February 27, 2024

Meet the Law Scholars for Change Scholarship Recipients

Introducing Lewis & Clark Law Students Suzannah Smith (2L) and Melissa Baines (3L) as the recipients of the 2023-24 Law Scholars for Change Scholarships

The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) is pleased to introduce Suzannah Smith and Melissa Baines as the recipients of the 2023-24 Animal Law Tuition Scholarships, and to invite scholarship applications for the 2024-25 Academic Year.

Founded by Charles Anderson and Pamela Gross, the Law Scholars for Change Program supports individuals who have demonstrated the passion and commitment to promote the well-being and protection of animals through the law. The Animal Law Tuition Scholarships are awarded to one 2L and one 3L annually. The scholarships are intended to support those who strive to advance the legal status of animals through innovations in awareness and advocacy, policy and regulation, and the use of new and existing laws to create positive change. Scholarships are for JD students who are pursuing a Certificate in Animal Law at Lewis & Clark Law School, with preference given to students seeking to specialize in industrial animal agriculture law after graduation.

Meet Melissa Baines

Melissa is a 3L at Lewis & Clark Law School where she serves as the Editor in Chief of the Animal Law Review, the nation’s oldest law journal dedicated to animal law. During the 2022-23 Academic Year, she worked as a law clerk and research assistant for Professor Joyce Tischler, aiding her with the drafting of a casebook on Industrial Agriculture Animal Law. The casebook will be the first of its kind and is being co-authored by Professor Tischler, Sonia Waisman, Cristina Stella, and Bruce Myers. Melissa’s work focused on the topics of vertical integration and consolidation within the meat industry and the use of antitrust laws to challenge monopolization within the industry.

Throughout her time as a law student, Melissa has interned for the Animal Welfare Institute’s Government Affairs Program in Washington, D.C. and externed for the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Legislative Affairs Program. As part of these programs, she focused on federal policy and legislation addressing a wide breadth of animal-related issues. Melissa is currently working for one of Oregon’s United States Senators as a Legislative Intern.

Prior to pursuing law school, Melissa was a Visual Arts Teacher for grades K-8. As part of our Farmed Animal Protection Project, Melissa authored a children’s book questioning the ethics of animal agriculture titled “One Bad Day.” The book is available for purchase on Amazon. As part of her work in the Project, Melissa also created a new nonprofit named “Grizzly Mouse” for future animal protection initiatives. The entity was successfully incorporated and granted 501(c)(3) tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service.

Of her future career in animal law, Melissa says “Ultimately I plan to find a position where I can work in policy, help pass federal laws to protect animals, and eventually establish an agency that will oversee those laws and make sure they are enforced.”

Meet Suzannah Smith

Suzannah is a 2L at Lewis & Clark Law School. She is seeking both the Animal Law Certificate and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate and wants to litigate against concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) using environmental and animal cruelty laws. She is the Pro Bono Chair of the L&C Animal Legal Defense Fund and is leading a project assisting Farm Sanctuary in developing a civics class for high schoolers as part of their Humane Education Program. She also serves as the Symposium Editor for the Animal Law Review symposium to be hosted this spring on strategies to litigate against CAFOs. She is a member of Earthrise Law Center and is researching the connection between animal agriculture and climate change. During the Fall 2023 Semester, Suzannah served as the Law Scholars for Change Law Clerk working with Professor Tischler, also working on the Industrial Animal Agriculture Law casebook. She aided with work relating to typical industry housing and standard husbandry practices inflicted upon pigs and sows, including a focus on gestation and farrowing crates. This summer she will join Animal Legal Defense Fund as a litigation clerk.

Suzannah’s goal is to pursue a career dedicated to using the law to combat CAFOs. She says: “What has long drawn me to law is the promise of systemic change. Law is never static, and within this liminal space there is so much possibility. There is a storm gathering around CAFOs, driven by public concern over the climate crisis, environmental racism, public health, and animal welfare. Society is primed for legal change, change that could affect trillions of lives, both human and non-human. I am passionate about helping bring about this change.”

Welcoming Applications for 2024-25 Animal Law Tuition Scholarships

The application window is now open for the Animal Law Tuition Scholarships for the 2024-25 Academic Year! To apply, Lewis & Clark Law Students should submit their application using this link (be sure to read all instructions) by April 21, 2024.

 

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. CALS’ Alumni-in-Action from over 25 countries are making a difference for animals around the world. CALS is a nonprofit organization funded through donations and grants.