How Legal Professionals Can Get Involved in Animal Law
While there has been extraordinary growth in this area, full-time animal law jobs are still relatively limited. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to make significant contributions to this field by either working as a volunteer or doing pro bono work for a firm. Below are suggestions for getting involved as a volunteer:
- Join ALDF’s Animal Law Program! We use volunteer attorneys to work on a variety of projects including research and citation checking, writing legal information guides, filing amicus briefs, litigating cases, and assisting prosecutors with animal cruelty cases.
- Contact an animal protection group you have an interest in and offer your help.
- Get involved with your local animal rights group or humane society.
- Find out if your regional or state bar has an animal law section or committee and get involved. If they do not, consider starting one. Contact us for information on how to do this.
- Start an animal law group with other legal professionals.
- Consider writing an article for your local newspaper, local bar journal, or animal law journal. Journals include Animal Law Review, Mid-Atlantic Journal and Journal of Animal Law.
- Get involved with your local law school.
- Read these articles, “Making Animal Law Your Career,” by ALDF’s founder, Joyce Tischler, and “Animal Law and Your Practice,” by Pam Hart, director of ALDF’s Animal Law Program, for more ideas. (PDF)
- If you teach an animal law class, join ALDF’s animal law instructor listserve and the Animal Law Instructor website, dedicated to and for law professors teaching animal law.
Additionally, doing pro bono work at a law firm is how many attorneys are able to contribute to the field of animal law. Below are suggestions for persuading a firm to allow pro bono animal law related opportunities:
- Let the firm know your interest in animal law early on.
- Be prepared to show Animal Law is a recognized area of the law.
- Include information on other law firms that are currently doing animal law pro bono work.Visit our Attorney Spotlight page to see what pro bono work other attorneys and firms have done recently.
- Highlight the fact that because animal law is an emerging field, there is an opportunity to set new legal precedent.
Questions? Contact the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Animal Law Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.