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  • “Participating in the Animal Law Clinic was the best decision I’ve made in preparing for both a career in animal law and as a lawyer in general. I came to Lewis & Clark because I had always hoped to build a career in animal law. I was aware of Lewis & Clark’s leadership in the field and wanted to participate in the Clinic specifically because I knew I would need real-world experience as a starting point for my future career. During my time in the Clinic, I not only got to work with real clients on important animal law matters but I also learned new ways of approaching and handling the issues facing animals from a legal perspective. From working with members of the community to find ways of addressing the negative effects of local industrial food animal operations to partnering with a national farm animal protection organization to file a federal petition for rulemaking with the United States Dep’t Agriculture, I developed confidence in my ability to meaningfully participate in the developing field of animal law.

    The Animal Law Clinic provides a wonderful atmosphere for developing a student’s legal skills. I was able to be a part of real-world animal law practice where I could interact with and provide representation to clients under the supervision of Professor Hessler. Additionally, during the Clinic’s classroom component, I was able to collaborate, brainstorm and strategize with my fellow Clinic students and Professor Hessler in an open and comfortable environment so that I could confidently and professionally develop ways to accomplish the goals of our clients and further legal protections for animals. The Animal Law Clinic is the perfect opportunity for a student to gain practical experience while still having the benefit of mentorship and support on a step-by-step basis. The Animal Law Clinic quickly immersed me into field of animal law and provided me the necessary tools to be both an effective and responsible lawyer and animal law practitioner. As a result, I was able to extend my development through a fellowship with Clinic after graduation, which ultimately led to the full-time animal law and advocacy position I was seeking when I enrolled at Lewis & Clark.”

    -  Alison Longley, Environmental LLM 2010

  • “My experience working with the Animal Law Clinic was the highlight of my law school career. The clinic afforded me the opportunity to gain practical experience working on real-world animal welfare issues. Because Animal law is a multi-disciplinary field, clinic students may work on problems involving everything from constitutional law to contracts. I would recommend the clinic to any law student interested in improving the lives of animals and seeking a wide breadth of experience.”

    Pete Castleberry, JD 2011

  • “One regrettable aspect of the typical law school education is that students often gain little practical knowledge about practicing law. A major cause of this deficiency is the absence of interaction with actual clients prior to graduation. For me, participating in the Animal Law Clinic was a solution to this academic shortcoming. Through the Clinic I gained hands-on experience working with clients who presented genuine legal problems to be solved and goals to be achieved. Furthermore, I was guided though these complicated and unfamiliar situations by Kathy Hessler, a highly experienced practitioner and eminently thoughtful instructor. Interfacing with clients, and more importantly learning to think deeply about each client’s perspective and motivation during Clinic discussions, unquestionably fostered skills that helped me to succeed after graduation. My Clinic experience allowed me to thrive in my post-law school Litigation Fellowship by preparing me to effectively interact with clients, witnesses, court personnel, and opposing counsel. As such, I strongly recommend the Animal Law Clinic for students interested in gaining the real-world skills that will make them a successful lawyer during law school rather than acquiring those capabilities the hard way during the early years of their career.”   

    -  Stefan Heller, JD 2011

  • “My experience with the Animal Law Clinic was the first time that I was doing legal work with a purpose beyond myself and my grades. I gained confidence and an ignited passion for practicing law from seeing the positive impact my work had for the clients and their case. Professor Hessler facilitates this incredible feeling with compassion and patience, allowing the law clerks a role in choosing their own projects and balancing guidance and autonomy. The opportunity to hone my research and writing skills as well as brainstorm creative approaches to legal problems has proved invaluable in my work outside of law school.”

    -  Rosalia Gobeo Radich, JD 2011

  • “I joined the Animal Law Clinic in 2012 and found it to be a highly rewarding experience. Kathy Hessler is an intuitive professor who can gauge the amount of support each student needs. If a project seems especially challenging, she will lend a high level of support. If not, then the student can act as independently as she feels is appropriate. So too with the selection of the cases the student will take on. If a student has a project in mind, Professor Hessler is open to taking on that caseload. If a student is short on ideas, exciting cases are at the ready.

