University of Denver Sturm College of Law Launches New Professorship in Animal Rights LawPosted on June 17, 2015
ALDF Professorship Believed to Be the First of its Kind in the Country
For immediate release:
Megan Backus, ALDF
Jenny Savage, University of Denver
DENVER, CO — The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is gratified to announce the creation of a new Professorship that will bolster students’ ability and interest in representing animal rights. Funded by a generous gift from the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and appointed by the dean of Denver Law, the ALDF Professorship will provide support for a faculty member dedicated to advancing the interests of animals through the legal system and engaging students in this field of work. The ALDF Professorship is the first known position of its kind in the country.
Justin Marceau has been named the inaugural recipient of the ALDF Professorship. Marceau, who came to Denver Law in 2008, developed a passion for animal law during his own law school experience. “Law school gave me two great gifts: my wife and my first meaningful exposure to animal law, “said Marceau. “Both have changed the trajectory of my life.” In addition to years of pro bono and consulting work with animal rights organizations, Marceau has been involved in major litigation involving “Ag-Gag” laws. “Ag-Gag” refers to the criminalization of whistleblowers who might utilize media such as photos or videos to document abuse and food safety problems on factory farms.
The ALDF Professorship will create a meaningful bridge between practicing attorneys and law students, injecting the classroom experience with real-world case studies and opportunities for hands-on litigation experience. . “ALDF is a premier organization dedicated to animal rights and ensuring that animal law becomes more deeply entrenched in the minds of attorneys,” said Marceau. “This partnership will allow the law school to offer upper level courses in animal law to our students, in addition to providing the resources to contribute legal scholarship that will advance and inspire the next round of litigation in animal law.”
Founded in 1979, the ALDF focuses on the legal aspect of animal rights by working to strengthen anti-cruelty laws and promote more humane treatment of animals in the United States. ALDF works to expand the boundaries of animal law, provides free legal assistance to prosecutors handling cruelty cases, encourages the federal government to enforce existing animal protection laws, and provides public education through seminars, workshops, and other outreach efforts.
“The ALDF Professorship will provide an invaluable opportunity for law students to engage with cutting-edge issues in the growing field of animal law,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “ALDF is excited to partner with the Sturm College of Law and Professor Marceau to provide a key resource for Sturm students in this burgeoning academic discipline.”
Once relegated to the ‘back seat’ of practice areas, animal rights law has recently experienced a tremendous surge of interest and commitment. “Law students often ask about how they can get involved in this type of work,” said Denver Law Dean Martin J. Katz. “We are tremendously excited to partner with the Animal Legal Defense Fund on this unique professorship, and grateful to them for their support of Professor Marceau and his teaching and research. The ALDF Professorship will encourage the ongoing creation of scholarship that makes a true impact, and it will allow Denver Law to provide more students with the resources and expertise they need in order excel in this area of the law.”