2013 Advancement of Animal Law Scholarship Winners
The Animal Legal Defense Fund Advancement of Animal Law Scholarships are awarded to law student members of our student chapters and are awarded based upon demonstrated commitment to ALDF’s mission, “to advance the interests and protect the lives of animals through the legal system.” Continuing the tradition of the 2012 winners, we proudly present the winners for 2013.
Meet the 2013 Winners!
Angelique Rivard is entering her third year at Pace Law School in New York where she will be serving as president of the school’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter. Originally appointed as Chair of SALDF’s Legal Projects Committee, she spearheaded several campaigns and initiatives including working with the Westchester County Board of Legislators to pass the county’s first animal abuser registry and also helped to ban the slaughter of geese within various towns around the county through commenting at town hall meetings and building relationships with local activists. Additionally, Angelique aided in strengthening her school’s SALDF chapter through organizing and promoting several events including their annual “Picnic with Pups” event, where local animal shelters bring adoptable dogs to campus in an effort to adopt out animals, raise awareness of shelter pets and offer therapeutic relief to students during finals. Angelique was also involved in her SALDF chapter’s success in bringing about “Meatless Mondays” to Pace Law School.
Since beginning law school, Angelique has worked on numerous animal law projects as Professor David Cassuto’s research assistant. She co-wrote Resolution 107, titled “Addressing the impacts of environmentally unsustainable industrial-scale agricultural and animal husbandry enterprises on climate change, food security and biodiversity,” which passed in September 2012 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature during their World Conservation Congress. As a research assistant, Angelique has researched and designed an interdisciplinary course for Pace Law School that incorporates animal law, ethics and ecology. She is also a contributor to the Animal Law Blog and competed in the 2013 National Animal Law Competition, Legislative Drafting and Lobbying Division. In addition to academic and organizational endeavors, much of Angelique’s free time is dedicated to advancing animal welfare. She volunteers for the Westchester County SPCA’s Humane Education Project where she teaches young students about the importance of animal care and how they can act as humane citizens. She does pro bonowork for Assistant District Attorney Mary Ann Liebowitz in the Animal Cruelty Unit of the Westchester County Prosecutor’s Office. Prior to law school, Angelique received her Masters in Ethics and Society from Fordham University, where she focused her studies on Animal Ethics. In particular, she acted as editing assistant for a professor’s book involving animal ethics and traveled to Oxford University where she co-presented on the topic. She also interned with the Equal Justice Alliance, opposing the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, while she was still an undergraduate student.
This summer Angelique is interning with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) under the supervision of HSUS’s State Director Alexis Fox where she is focusing on policy work, advocacy for laws that promote better welfare for animals and testifying at the Massachusetts State Hearings. She is also spending her summer researching nation-wide dangerous dog laws for the Animal Legal & Historical Center and compiling her research into a paper that will be published on the Michigan State University, College of Law website. Angelique plans to utilize her experience, skill set and passion by working to advance the interests of animals. Angelique believes that whether her future career involves doing policy work for an international organization or working in the animal cruelty unit of the district attorney’s office, a concerted effort is needed and every act is important. Ultimately, she hopes that after many decades of pursuit in animal law she will be able to teach animal law or a related course to students.
Laura Hagen is in her final year at Lewis & Clark Law School in Oregon, where she served on the Animal Law Review Editorial Board as Managing Editor and Submissions Editor, and authored the journal’s 2012 state legislative review. While in law school, Laura clerked for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Oregon Department of Justice, and Earthrise Law Center, and served as a volunteer intern for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States.
Prior to law school Laura’s animal protection work spanned from lobbying state lawmakers and testifying in support of animal protection legislation to serving as program coordinator for a large, urban animal shelter. Laura managed the creation of a non-profit that provides supportive services to keep elderly and very-low-income pet owners with their pets; served as treasurer and board member of the New England Federation of Humane Societies; and volunteers as a veterinary assistant in low-cost spay and neuter clinics.
Laura plans to use her law degree to continue advocating for strong state and federal laws that protect animals and their environments.
