School navigation

Animal Law Clinic 788 AY

Wed 1:20PM-3:15PM
3 credits

As the only animal law clinic in the country, the clinic focuses on matters of national and international importance, in addition to maintaining connections and working in the local community.  Students in the Animal Law Clinic conduct research, represent clients, work on clinic projects, and with attorneys outside the clinic to develop the field of animal law and encourage consideration of the interests of animals in legal decision making. Their work includes, research, transactional work, litigation, and strategic planning. Where possible students also work with lawyer partners around the country, observe legal proceedings, and conduct field work to better understand the problems facing animals.

The Animal Law Clinic is a year-long course for which students will earn 6 credits.  Students participate in a weekly 2 hour class covering substantive issues and lawyering skills, meet weekly with clinic faculty to discuss their work, and spend an average of 10 hours per week on clinic work.

Students must take Animal Law as a prerequisite for the Animal Law Clinic and must enroll for both the Fall and Spring semesters of the course.

There is no application process.  Up to 6 students may enroll on a first come, first served basis.

The Animal Law Clinic is a credit/no credit course with no final examination or paper requirement. Depending on the work in the clinic, however, there is a possibility that a WIE or Capstone paper can be completed.  Professor consent is needed.

While the clinic will not include a separate ethics portion for credit, students will be exposed to, and learn about, professionalism and ethics critical to being an effective legal advocate.

Currently, the Animal Law Clinic is working on the regulatory barriers to alternatives to animal testing, and determining how best to address some of the problems resulting from factory farming. Additionally, the clinic is working with a number of other local and national law matters.

For further information, contact clinic director, Kathy Hessler at

Prerequisite(s): Animal Law (499)
Programs: Animal