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Center for Animal Law Studies

Lewis & Clark Law Students Shine at the 14th Annual National Animal Law Competitions

April 08, 2015

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    Sarah Butler and David Rosengard at the 2015 National Animal Law Competitions

The Center for Animal Law Studies, in collaboration with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, was pleased to present the 12th Annual National Animal Law Competitions (NALC) at Harvard Law School in late February. The competition features three separate events, including Appellate Moot Court, Closing Argument, and Legislative Drafting and Lobbying. We were delighted to have several exceptional students representing the school in each of the three categories. All of the students were required to compete in an intraschool competition in order to be chosen to represent Lewis & Clark at the national level. The selected students included the paired teams of Brian Buske and Michael Cowgill and Cameron Jimmo and YoungWoo Joh for the Appellate Moot Court competition, individual competitors David Rosengard and Sarah Butler for the Closing Argument Competition, and individual competitors Cooper Warner and Sarah Butler for the Legislative Drafting and Lobbying Competition.

All of the competitors did a tremendous job, and we are proud of each and every one of them. We are especially delighted to announce that the team of Cameron Jimmo and YoungWoo Joh advanced to the semi-final round in the Appellate Moot Court Competition, and that Sarah Butler won First Place in the Legislative Drafting and Lobbying Competition! 

Discussing her experience, Sarah said, “I entered the Legislative Drafting and Lobbying competition because I wanted to learn the skills of becoming an effective lobbyist, which I feel I have gained, and winning the competition was just an amazing bonus. I didn’t realize the importance of winning a national animal law competition until I had extraordinary animal protectors like Matthew Dominguez from HSUS and Chris Green from ALDF, whom I had always admired and looked up to, come up to me, knowing who I am and congratulating me. That was the most exciting thing. I feel like I made a splash in the animal legal world.” 

A current 2L, Sarah is considering doing Closing Argument again next year because she wants to continue to improve her litigation skills and because she had so much fun this year. With regard to recommending the National Animal Law Competition to others, Sarah said, “Deciding to take NALC classes at Lewis and Clark has been the best decision I have made at law school since deciding to come to Lewis and Clark. I entered the competition for the skills, but what I got was a network of amazing attorneys and animal advocates, and for the first time I really felt like I was a part of it.”

Appellate Moot Court team coach Professor Kathy Hessler agrees. “NALC provides in-depth training and education for those students interested in developing their oral and written advocacy skills. In addition to being an exceptional academic experience, I have seen first hand how students have used the opportunities they have through NALC to make invaluable professional contacts which have, more than once, resulted in highly competitive job offers. It’s exciting to see the level of seriousness and professionalism with which the students involve themselves in this competition. My congratulations to all the competitors for a job well done!”

In addition to congratulating our students, CALS would like to extend its thanks to everyone who helped our students prepare. Appellate Moot Court co-coaches Ellen Osoinach and Professor Kathy Hessler; Closing Argument coaches Jake Bush and Jaclyn Leeds; and Legislative Drafting and Lobbying coaches Kelly Peterson and Scott Beckstead. All of the coaches worked long hours with our students, helping them prepare for the competitions and teaching them about effective lawyering.

Additionally, many people helped students with practice rounds, and while this list is not exhaustive, CALS would like to recognize Maria Witt, Katie Walter, Marla Nelson, Brendan Stabeno, Cameron Taylor, Andrea Lang, Anna Niederkorn, Bill Chin, Aliza Kaplan, Jim Oleske, Steve Johansen, Paula Abrams, Tung Yin, Tom Buchele, Ozan Varul, Craig Johnston, Daryl Wilson, and Judith Miller.

Finally, a word of thanks also goes out to Pamela Frasch, Natasha Dolezal, Lindsay Kadish (CALS); Liberty Mulkani (ALDF); and Kristin Stilt (Harvard). It was due to their hard work that the competitions were so successful.