Animal Law Program
Pamela oversees the Animal Law Program, which supports the next generation of animal lawyers and fosters the growth of animal law in legal practice. The Animal Law Program collaborates with students, faculty, and school administrations to develop animal law courses and assist in forming Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapters. The Animal Law Program also assists bar association members interested in forming animal law bar sections or committees, and partners with pro bono coordinators to develop animal law volunteer opportunities at their firms. Furthermore, our Animal Law Program provides legal professionals with access to the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s resources and expertise, including model laws, pleadings, briefs and current animal protection laws.
Pam is especially well equipped to promote strong animal law programs in academia, having been the first person to teach an Animal Law course at the University of Chicago Law School as well as her alma mater, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Since Pam joined the Animal Legal Defense Fund in 2005, the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) program has ballooned from about 40 chapters to more than 200 chapters on campuses across the nation. Under Pam’s management, the Animal Law Program has also expanded resources and opportunities for students including project grants, travel grants, scholarships and clerkship opportunities.
Pam also helped launch the collaboration between ALDF and Lewis & Clark Law School to produce the first-of-its-kind Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS). A world-class animal law program, the Center for Animal Law Studies provides essential programs and services for law students under the guidance of experienced animal law professors and Animal Legal Defense Fund attorneys. Pam also supports the next-next generation of animal advocates by presenting to school aged children in her community about how they can protect animals.
Pam’s always been motivated to change the world for the better. While still in law school she co-founded Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims (SAAV), a nonprofit organization that recognizes the link between domestic violence and animal abuse and supports victims transitioning to safety by providing much-needed shelter for their animals. SAAV just celebrated its 15th anniversary.
Pam is a frequent writer and speaker on animal law related issues, and has testified on a congressional panel regarding a federal Farm Animals Anti-Cruelty Act. She is frequently invited to be a guest judge at the National Animal Law Competition. Pam is currently co-authoring a book about animal law with the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s founder, Joyce Tischler and Kathy Hessler of Lewis & Clark Law School.
Kelly Levenda is the ALDF Student Programs Attorney and a 2013 graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. During law school, she completed a research project on federal and state laws for Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection and participated as a Source Checker and Associate Editor on Animal Law Review. She served as co-director of the school’s SALDF chapter, where she organized Meat Out, an annual vegan barbeque, and compiled the group’s bi-weekly action alerts that include animal related news, events, jobs, and volunteer opportunities. Kelly also worked with Farm Sanctuary on the Someone Project, where she compiled a scientific survey of cognitive abilities of animals through Lewis & Clark’s Animal Law Clinic.
Kelly completed her bachelor’s degree at University of Illinois where she studied Animal Science. She has been active in the animal protection movement her entire adult life, and is dedicated to helping animals through her career. She completed an animal behavior research project at the Champaign County Humane Society, was an active member of the University of Illinois Campus Vegetarian Society, and volunteered for Mercy for Animals. Her paper, “Legislation to Protect the Welfare of Fish,” which addresses the capacity of fish to feel pain, was published in Animal Law Review. She hopes to continue using her scientific background to improve conditions on farms for farmed animals.
Nicole has been with the Animal Legal Defense Fund since 2005, first as student programs coordinator – overseeing the expansion of the student chapter network to more than 200 chapters and managing clerkship, scholarship, and project grant programs – and currently as academic outreach manager. In this capacity, she develops and manages initiatives that support the continued advancement of animal law in academia, including expanded course offerings at law schools and educational resources and opportunities that advance ALDF’s mission.
Prior to joining the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Nicole earned a Ph.d. in sociology from the University of Georgia, where she developed and taught the school’s first Animals & Society course. Her dissertation was titled, “Becoming an animal rights activist: An exploration of culture, socialization, and identity transformation.” Her writing has appeared in Society & Animals, Sociological Perspectives, Animal Wellness Magazine, and the Journal for Critical Animal Studies, among others. She is also the author of the blog Alec’s Story (alec-story.com). Nicole lives in Portland, Oregon, with her best friend Teagan, a little German shepherd with a big heart.
Priscilla develops and oversees educational programs and opportunities for law students, attorneys and the general public—working closely with the Academic Outreach Manager. Joining the Animal Legal Defense Fund was a natural progression after being inspired by the organization for the past 10 years throughout undergrad and law school. After graduating from Pacific University with a B.A. in Philosophy: Ethics, Society and Law, Priscilla went on to earn her J.D. in 2016 from Lewis & Clark Law School. While in law school, she acted as the 2014 student coordinator for the Animal Law Conference and the school’s SALDF co-director. Priscilla also clerked with the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Litigation Program, working on cases involving captive wildlife, farmed animals and public nuisance claims. Priscilla is passionate about progressing and further validating the field of animal law through education, advocacy and mentorship.
Priscilla’s commitment to animal law has been recognized with the Animal Law Leadership Award, the Advancement of Animal Law Scholarship and the Richard J. Peppin Animal Rights Scholarship. Priscilla was also selected by professors and faculty of her law school to join its Cornelius Honor Society after graduation. When she’s not working, Priscilla loves to paint, kick-box, sew and experiment with vegan baking and cooking. She lives in Portland with her fiancé Ryan, and the household is managed by their cat Wesley Wyndam-Pryce II, who was rescued from a high-kill shelter.