July 21, 2022

Revival of the National Animal Law Competitions

The Brooks Institute is relaunching the Competitions with support from the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School and several other law schools.

  • A competitor arguing in the National Animal Law Competition in 2016

The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) is excited to share that the National Animal Law Competitions (NALC) are being relaunched and the next round of Competitions will be held in March 2023! The NALC was originally conceived in 2004 by Lewis & Clark Law School with support from the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and in collaboration with Harvard Law School. From 2004 through 2016, Lewis & Clark continued its leadership role in organizing and running the Competitions until NALC went on hiatus in 2017.

“I had always hoped the resources to bring the competitions back would become available, and we are very grateful to The Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy (Brooks Institute) for generously reviving the Competitions starting this year with help from CALS and the animal law programs at Harvard, the University of Denver, the University of San Francisco, Vermont, and Yale,” said Pamela Frasch, Professor and the Brooks McCormick Jr. Scholar of Animal Law and Policy at Lewis & Clark Law School. The Competitions aim to provide law students the opportunity to develop knowledge in the field of animal law and hone their writing and oral advocacy skills.

As in the earlier years, the event is open to current JD candidates at accredited American Bar Association law schools in the United States. There will be three areas of student competition: an Appellate Advocacy Competition, a Legislative Drafting & Lobbying Competition, and a Closing Argument Competition. The Appellate Advocacy Competition is for teams of two, while both the Legislative Drafting & Lobbying and Closing Argument Competitions are for individuals. Students may only register for one event each year.

Registration for the Competitions will open on September 15, 2022. Each competition requires first-round written and video oral advocacy submissions, which will be due November 15, 2022. In January of 2023, judges will select the finalists from those submissions. There will be 8 finalists for the Appellate Advocacy Competition, 10 finalists for the Legislative Drafting & Lobbying Competition, and 10 finalists for the Closing Argument Competition. Finalists will be invited to participate in the in-person closing rounds at Harvard Law School in March of 2023.

Historically Lewis & Clark Law students have done exceptionally well at the Competitions. To name a few of those achievements, in 2016, the last year before the hiatus, Lewis & Clark Law students won first and second place, as well as the best brief, in the Appellate Moot Court Competition. Lewis & Clark Law students also won first place in the Legislative Drafting & Lobbying Competition in 2015, as well as first place in the Closing Argument Competition and second place in the Appellate Moot Court Competition in 2014. In 2013, Lewis & Clark Law students won The Best Bill & Fact Sheet, first place for the Closing Argument Competition, and first place in the Appellate Moot Court Competition.

CALS looks forward to continuing its involvement and supporting Lewis & Clark Law students who compete in the NALC. We also extend a very special thank you to the Brooks Institute for its investment in animal law education by reviving this historic and important event!

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 advocates 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 two advanced legal degrees in animal law (an LLM degree and a Master of Studies degree for non-lawyers, both degrees are offered in person and online) and multiple animal law clinics and experiential learning opportunities. CALS’ Alumni-in Action from more than 20 countries are advancing legal protections and making a difference for animals around the world.