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. Her practice consisted of a wide-range of complex commercial litigation. She always made time, however, to include animal protection cases in her practice, primarily focusing on companion animal issues. She has litigated cases challenging breed specific legislation, the police shooting of a companion dog, negligent injuries to companion dogs, custody/placement disputes, domestic violence, and more.
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). 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