    I handled two cases during my semester. Each case was intriguing and worthwhile, and a noble cause to get behind. I always looked forward to the weekly seminars because it gave me the opportunity to become familiar with additional interesting cases that my colleagues were working on, and because Professor Hessler always came prepared with a diversity of novel topics relevant to our study.

    Animal advocates in law school like myself tend to focus on the animal welfare aspect of things rather than on the legal aspect. The Animal Law Clinic is a unique opportunity to achieve one by means of the other. It’s the optimal way to engage in the practice of law while working to help our non-human animal, as well as our human, clients. I recommend the Animal Law Clinic without reservation to anyone considering it.”

    -  Santiago Vazquez, JD 2012

  • “I would recommend the Animal Law Clinic to any student interested in animal law and gaining real world experience while in law school. The Clinic provides students with a wide variety of experiences and the opportunity to work on exciting, cutting edge cases and issues. Professor Hessler is an excellent teacher and phenomenal mentor – she goes above and beyond for her students. My experience in the Animal Law Clinic taught me skills that carried through to my current field in policy work. It would provide valuable preparation for a student considering careers in litigation, advocacy, policy, or regulatory affairs.”

    -  Holly Gann, JD 2012

  • “Working with Professor Hessler in the Animal Law Clinic was a highlight of my time at Lewis & Clark Law School. I gained valuable experience working with lawyers and other law students on cases and projects of national importance, along with in-class practical training to develop client-relation skills in a safe and supportive environment. Professor Hessler is a truly dedicated teacher and mentor, and a joy to work with.”

    -  Claire Poulin, JD 2012

  • “Many students, myself included, discover that legal Clinics are central to our education. They are a setting to develop legal skills, to reflect on our strengths, limits, and preferences, and to work directly with clients. I enjoy Kathy’s teaching and relational style that blooms from compassion; it sprouts compassion in me. I appreciate that she encourages us to think carefully about what goals we seek, the means we use to pursue these goals, the context of the world in which we live and work, and what makes us happy. I enjoy the focus on cooperative relationships and cooperative problem‑solving. I had a great experience as a legal intern in the Animal Law Clinic. I would recommend it to everyone interested in protecting animals and advancing animal interests.”

    -  Lindsay Tallon, JD 2013

  • “I had a great experience in Animal Law Clinic. I loved that I was able to work with actual clients and get real world experience. It was also a great networking opportunity because I was able to make contacts with animal law nonprofits and show them my work. Kathy’s experience and advice were immeasurably valuable in helping me prepare to be a future attorney. Overall, it was one of the best and most helpful classes I took during law school.”

    -  Kelly Lavenda, JD 2013

  • “The Animal Law Clinic was great because as a student you are working with actual clients and applying the legal knowledge that you are developing in your other animal law courses.

    Animal law is a very emotional area that can be extremely polarizing. In the Clinic, much time was dedicated to understanding how to discuss difficult topics with your client, an opposing party or colleague, and how to have a constructive, respectful conversation with persons holding viewpoints that may deviate sharply from your own. The Clinic was very important in teaching how to develop the legal framework for various animal issues and move beyond the instinctive, emotional arguments that are natural responses to many of the cases, but lack the legal framework necessary to succeed.”

    -  Sarah Cruse, LLM 2013

  • “The Animal Law Clinic was an invaluable part of my education at Lewis & Clark. The Clinic provided a practical component to our studies and helped build confidence in students before graduation. It also helps build relationships with the community and I recommend it to all animal law students.”

