Scott Heiser

Brooks Institute for Law & Policy Research Fellow


Scott Heiser is the Brooks Institute for Law & Policy Research Fellow. In this role, Scott is developing an innovative animal law research tool that focuses, in part, on animal law legislation at the local, state, and federal levels. Scott is a seasoned attorney with close to three decades of experience in animal law, investigations, and criminal trials.

A prosecutor for seventeen years, Scott served the last eight of those as the elected district attorney in Benton County, Oregon. He has been president of the Oregon District Attorneys Association (ODAA) and served as a member of the Governor’s Drug and Violent Crime Advisory Committee. Scott also served on the board of directors for the Heartland Humane Society in Corvallis, Oregon. While Scott has prosecuted all types of criminal conduct, including capital murder, he has always found animal cruelty cases among the most compelling cases he has handled. His passion for animal protection led Scott to join the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), where he headed up ALDF’s Criminal Justice Program for ten years. In that role, Scott and his team provided a full spectrum of services to law enforcement and prosecutors who investigate and litigate animal cruelty cases and forged partnerships with both the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the National Sheriffs Association to provide the training necessary to ensure that law enforcement and prosecutors get the results these cases deserve.

Scott has lectured on issues related to animal cruelty prosecution all around the nation and has served as a member of the adjunct faculty at Lewis & Clark Law School. Scott received his JD from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College and his undergraduate degree in economics from Oregon State University. Scott is the recipient of the Diamond Collar Award from the Oregon Humane Society for his work on behalf of animals as well as the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys’ Prosecutor of the Year Award.