National Animal Law Competition (NALC)


  • “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, JD, former competitor 

  • “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, JD

  • “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

  • “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

8th Annual

National Animal Law Competitions

Harvard Law School

February 25-27th, 2011



View the official competition announcement, including information about travel grants available from Animal Legal Defense Fund.

The National Animal Law Competitions (NALC) are an inter-law school competition presented by the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark and hosted by the Harvard Law School Student Animal Legal Defense Fund.  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; and
  • Appellate Moot Court Competition.

This year, over seventy law student competitors will represent nearly thirty of our nation’s best law schools at NALC.  We look forward to welcoming both them and their coaches to Harvard Law School.

We are also thrilled to once again have incredible guest judges volunteering their time and expertise to make this event fun, educational, and successful.  We are especially excited to welcome our three federal judges who will preside over the final round of the Appellate Moot Court Competition on Sunday.  They are:

  • Judge D. Brooks Smith, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Chief Judge Roslyn O. Silver, United States District Court for the District of Arizona
  • Judge Lee H. Rosenthal, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

* We invite the public to attend the final competition rounds taking place in Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall of Harvard Law School on Sunday, February 27th.  Final competition rounds start at 10:45 a.m. and will run until 2:30 p.m., with the NALC Awards Ceremony to follow.  For details, please check the competition schedule.

** If you live in the Boston area and are interested in volunteering, please contact Liberty Mulkani at .