, to become better stewards of those entrusted to our care. There is nothing like watching students evolve from supporters of animal issues to advocates of animal issues.” –Anthony Sam, J.D., former competitor </p></blockquote>

NALC provides law students from across the United States an opportunity to develop knowledge in the field of animal law while honing their written and oral advocacy skills. The event is comprised of three separate competitions:

  • Legislative Drafting & Lobbying Competition
  • Closing Argument Competition
  • Appellate Moot Court Competition

NALC is held annually in February at a rotating host law school. Students and judges arrive on Friday evening, compete all day Saturday, and the final rounds take place on Sunday afternoon.

Competitors may register for any two of the three events comprising the National Animal Law Competitions. A separate registration fee is required for each individual competition. Only the Legislative Drafting & Lobbying Competition is open to first year law students. Registration opens in early fall semester.

National Animal Law Competitions

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