Animal Law Clinic
The Animal Law Clinic, the first in the nation with a full-time faculty member, works to promote animal protection on behalf of individual and organizational clients.
Senior Federal Legislative Specialist, Humane Society of the United States
When did you work in the clinic? What did you do?
Fall semester of 2011 through the spring semester of 2012. I worked on several projects, including innovative litigation and federal rulemaking petitions on current, pressing issues.
In 2017-18, clinic students assisted the Wildwood Farm Sanctuary in Oregon, which takes in abused and neglected farmed animals and rehabilitates them. Their work included updating liability waivers for volunteers and visitors (particularly with children in mind), and conducting research for policies regarding breeding, euthanasia, and transfer of legal ownership.
What work are you doing now?
In my role at the Humane Society, I work to advance federal animal protection legislation in the U.S. Congress and oppose harmful legislation. I develop and execute comprehensive strategies for a number of the organization’s top legislative priorities, such as companion animals and horse protection.
What parts of your clinic experience helped prepare you for your career?
The Animal Law Clinic teaches students to think outside of the box—a skill that is critical in policy work where I often need to approach issues creatively. The clinic also provided the benefit of gaining real-world experience in a number of areas before graduation, such as litigation and regulatory issues.
A memorable moment?
My professor, Kathy Hessler, was a phenomenal mentor. The entire Animal Law Clinic was a memorable experience!
How do you view the clinic now?
Regardless of whether you plan to lobby on Capitol Hill or pursue a career in litigation, I would recommend the Animal Law Clinic to any student interested in gaining experience with legal and policy work before graduating. For those students specifically interested in animal law, the clinic provides exposure to numerous animal protection issues, networking with NGOs, and the opportunity to work on hot topics in the field. Additionally, it provides the valuable experience of working with experts who have a vast wealth of knowledge on these topics.