Where Are They Now? Chris Parucci
For almost two years, Christopher Parucci has been working as a humane educator for the nonprofit H.E.A.R.T. (Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers). He was born and raised on Long Island, NY and received an undergraduate degree from New York University, and subsequently taught eleventh grade U.S. history and government classes for a few years in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Wanting to make an impact on a larger scale, he enrolled in Hofstra School of Law’s evening program. During his first year of law school he continued to teach, trying to balance being a first-year law student with the challenges of being an inner-city teacher. After this first year of law school he transitioned from education to the legal field.
His interest in animals peaked during a wedding anniversary, in which Chris and his wife drove a full eight hours to visit Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY. At the time they were both vegetarian but did not know about the horrible abuses happening on factory farms. After spending a wonderful day with all the animals at the sanctuary, and then seeing the harsh realities faced by millions of farmed animals each year, he felt his eyes were opened. He returned to law school determined to find justice for these animals through education law.
With the help of a fellow student spearheading the way, Chris was able to get a Hofstra SALDF chapter back up in running. Balancing working full time, externships, and classes at night, he was able to bring in some guest speakers like Ledy Van Kavage, Esq. from Best Friends Animal Society and even host a Q&A with the director of the movie “Blinders,” Donny Moss.
When he graduated from law school, he knew he wanted to pursue this, but didn’t envision himself in a traditional attorney position. So he took a job with a small farmed animal protection nonprofit as their New York Director. By working with HEART, Chris teaches children and adults about topics such as animal overpopulation, factory farms, puppy mills, poaching, child labor, and pollution. He hopes to set up animal trusts for people concerned about the long-term future of their companion animals and work on larger campaigns surrounding the rights of animals in the future.
Chris encourages young lawyers to follow their passions and their skills. “Incorporate everyday skills and practice into work that benefits animals,” he urges. “Constantly evaluate your caseload and ask yourself the question, ‘how can THIS help animals?’ You’d be surprised how much good you can do in your day-to-day work. “ Chris lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and two adopted cats AnaCapri and Desmond.