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Joyce Tischler

Professor of Practice

  • Joyce Tischler
    Joyce Tischler

Joyce Tischler co-founded the Animal Legal Defense Fund in 1979, the first nonprofit dedicated to protecting animals using the legal system. She played a pivotal role in launching, then shaping, the new field of animal law during her 25 years as executive director.

Under her leadership, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed groundbreaking and major impact lawsuits and laid the foundation necessary for animal law to be taken seriously in law schools, law firms, and bar associations across the country. With a robust pro bono network and student chapters in virtually every ABA-accredited law school – the first of which was established at Lewis & Clark – the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s influence stretches far beyond its organizational boundaries.

She handled some of the organization’s earliest cases, including a groundbreaking 1981 lawsuit that halted the U.S. Navy’s plan to kill 5,000 feral burros and a 1988 challenge to the U.S. Patent Office’s rule allowing the patenting of genetically altered animals.

She has tackled such diverse topics as challenges to hunting and trapping using the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA), understanding and challenging concentrated animal feeding operations and industrialized animal agriculture, enforcement of the federal Animal Welfare Act, standing to sue, animal custody battles, establishing legal rights for animals, protecting animals pursuant to will provisions, and damages and recovery for injury to or death of an animal.

Specialty Areas & Course Descriptions

Animal Law Fundamentals

Animals in Agriculture: Law and Policy


Animal Law - New Perspectives on Teaching Traditional Law, with Joyce Tischler, Pamela Hart, and Sonia Waisman, Carolina Academic Press (2017).

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

Animal Protection and Environmentalism: The Time Has Come To Be More Than Just Friends, with Bruce Myers, in What Can Animal Law Learn from Environmental Law?, Randall S. Abate (ed., 2015).

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Joyce Tischler’s office is located in Wood Hall.


Joyce Tischler Professor of Practice

Center for Animal Law Studies Lewis & Clark Law School 10015 S.W. Terwilliger Boulevard MSC 51 Portland OR 97219 USA