Mission and History

Conference Mission Statement

The mission of the conference is to enrich legal advocacy for animals through sharing ideas, knowledge, and practical skills, as well as providing educational and networking opportunities.

History of the Conference

Lewis & Clark Law School and the Animal Legal Defense Fund have a rich history hosting and supporting animal law conferences for students, practitioners, scholars and activists. In 1982, ALDF hosted its first-ever animal law conference in San Francisco, California and thereafter held annual conferences until 1992. In 1993, a small contingent of Lewis & Clark SALDF students interested in animal welfare hosted a one-day symposium addressing wildlife issues. From that humble beginning, The Animal Law Conference at Lewis & Clark started its tradition of hosting an annual academic conference to address the subject of animal law. Over the years, the annual Animal Law Conference at Lewis & Clark continued to grow in size and popularity with the support and shared vision of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. At the same time, ALDF continued to host animal law conferences every three years, aptly called “The Future of Animal Law.” In 2013 the Animal Law Conference at Lewis & Clark and ALDF’s Future of Animal Law Conference joined forces to create “The Animal Law Conference.”  As an annual event, the conference will be held at Lewis & Clark Law School, except every third year when the conference will go on the road to a new location. The organizers of the Conference hope that by hosting the event in different parts of the country, it will become accessible to those who may not be able to travel to Portland, Oregon. With this exciting merger, the Animal Law Conference is the preeminent event in the field of animal law today.

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