Tom Bilello

Tom Bilello

Online LLM Candidate ’22


Tom has spent the vast majority of his legal career managing the delivery of legal and compliance support for a national insurance company in southern California. He has spent nearly that long considering our relationships with animals, and particularly those in our food systems, and contemplating our duty to them. Tom comes to the Lewis & Clark Animal Law LLM Program seeking to accelerate his understanding of the legal framework supporting animal agriculture, and to gain insights as to how best to mitigate the worst harms of factory farming.

In the past several years, Tom has provided pro bono legal services to several local businesses. He has negotiated with the California Department of Food and Agriculture with respect to branding and First Amendment concerns on behalf of a small vegan ice cream store, as well as advised an animal rights state political action committee on structure and governance matters. Most recently, Tom represented several children’s rights-focused charities as amicus curie in Animal Legal Defense Fund v. United States, litigation supporting the right to wilderness, which is currently on appeal in the Ninth Circuit.[1]

As an LLM candidate, Tom is proud to be part of the Lewis & Clark Animal Law community, working with distinguished faculty and well-qualified, like-minded lawyers, and looks forward to leveraging his experience to maximize his impact for animals.


[1] Animal Legal Def. Fund v. United States, 404 F. Supp. 3d 1294, appeal filed, No. 19-35708 (9th Cir. Aug. 21, 2019).