Emily Boden Torres

L&C has the best Animal Law program in the world and it is mind-boggling to me still that such an incredible program, faculty, and curriculum exists.

Emily Boden Torres JD ?24

Degree and Class Year

JD ’24

Program Type

3 year (day)

Hometown

Scarsdale, New York

Undergraduate/Graduate School(s)

Vanderbilt University

Areas of legal interest(s)

Animal Law and Environmental Law

Brief Background

I majored in sociology and minored in environmental and sustainability studies in college, which first developed my passion for environmental and animal protection issues. After graduating I fell into the beginnings of a career in casting for unscripted (docu-style, reality) television in New York. In 2020, I was looking for a more fulfilling career path and in my research came across the Center for Animal Law Studies here at L&C. I had a lightbulb moment and knew this was where I was meant to be and what I was meant to be doing!

What made you decide to go to law school?

I wanted to find another career path that felt more personally meaningful to me—I was hoping to do something to protect animals and the environment. In a Google search, I came across the Center for Animal Law Studies, read about the Animal Law curriculum, and my brain exploded. I had no idea Animal Law was even a thing. My parents are lawyers and I never actively considered law school, but as I read more about the program I had a somewhat cliché moment, knowing this was what I wanted to be doing and where I needed to be.

Why did you choose to attend Lewis & Clark?

L&C has the best Animal Law program in the world and it is mind-boggling to me still that such an incredible program, faculty, and curriculum exists. We also have one of the best environmental law programs in the nation, which is my other (deeply intertwined) passion. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I found that every person I talked to about L&C was extremely kind, passionate, and willing to help me in whatever way they could. I knew the community here was warm and welcoming, and I wanted to be a part of it! (And I was right.)

Do you have any bits of advice for students making their final law school choices?

Place high value on the community atmosphere of the schools you’re considering. Law school is hard everywhere, but it is vastly more manageable and fun if you have good people around you lifting you up (rather than just classmates you constantly feel like you are competing with). That’s what I have found here at L&C with everyone I’ve met, and it is wonderful to be a part of this place. Also, listen to your gut.

What was the hardest thing about adjusting to law school?

Being in school again after years of working in the “real world” (with no intention of ever studying again) was difficult. But being a bit older and having worked before helped me in numerous ways—such as coming in with a solid understanding of who I am, why I am here, and giving me perspective that life outside of 1L does, in fact, exist.

Center for Animal Law Studies Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law