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Global Law Alliance Champions Wild Animals, Wild Spaces at Lewis & Clark Law School

September 22, 2020

Combining its nationally recognized expertise in environmental law and animal law, Lewis & Clark Law School announced the creation of the Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment (the “Alliance”). The Alliance is a champion for wild animals and wild spaces across the globe, working to protect animals and the environment through the development, implementation, and enforcement of international law. Law students (JD and LLM) actively participate in the work through two clinics within the Alliance.

The #1 ranked Environmental Law Program and The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) worked together to leverage existing programs, creating one innovative, overarching collaboration for greater impact to the international community, as well as more practical training opportunities for law students.

Across the world, wild animals are being exploited at an unprecedented pace. The threats wild animals and human populations face are many: habitat destruction, the wildlife trade, pollution, industrialized animal farming, poaching, trophy hunting, climate change, pandemics, and more. The 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services delivered an ominous prediction: around one million species could go extinct unless we take drastic steps to transform our relationship with animals, plants, and the entire natural world.

The Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment resolves pressing international animal and environmental concerns with a strategic approach. Legal experts partner with non-governmental organizations, governments, and international institutions to use citizen mechanisms, legislative reforms, international law and policy, and compliance and enforcement opportunities to protect wild animals and the environment. The range of animals it works to protect is broad, from the world’s most-trafficked mammal, the pangolin, to iconic species such as lions and elephants, to small but equally important animals like lizards, frogs and butterflies.

Two clinics are housed under the Alliance, one designed for law students and one designed for lawyers seeking an advanced legal degree in animal law through CALS’ one-of-a-kind Animal Law LLM Program.

“As a leader in the field, CALS is committed to developing cutting-edge ways to make an impact for animals,” says CALS Founder, Pamela Frasch, Associate Dean of the Animal Law Program and the Brooks McCormick Jr. Scholar of Animal Law and Policy. “Collaborating with our talented colleagues in the Environmental Law Program provides the opportunity to leverage our respective areas of expertise to create innovative approaches to protecting wild animals.”

Noted international wildlife and environmental lawyer and scholar, Clinical Professor Erica Lyman leads the Alliance. For over fifteen years, Professor Lyman has dedicated her practice, teaching, and scholarship to advancing wild animal protection throughout the world. She is recognized by peers as a leader in the field of international wildlife law, with a deep knowledge of international law and a history of creative, progressive thinking about using international legal opportunities for the benefit of wildlife and the environment. She is joined by Senior Staff Attorney Nick Fromherz, an expert in international wildlife law in his own right, with particular expertise in Latin America as he lives and works in Bolivia.

Lewis and Clark’s top ranked Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law Program has housed many wildlife initiatives, trainings, and courses over its 50 years of existence. “Now is the time to pull the same oar,” says Associate Dean and Director of the Environmental Law Program, Janice Weis. “What affects the environment, affects the animals, and ultimately, each of us. We are pleased to be collaborating with the Center for Animal Law Studies and we cannot wait to see all that Professor Lyman and the students accomplish, together, to effectuate critically needed change for animals and the environment.”

About the Center for Animal Law Studies

The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) was founded in 2008 with a mission to educate the next generation of animal law attorneys and advance animal protection through the law. With vision and bold risk-taking, CALS has since developed into a world-renowned animal law epicenter, with the most comprehensive animal law curriculum offered anywhere. In addition, CALS is the only program that offers an advanced legal degree in animal law and three Animal Law Clinics. CALS is a nonprofit organization, operating under Lewis & Clark College’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, and is only able to provide these educational opportunities through donations and grants.

About the Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law Program

Lewis & Clark Law School’s Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law program is number one in the country according to the U.S. News and World Report rankings and has occupied a top slot in the US News rankings for some 25 years. Founded in 1970, the same year of the first Earth Day and the launch of major federal environmental legislation, the program is celebrating its 50th year in 2020. The program offers over 45 courses in environmental law, including two clinics, the Global Law Alliance and a domestic litigation clinic, Earthrise Law Center, and houses the Green Energy Institute which works to further the transition to a 100% renewable energy grid. It offers two two certificates for JDs focusing on environmental issues and energy issues and also offers a LLM degree and a Master of Studies degree for non-lawyers (both of which can be completed on campus or online).

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