    -  Mitzi Bolanos, LLM 2013

  • “The Animal Law Clinic (ALC) allowed me to work on projects that made me proud and excited about my legal education. I explored several areas of law that I would not have had the opportunity to learn about were it not for the ALC. My experience in the ALC helped me secure my current job working for an animal advocacy organization, where I use the practical knowledge I gained in the ALC every day.”

    -  Michelle Pawliger, JD 2013

  • “Animal Law Clinic was one of the most valuable courses I took in law school. Through Clinic, unlike any other law school course, I dealt with real-world clients and real-world legal issues, and I learned lessons that I carry through to my job today. Clinic also provided a unique “safe” space for discussion and problem-solving–a safety net that new lawyers rarely have when dealing with legal issues for the first time. Professor Hessler is a true teacher and mentor who bridges current case issues with larger life lessons for a legal career and beyond. I would highly recommend the Animal Law Clinic to anyone who wants to gain real legal experience while still in law school, regardless of the legal field he/she plans to enter.”

    -  Lora Dunn, JD 2013 

  • “For those who are interested in animal law, the Animal Law Clinic is a must-take class. Without any hesitation, I would say Kathy Hessler’s Animal Law Clinic was my favorite class of all the classes at Lewis & Clark, or of all classes I have ever taken, for three reasons. First, it is the perfect combination of animal law and practicing law. Before taking the Clinic, animal law had been attractive but somewhat theoretical. However, in the Clinic we dealt with real animal-related clients and tasks, which helped me understand how animal law can be practiced. Second, our work was always worthwhile. I enjoyed being responsible for Clinic work because our effort was actually helping people and animals, and my team partner and Kathy always helped me improve my ability to deal with the challenges. Third, the people in the Animal Law Clinic were exceptional students devoting their studies and professional careers to animal law. 3Ls and LLMs shared their knowledge and experiences with each other to elevate everyone’s work. In addition to the high level discussions, the Clinic had a great atmosphere that allowed us to express our concerns and struggles while we worked on animal-related issues. I eagerly looked forward to the class every week. In sum, taking the Animal Law Clinic was a very rewarding experience, and animal law students should not miss the opportunity to take the class.”

    -  Moe Honjo, LLM 2014

  • “I specifically came to Lewis and Clark because I was interested in animal law, and wanted to take the nation’s only Animal Law Clinic. The decision became solidified when I first met with Kathy Hessler. She was warm, friendly, and welcoming, and I could tell that she was willing to accommodate students at all levels of their development. In the Clinic, I participated in the early stages of research and strategic litigation development for my clients. The Animal Law Clinic is in a unique position at the forefront of animal protection law, while at the same time teaching students how to be effectual attorneys in the field of animal law. The Clinic is a great way for students to get some practical experience in a developing field of law, and its expansion will only further the Clinic’s goal of promoting animal welfare and student education. I highly recommend this experience to others.”

    -  Jamie P. South, JD 2014

  • “I highly recommend the Animal Law Clinic at Lewis & Clark College of Law. The Clinic has not only given me practical legal experience in the area of Animal Law, but has also broadened my perspective about ways to approach problem solving within the legal system. I am confident I will utilize these skills throughout my career.”

    -  Christina Kraemer, LLM 2014

  • “This Clinic offers practical experience for any student and is especially helpful for those students hoping to enter the animal law field after graduation. The opportunity to work for the very organizations that may hire us one day is very exciting. The skills we learn while working on actual issues in the animal law field are invaluable and gave me a sense of what I may actually be doing for a career. Plus, having an excellent and extremely knowledgable professor is fantastic! I would definitely recommend the Clinic to anyone interested in gaining experience in the animal law field.”

    -  Danielle Holt, LLM 2014

  • “As a practicing attorney, I believe that clinical experience is something that should be offered in any law school curriculum. The Animal Law Clinic at Lewis and Clark, supervised by Professor Hessler, provides students with a degree of professional autonomy and responsibility that is otherwise unavailable to inexperienced attorneys during their first several years of practice. To me, this combination of doing important public interest work and obtaining significant experience in the field of animal law is invaluable.”