Brittany Mouzourakis will be entering her third year of law school at Penn State University, The Dickinson School of Law. Brittany has been an active member of her law school’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter the past two years, and next year she will serve as the president of SALDF. With her SALDF chapter, Brittany has helped bring many speakers to the law school, including Jeff Kerr, Chief Legal Counsel at PETA, and various representatives from the United States Humane Society. Brittany has also led a successful letter-writing campaign to stop a 4-H farm animal slaughter demonstration that was to take place on Penn State property. Moreover, Brittany has helped coordinate an annual “Pet Photo Contest” at her law school, which raised over $900 for the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Criminal Justice Program this year.
In addition to her service to her law school’s SALDF chapter, Brittany is also an active member of the Penn State Law Review, where she serves as the managing editor. In addition to her passion for animal issues, Brittany also has a strong scholarly interest in animal legal issues. Brittany used her passion and interest in animal legal issues to write her student comment for the law review on a topic of animal law. Her comment, Tilikum’s Splash: Lessons Learned from Animal Rights-Based Litigation Strategies, was selected for publication at Michigan State University College of Law’s Journal of Animal Law & Natural Resources (forthcoming Fall 2013). Brittany is particularly interested in studying litigation strategies used by various animal advocacy organizations. She plans to continue to write in the area of animal legal scholarship.
Brittany is also an active volunteer at the Centre County PAWS animal shelter in State College, Pennsylvania. At PAWs, she is a front desk volunteer, where she is responsible for maintaining a peaceful environment even as the shelter gets busy, answering phones, taking donations, and informing Pennsylvania residents of low-cost spay and neuter clinics and voucher forms. Brittany is active in the spay and neuter initiative at PAWS, and has helped facilitate fundraising events to raise money so that PAWS can offer free voucher forms and subsidized clinics to Pennsylvania residents.
Brittany plans to use her law degree to help advocate for animals by continuing to write in the area of animal legal scholarship. Moreover, she fully intends to dedicate pro bono hours to animal legal issues while working as an attorney. Brittany plans to spend her free time mentoring SALDF chapters and encouraging law students to get involved in animal advocacy.
Meg York’s passion for animals dates back to her early childhood. Unable to separate her heart from her plate, Meg adopted a vegetarian diet. As she grew older, her love for animals transformed her vegetarianism into veganism and her advocacy into activism. Meg’s involvement with animal rights includes advocating for ballot initiatives, lobbying against harmful legislation, promoting veganism within her community, exploring the intersectionality of speciesism and other forms of systematic oppression, working with Kinship Circle and other animal advocacy organizations, sponsoring a cow at VINE Sanctuary, campaigning against cruel “delicacies” such as veal and foie gras, and both hosting and participating in local grassroots animal rights activism.
Meg spent her first year studying at Vermont Law School, where she became an active member of Vermont’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter. Representing their SALDF chapter, Meg campaigned on behalf of Bill and Lou, the Green Mountain College oxen controversially sentenced to slaughter. She lobbied against HB 110, a proposed Ag-Gag bill in New Hampshire, applying Constitutional Law principles to combat harmful, anti-whistleblower legislation. Meg participated in service days, continued her work with animal advocacy groups whose missions align with ALDF’s, and hosted vegan bake sales on behalf of ALDF’s Criminal Justice department. Meg helped recruit speakers for this year’s Animal Law Symposium and lobbied VLS administrators for animal law classes, which had been recently removed from the school’s curriculum.
Meg is currently serving as an intern at Evans & Page, a San Francisco-based civil litigation firm specializing in animal law, civil rights, and environmental protection. Meg is also a legal extern for Equal Justice Alliance, a coalition of organizations challenging the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act and other similar legislation affecting the civil liberties and First Amendment rights of individuals advocating for animals. Next year, Meg will continue her legal studies at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. Meg is eager to become an active member of her new SALDF chapter while maintaining and nourishing cross-country connections with Vermont Law’s SALDF. A JD candidate for the class of 2015, Meg hopes to use her degree to provide insight regarding the legal issues surrounding the philanthropic and non-profit sector, defending activists’ civil liberties, working for better legal protections for animals, as well as encouraging and inspiring the next generation of animal lawyers through maintaining SALDF chapters, and serving as a SALDF advisor. Meg sees the opportunity to study law as a privilege, and looks forward to using her legal education to advance the lives and protect the interests of animals.
