As the Director of the Animal Law Program at the Center for Animal Law Studies, Raj oversees Lewis & Clark’s core animal law curriculum, its Animal Law LLM Degree, Animal Law MSL Degree, and Global Animal Law Programs, as well as advises the law school’s animal law student groups: the Animal Law Review and Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter. In his role as a professor, Raj teaches International Animal Law, Animal Legal Philosophy, Emerging Topics in Animal Law, and Introduction to U.S. Legal Studies, among others.
Since joining CALS, Raj has stood at the vanguard of international animal law and animal legal personhood developments. He is a co-drafter of the Convention on Animal Protection for Public Health, Animal Welfare, and the Environment, a draft treaty that seeks to elevate animal welfare and prevent pandemics by regulating if not banning high-risk contact with and mistreatment of animals that give rise to zoonotic disease outbreaks like COVID-19. Through his consultancy work with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, he helped advance the groundbreaking legal effort that affirmed the discovery rights of a group of hippopotamuses facing mass slaughter in Colombia, with the resulting court order representing the first time that the legal personhood of nonhuman animals has been affirmed in a U.S. court outside of mere dicta.
Outside of CALS, Raj serves on Lewis & Clark’s tri-campus Committee on Equity and Inclusion, the law school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and International Law Committees, and as a faculty advisor for the South Asian Student Law Student Association and Confidential Advocate under the Title IX system. Outside of Lewis & Clark, he chairs the International Subcommittee of the Animal Law Section of the American Bar Association and sits on the board of Minding Animals International. He has previously chaired the Animal Law Section of the Oregon State Bar and served on the boards of Humane Voters Oregon and the diversity, equity, and inclusion nonprofit Encompass.
Prior to joining the Lewis & Clark faculty, Raj earned his JD from Lewis & Clark Law School and his PhD from the University of Georgia, where his dissertation scrutinized the representation of human and nonhuman animals in postcolonial literature and rights discourse. While in law school, he served as Co-Editor in Chief of the Animal Law Review, Co-Director of the Lewis & Clark Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter, and Student Coordinator of the 2016 Animal Law Conference. He has advanced human and nonhuman animal rights as part of his work for multiple nonprofits, including the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Criminal Justice Program and the Human Rights Law Network in New Delhi, India.
Specialty Areas and Course Descriptions
- Animal Legal Philosophy
- International Animal Law
- Introduction to U.S. Legal Studies
- Emerging Topics in Animal Law A & B
- PhD, 2017, University of Georgia
- JD, 2017, Lewis & Clark Law School
- MA, 2009, Indiana University
- MFA, 2009, Indiana University
- BA, 2005, The University of Texas