    -  Alena Eckhardt, LLM 2014

  • “I really enjoyed working with Professor Hessler in the Animal Law Clinic. The Clinic was a valuable experience because it gave me the opportunity to work on issues I care about. The Clinic has a wide variety of projects, which provides students with some flexibility in the work they do. I was able to tailor my experience in the Clinic to focus on my particular areas of interest: elephant and rhino poaching, and the intersection of animal law and tax law.”

    - Angela Ostrowski, JD 2015

  • “Why Clinic?

    The default law school curriculum focuses on the whats and whos of the law: what the rule on a given issue is, who valid parties are, and so forth. My experience in Animal Law Clinic went beyond, and was hugely helpful in fleshing out the hows, whys, and whens of legal practice. Doing hands-on legal work for clients illustrated how we apply legal knowledge and skills to the critical tasks that make up legal practice. Additionally, Animal Law Clinic provided myself and other participants with an intellectual space where we could discuss and learn techniques and strategy to be more effective advocates for our clients and better attorneys in practice: the whys which underpin good legal practice, and the whens that inform strategic advocacy. The sort of experience garnered in Clinic is critical to developing the suite of skills necessary to succeed as a legal practitioner.

    What to Expect?

    First and foremost, expect to be swiftly immersed in legal work: you will be regularly communicating with clients, and tackling both the big-picture concerns your clients’ projects focus on, and the minutia without which no legal argument can long survive. As you continue through Clinic, expect to get a sense of the scope and pacing of legal projects: how to maintain and shift your time as different projects require more or less immediate focus. Expect to learn about the field of animal law beyond your client projects: you will be discussing the current state of the field, its historical and present challenges, and how the work of the Clinic and other practitioners fit into the long-term growth of the field. Finally, expect a rewarding experience: prior to entry into the Animal Law Clinic, I had done legal work and made court appearances, and nonetheless found that Clinic provided me with the opportunity to do new types of legal work, giving me direct experience with fresh issues, for clients that I would otherwise not have had the pleasure of working with.”

    -  David Rosengard, JD 2015, LLM 2016

  • “The Animal Law Clinic was more than just an opportunity to gain practical experience; it was a safe place to cultivate ideas, discuss apprehensions about the future, and form close bonds that will stay with us personally and professionally for the rest of our lives.  The leadership of the Clinic brought out the best in all of us.  Working with real clients on projects that truly mattered, while supported by Professor Hessler, allowed us the freedom to explore our own professional styles while receiving guidance about what being a lawyer means.”

    -  Priscilla Rader, JD 2016

  • “The Animal Law Clinic has certainly been one of the most enriching experiences for me at Lewis and Clark. It gave me the opportunity to use the skills I have developed at law school in a practical way. I appreciated how Professor Hessler put a lot of effort into matching people with projects that they are suited to and interested in. This made for a very enjoyable, educational and rewarding experience. Leaving the clinic I feel much more confident and equipped to make the transition into the working world.”

    -  Becky Jenkins, LLM 2016

  • “The Animal Law Clinic was the most enriching experience during my time spent at Lewis & Clark Law School. The exercises and conversations we had in class, and the assignments we were given during the week not only improved my lawyering skills but also my research and drafting skills.  We worked on many subjects, from dealing with a client to creating a nonprofit, which put into practice what I had learned in other classes, while complementing it.

    I greatly appreciated the fact that the Kathy encouraged us to work independently while also promoting team building. She pays close attention to our career and academic choices, and provides lifelong advice.

    The Animal Law Clinic is an essential step for anyone interested in pursuing a career as a lawyer, or as an academic. I believe the Animal Law Clinic could also benefit students whose main focus of studies is not animal law.  Finally, as a foreign student, I strongly encourage students who have completed their legal studies abroad to take this class, so they may experience some of the finest instruction in the American system.”

    Alice DiConcetto, LLM 2016



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