- Nina Johnson
Bianka Atlas is the first Animal Law LLM graduate from Aotearoa New Zealand and a recipient of the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy International Scholarship. Bianka graduated from Lewis & Clark with Honors and was the LLM Representative for Lewis & Clark’s Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter.
Bianka received her Bachelor of Laws (Honors) and Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics and Psychology) from the University of Auckland and her Master of Science (Childhood Studies) from the University of Edinburgh. Bianka also holds a Certificate in Animal Welfare Investigations from Unitec New Zealand and has completed training in animal behavior and animal first aid. She has hands-on experience in animal care and rehabilitation, including with domestic animals and wild birds.
Before joining the Animal Law LLM Program, Bianka enjoyed a varied human rights career, with expertise in children’s rights and refugee law, both in New Zealand and internationally. In 2016, she was deployed as a Resettlement Expert to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Beirut, Lebanon.
Bianka has researched and published on a range of animal law issues, including aquatic animal protection, the link between domestic violence and animal abuse, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Her article, ‘Joining the Herd: A Case for Closing New Zealand’s Domestic Ivory Market,’ was published in Lewis & Clark’s Animal Law. Bianka will be presenting her LLM thesis on the welfare of fish in aquaculture at the Animal Legal Defense Fund Virtual Student Convention 2020.
Bianka is currently a Campaigns Manager at SAFE, New Zealand’s leading animal advocacy organization.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to study at Lewis & Clark’s Center for Animal Law Studies, to immerse myself in all-things-animal-law, and to be inspired by Animal Law trailblazers. The variety and quality of courses, and the support I received from my professors, surpassed my expectations. I have gained expertise in developing and using the law strategically and creatively to advocate for animals – through litigation, legislation, policy, and lobbying. I look forward to applying my skills and knowledge to effect change in the legal status and treatment of animals in New Zealand and globally.”