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Center for Animal Law Studies

Tess Vickery

  • Natasha Dolezal

Freshwater, New South Wales, Australia

Animal Law LL.M. Candidate ’19

Tess Vickery, from Australia, is the recipient of the International Society for Animal Rights Helen Jones Memorial Scholarship.

Tess received her combined Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws from Macquarie University, Australia in 2012. While at law school, Tess participated in her university’s first animal law class which opened her eyes to the animal law movement. She subsequently wrote her honors thesis on animal rights and contractarian theories of justice, which was later published in the Macquarie Law Journal and received multiple awards.

After graduating with First Class Honors, Tess worked in commercial and class action litigation at one of Australia’s top firms.  Notably, Tess worked on the Volkswagen ‘dieselgate’ class action in relation to their global breaches of environmental emissions standards. Tess also established her firm’s first “Animal Law Program” which encouraged lawyers to provide pro-bono assistance on animal law cases. Their first case was a successful consumer law action against a negligent ‘backyard breeder’ (and suspected puppy mill) that supplied puppies suffering severe medical issues to the client and others.

Throughout her career, Tess has remained passionate about social justice and using her legal training to improve the lives of both human and non-human animals, which ultimately led her to pursue an Animal Law LL.M. at Lewis & Clark Law School.  

While at Lewis & Clark Law School, Tess has embraced the opportunities available to her, contributing to projects in the Animal Law Clinic, acting as an Associate Editor of the Animal Law Review and working as Research Assistant to Dr. Raj Reddy. She is also writing her LL.M. project on how consumer law litigation can be used to advocate on behalf of animals.

When Tess returns home to Australia, she hopes to continue to work on litigation that advances the rights of non-human animals, while also actively sharing the knowledge and skills she has gained in the program with her Australian colleagues to continue to grow the animal law movement globally.