Megan Senatori is the Associate Director of the Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS). She previously served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for CALS. Megan is a seasoned civil litigator, nonprofit leader, animal law professor, and frequent writer and speaker on animal protection issues.
Megan has almost two decades of experience as a litigator in private practice. She served as Litigation Practice Group Chair for five years for a 120 attorney law firm with litigators across three offices in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Her practice consisted of a wide-range of complex commercial litigation. She also litigated cases to advance protections for animals, including cases involving animal cruelty, breed specific legislation, the police shooting of a companion dog, injuries to companion dogs, custody/placement disputes, domestic violence, and more. She was honored with the Animal Legal Defense Fund Pro Bono Achievement Award in 2013.
Megan has taught animal law for over a decade, including co-teaching the first-ever animal law course at the University of Wisconsin Law School (in 2003), and the first-ever animal law course at Marquette University Law School (in 2005). Both courses covered the fundamentals of animal law. She served as co-author of an amicus brief before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of a group of 43 law professors from across the country to argue in United States v. Stevens that preventing animal cruelty is a compelling governmental interest to be respected by the Court. She routinely presents to attorneys, veterinarians, humane officers and law enforcement regarding animal protection issues, including teaching a portion of the annual Wisconsin Humane Officer Certification Program for the State of Wisconsin for more than a decade. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Lewis & Clark Law School.
Megan also has significant experience regarding the link between animal cruelty and human violence. In 2001, she co-founded Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims (SAAV) an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that recognizes animals as vital family members and arranges for their safe harbor when a domestic abuse victim seeks refuge from an abuser. She continues to serve as President and oversees services. Megan has been featured for her work on the link in O Magazine and a variety of other publications.
Specialty Areas and Course Descriptions
The Link Between Animal Cruelty and Human Violence
- JD, University of Wisconsin Law School, cum laude
- BA, University of Wisconsin - Madison, with honors in Political Science and a Certificate in Women’s Studies
- The Second Revolution: The Diverging Paths Of Animal Activism and Environmental Law (published in the Wisconsin Environmental Law Journal and re-published in Environmental Ethics and the Law);
- The Future Of Animal Law: Moving Beyond Preaching To The Choir (published in the Journal of Legal Education and re-published in other languages, co-authored with CALS Co-Founder, Professor Pamela Frasch).
Member (2004-present), Animal Law Committee, American Bar Association
Member (2021-present), Companion Animal Law Subcommittee, American Bar Association
Fellow (2015-present), Wisconsin Law Foundation
Fellow (2017-present), American Bar Association
Latest Awards and Honors
Rising Star, Law & Politics
Rising Star, Wisconsin Law Journal