Where Are They Now? Christina Fojas
Christina Fojas’ interest in helping animals stretches back to her childhood. “I have always been passionate about helping animals. I am a longtime vegan, and my main interests in helping animals are local rescue and street animals, spay and neuter projects, and animals raised for food.” Christina holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas and a law degree from South Texas College of Law. She worked at Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital, a small veterinary practice, for seven years before and during law school. These days Christina helps animals in a variety of ways. She still works at Noah’s Ark on occasion, but also has started a new position as a pre-litigation attorney for a plaintiff’s law firm. “I feel I am making a difference for my clients, and I am still able to continue my personal rescue efforts.”
She has worked with Rescue Bank since becoming licensed as an attorney; once serving as “of counsel,” she now serves on the board. The national organization provides much-needed supplies to rescues and shelters. Christina has also volunteered with the Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN) and served as the vice chair of the Houston Bar Association Animal Law Section. On top of all this, she has taught compassionate education and violence intervention courses for Healing Species Texas to reach at-risk students and young people in juvenile detention. “Some of these kids have never heard of people spending their own money to pick up stray animals off the street to find them homes. Our goal is to introduce and expand on these concepts to prevent future violence against people and animals.”
In her second year of law school, Christina received ALDF’s Advancement of Animal Law Scholarship. She was president of the South Texas College of Law Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter, which won Student Organization of the Year each year. Christina is proud of her SALDF chapter’s accomplishments, including Howl-o-Ween photo contests and fundraisers for causes like the Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP), an animal therapy organization that helps child witnesses of violent crimes, and an animal shelter in Japan after it was hit by a major tsunami.
She encourages new lawyers to prepare themselves in traditional legal fields while still staying active in the animal protection movement “by working in a traditional field but submitting academic articles on animal law, assisting with organizations in your state that work to promote animal-friendly legislation, volunteering to provide pro bono legal services for ALDF or another one of the national organizations, and of course, providing support services for the rescues in your local community.”
“Christina gives excellent advice for attorneys who want to pursue animal law,” said Pamela Hart, director of ALDF’s Animal Law Program. “ALDF’s pro bono network is a great option for lawyers who work in another legal field but still want to help animals.”
If any of us are to make a difference, Christina emphasizes, we must stay connected to those outside the animal law community. “Make a commitment to professionalism with people from ALL backgrounds and ideologies. If we cannot play well with others, no one will ever want to listen to us, and then what good have we done?”
Christina lives in Houston, Texas, on an acre of land with several rescued animals—her dogs, Anoushka, Beatrice, Astrud, Poppy, Mr. Peabody, and Chipper, and her kitties.
Among ALDF’s many efforts to support the field of animal law is our growing network of Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapters on law school campuses throughout the U.S. and Canada. SALDF chapters provide a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship, aiming to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. In this continuing series of updates on former SALDF members, ALDF is proud to spotlight Christina Fojas.