May 13, 2019

Joyce Tischler to Join Animal Law Faculty

Animal law pioneer and founder of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Joyce Tischler, will join the faculty of Lewis & Clark Law School as a Professor of Practice.

Animal law pioneer and founder of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Joyce Tischler, will join the faculty of Lewis & Clark Law School as a Professor of Practice. For academic year 2019-2020, Professor Tischler will teach “Animal Law Fundamentals” and “Animals in Agriculture: Law and Policy.”

Tischler, affectionately known as the “Mother of Animal Law,” has spent her life paving the way for animal advocacy in the legal system. Most recently, Tischler co-authored the first-of-it’s-kind casebook, Animal Law: New Perspectives on Teaching Traditional Law with Pamela Hart and Kathy Hessler of the law school’s Center for Animal Law Studies’ (CALS). Currently, she is working on another groundbreaking casebook that will enable law schools to offer industrial animal agriculture law as its own course in the environmental, animal, food policy, and public health tracks.

“We are thrilled to welcome Joyce as a member of our faculty,” said Pamela Frasch, Associate Dean of the Animal Law Program. “As one of the world’s foremost experts on animal law, Joyce brings tremendous depth and unparalleled experience, which benefits our students and faculty alike. By educating the next generation of advocates, Joyce continues to be a trailblazer in animal law.”

Joyce Tischler co-founded the Animal Legal Defense Fund in 1979, the first nonprofit dedicated to protecting animals using the legal system. She played a pivotal role in launching, then shaping, the new field of animal law during her 25 years as executive director.

Under her leadership, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed groundbreaking and major impact lawsuits and laid the foundation necessary for animal law to be taken seriously in law schools, law firms, and bar associations across the country. With a robust pro bono network and student chapters in virtually every ABA-accredited law school – the first of which was established at Lewis & Clark – the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s influence stretches far beyond its organizational boundaries.

She handled some of the organization’s earliest cases, including a groundbreaking 1981 lawsuit that halted the U.S. Navy’s plan to kill 5,000 feral burros and a 1988 challenge to the U.S. Patent Office’s rule allowing the patenting of genetically altered animals.

She has tackled such diverse topics as challenges to hunting and trapping using the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), understanding and challenging concentrated animal feeding operations and industrialized animal agriculture, enforcement of the federal Animal Welfare Act, standing to sue, animal custody battles, establishing legal rights for animals, protecting animals pursuant to will provisions, and damages and recovery for injury to or death of an animal.

As an adjunct professor of animal law, Tischler has taught at several schools including Lewis & Clark. She consistently gets excellent evaluations from her students, who are inspired by her knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm. Joyce can be reached at


About the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School

Lewis & Clark Law School has been the vanguard of animal law for more than a quarter century. Over a decade ago, the Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) was launched at the law school. CALS offers the most extensive animal law curriculum in the world, with over 25 individual courses in animal law, as well as an Animal Law Certificate and the world’s first and only Master of Laws (LLM) in Animal Law, which is designed for US and international law school graduates.

In addition, CALS is home to the first legal journal devoted exclusively to animal law (Animal Law Review), the first student animal law organization (L&C SALDF), the world’s longest-running Animal Law Conference, and the world’s first and only Dean of Animal Law.

Notably, Lewis & Clark Law School offers two groundbreaking animal law clinics. The original Animal Law Clinic established in 2008 serves as a comprehensive training ground for students interested in the full range of policy and related work to benefit animals. The Animal Law Litigation Clinic (established 2019) offers cutting-edge litigation training for the next generation of lawyers so they can advocate for animals in the courtroom and develop creative ways to establish and expand the legal protections and rights of farmed animals.