SALDF Project Ideas
Animal Law Class
If your school does not currently offer a course in animal law, your chapter can petition the law school administration to add one to the available curriculum. The Animal Legal Defense Fund has instructional materials, including an animal law casebook, which we can offer to interested faculty members. We also have ready-to-use petitions to circulate to law students.
Cage Free Campaign
The Humane Society of the United States' Cage-Free Campus campaign helps students work with their schools' dining services to discontinue their use of eggs from hens confined in battery cages. As of February 2006, nearly 80 schools have either eliminated or are phasing out their use of battery eggs. For more information about this campaign, go to hsus.org.
Examples of past SALDF charity events include bake sales, silent auctions, dog walkathons, and companion animal photo contests. Some chapters donate money to local animal shelters or other nonprofit organizations. In 2005, many chapters were successful in raising significant amounts of money to help animal victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Conferences and Competitions
Attending animal law conferences and competitions is a good way to network with other law students, SALDF members, attorneys, and professors. You can check our website for a list of upcoming animal law conferences and competitions.
Education and Outreach
Virtually all SALDF chapters have at some point organized an information table on campus to raise awareness about animal issues and the field of animal law. ALDF can provide you with free tabling materials such as newsletters, stickers, brochures, and posters to help with your event.
Many chapters host speakers, debates, panels, and even conferences on current issues in animal law. This is a great way to raise the profile of animal law on campus and to network and meet leaders in the field. If you are looking for ideas, visit our list of possible speakers.
Organize your members to write letters and make follow up phone calls regarding pending local, state, or federal legislation. At the administrative level, your group can also submit written comments when the USDA, FWS, or other agencies decide to change their rules and regulations.
SALDF groups often contact local attorneys, both in private practice or who work for nonprofit organizations, and volunteer their time to conduct legal research and writing. Other chapters have started animal law clinics at their school. Finally, contributing to the criminal defense and political support of animal activists is another project some chapters take on.
There are countless ways your group can advocate at the community level. Some chapters have developed community resource materials, such as a list of pet-friendly housing in the area. Other chapters arrange for their members to visit court as “court advocates” for animal abuse cases in support of the animals.
Some chapters publish weekly or monthly newsletters that include information about pending legislation, community events, SALDF chapter activities, upcoming animal law conferences and presentations, ways to get involved with your chapter, and other animal law related news and updates.
Press Coverage for SALDF Projects
If you are a member of an SALDF chapter, reaching out to your local press outlets is an excellent, inexpensive way to let your community know about your work for animals, and to educate countless people about the growing field of animal law. Read more on how to do so and how ALDF can help.
Reading Group/Film Screenings
Some chapters meet occasionally to discuss animal law articles or watch documentaries, films, and TV shows. Students often form reading groups to fill in the gaps when an animal law course has not yet been added to the curriculum, as is the case at Yale Law School. If you are looking for viewing ideas, we have a list of animal law related documentaries screened by SALDF chapters here.
Support for Local Activists
Some chapters help facilitate animal activism by using their members’ legal background to read through the relevant ordinances (for example noise ordinances) to help activists organize effective demonstrations while also complying with local laws. Another way that SALDF chapters support animal activism is by using their member’s legal training to obtain relevant information for campaigns. Your legal background will help you to sort through documents like your state’s Public Records Act to find out what information is available to the public and you can also file FOIA requests to obtain this information.
Some chapters advocate on behalf of vegetarian and vegan students within their law school, for instance, working to increase the number of vegetarian options at law school events.
Write an Article
Consider writing a law review article and submitting it to one of the three law journals dedicated to animal law (Animal Law Review, The Journal of Animal Law, and The Journal of Animal Law and Ethics). These journals are always looking for content and a publication makes an impressive addition to your resume.