Joyce Tischler

Joyce Tischler

Professor of Practice


Affectionately known as the “Mother of Animal Law,” Professor Joyce Tischler helped found and build the field of animal law starting in the 1970s, and has been a trailblazer ever since.

Professor Joyce Tischler joined the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School as a Professor of Practice in May of 2019, where she currently teaches the Fundamentals of Animal Law (survey course) and Industrial Animal Agriculture Law. Prior to that, Professor Tischler had been an Adjunct Faculty Professor at Lewis & Clark Law School since 2011. She has taught as adjunct faculty at: University of California, Davis, John Marshall Law School, and John F. Kennedy Law School, and has lectured at law schools throughout the U.S.

In 1979, Professor Tischler founded the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) – the first nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting animals through the legal system. There, she conceived of and litigated cutting edge cases aimed at protecting the interests of animals. She served as ALDF’s Executive Director for 25 years, and as its General Counsel until her retirement in the spring of 2019, when she joined the Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS). Through intelligence, tenacity and vision, Professor Tischler paved the way through a legal system that routinely ignored the interests of animals. Professor Tischler’s deep experience and shaping of the field of animal law is detailed in her two part article, A Brief History of Animal Law, Part I 1972-1987) and Part II (1985-2011), published in the Stanford Journal of Animal Law and Policy.

Given her pivotal role in launching the field we now know as animal law, Professor Tischler is affectionately referred to as “the Mother of Animal Law.” She has been a trailblazer in the field of animal law for more than 40 years and has dedicated her career to improving the lives of nonhuman animals through the legal system. She is internationally recognized for her work on issues germane to animal protection and farmed animals, and speaks to audiences in many parts of the world, including: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the UK, Belgium, Mexico, Kenya, Spain, Finland, and China.

In March of 2019, Professor Tischler was honored with the Center for Animal Law Studies’ Lifetime Achievement Award. The Award recognizes achievements in the field of animal law, including the creation, enforcement and skillful litigation of animal protection laws.

A noted author on animal law, Professor Tischler is currently co-authoring a casebook on Industrialized Animal Agriculture Law and Policy. The book, a first-of-its-kind, will provide a comprehensive overview of concentrated animal feed operations (CAFO) and the animal welfare, environmental, worker justice, and other social justice issues impacted by industrialized animal agriculture in the United States and beyond.

Professor Tischler now shares this unparalleled experience as an expert in animal law with students at Lewis & Clark Law School.

Professor Tischler’s full biography includes her publications, presentations, and litigation experience.

Specialty Areas and Course Descriptions

Animal Law Fundamentals

Industrial Animal Agriculture Law

Academic Credentials

  • JD, 1977, University of San Diego School of Law
  • BA, 1974, Queens College of the City University of New York


Animal Law: The Next Generation, 25 Animal L. 303 (2019), with Pamela Frasch

Animal Welfare Act: Related Litigation and Other Efforts, 25 Animal L. 225 (2019), with Valerie Stanley

Animal Law: New Perspectives on Teaching Traditional Law
Kathy Hessler, Joyce Tischler, Pamela Hart, Sonia S. Waisman (Carolina Academic Press 2018).

Manumission for Chimpanzees, 84 Tenn. L. Rev. 510, with Steven M. Wise, Elizabeth Stein, Monica Miller, & Sarah Stone, (2017).

Foreword, Symposium on Animal Law, 67 Syracuse L. Rev. 1 (2017).

Foreword, International Farm Animal, Wildlife and Food Safety Law (Gabriela Steier & Kiran Patel eds., 2017).

Locke, P., Westphal, M., Tischler, J., Hessler, K., Frasch, P., Myers, B., Krewski, D., Implementing Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities. 20 International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, 198 (2017). Available at SSRN:

Joyce Tischler & Bruce Myers, Animal Protection and Environmentalism: The Time Has Come To Be More Than Just Friends, in What Can Animal Law Learn from Environmental Law? 2nd Ed. 679 (Randall Abate ed., 2020)

Changing the Dialogue About Elephants, 33 Quinnipiac L. Rev. 485 (2015)

The History of Animal Law, Part II,  5 Stan. J. Animal L. & Pol’y 27 (2012)

The History of Animal Law, Part I, 1 Stan. J. Animal L. & Pol’y 1 (2008)

Introduction, Building Our Future, 15 Animal L. 7 (2008).

The Growing Field of Animal Law and How Will It Impact Your Practice, 19 Conn. Law. 12 (2008).

Making Animal Law Your Career, American Bar Ass’n TIPS Animal L. Comm. Newsl., Winter 2007 at 20.

Rights for Nonhuman Animals: A Guardianship Model for Dogs and Cats, 14 San Diego L. Rev. 484 (1977).