Lindsey Wallace is entering her third year at Georgetown University Law Center, where she is currently an advisory board member of the university’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter.
Lindsey’s animal advocacy began when she was only 16 and has continued throughout her college and law school careers. In high school, Lindsey founded a club to raise funds and awareness for low-cost spay/neuter surgeries to address the high shelter kill rates in her home state of South Carolina. During her college career, Lindsey volunteered as a community member of the Animal Control Advisory Board to advocate for “Trap, Neuter, Return” solutions to feral cat overpopulation in Durham, North Carolina. She was awarded the Truman Scholarship for the State of South Carolina in 2010 for her public service in college to pursue a law degree to continue her path in advocating on behalf of animals through the legal system.
This past year, Lindsey served as the co-president of her school’s SALDF chapter and spearheaded the chapter’s First Annual Animal Law Week, hosting a number of events, including panels on current topics in animal law, SALDF social events, and a trip to a local area animal sanctuary. The main event, a panel on the recent influx of “Ag-Gag” bills, included such impressive panelists as Will Potter, independent journalist and author of Green Is The New Red, Suzanne McMillan, ASPCA Director of Farm Animal Welfare, Amanda Hitt, Director of Food Integrity Campaign at the Government Accountability Project, Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel and Policy Advisor for the Washington Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union, and Erica Meier, executive director of Compassion Over Killing. The Georgetown University Law Center’s Animal Law Week was a huge success, with participation from area law students, members of area nonprofits, and local residents, a press release from Georgetown picked up by Greenwire, eAlerts from multiple animal welfare organizations, and even preliminary attention from C-SPAN.
During her time at Georgetown University Law Center, Lindsey has also worked as a legislative intern for the Animal Welfare Institute, lobbying on behalf of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act, the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, and other legislation during the 112th Congress. She also worked as a legal intern in the Companion Animals, Research, and Neglect section of the Animal Protection Litigation Division of the Humane Society of the United States. She also served as a law clerk for Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal, a public interest law firm focusing on animal and environmental issues.
Lindsey has always been passionate about acting as a “voice for the voiceless” and advocating for those in the system that cannot represent themselves. She plans on using her law degree to advocate on behalf of animals through the legal system and work within the network of D.C. area nonprofit organizations to lobby for animal protective legislation in the District.
As Co-President of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter at Berkeley Law, Matt Hamity has worked to further campus awareness of animal law issues by organizing speaking events on factory farming, animal testing, and the prosecution of animal cruelty cases. His SALDF chapter also helped to organize the inaugural California Annual Animal Law Symposium, where animal law practitioners presented on various animal law topics. In preparing for this conference, Matt had the pleasure of doing research for the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Director of Litigation Carter Dillard regarding his topic: the intersections between consumer protection law and animal law. Most recently, in response to the cruel killing of Turk, the helmeted guinea fowl, his SALDF chapter organized National Anti-Cruelty Day, during which thirty SALDF chapters from across the continent held fundraising events in Turk’s honor with the proceeds going to the ALDF’s Criminal Justice Program. Because this event had the potential to be controversial, Matt took it upon myself to make sure that his SALDF chapter was sensitive to the rest of the Berkeley law community while simultaneously accomplishing their goals of spreading awareness about the seriousness of animal cruelty and raising funds for a great cause.
In addition to his work as SALDF Co-President, Matt has also been serving as Animal Law Professor Bruce Wagman’s research assistant since last summer. By collaborating with Professor Wagman on drafting a law review article that will be published in the Ecology Law Quarterly, Matt has become intimately familiar with the plight of captive chimpanzees as well as the Animal Welfare Act. Matt also drafted research memos for public interest organizations, including the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Nonhuman Rights Project. This summer, Matt will be a legal intern for PETA and a wildlife intern for the Animal Welfare Institute. Additionally, when Matt goes home to Chicago on breaks to visit his parents, he volunteers at Orphans of the Storm, which is both a no-kill and open door animal shelter.
Given animals’ status under the law as property, successful legal claims on their behalf require a good deal of creativity and dedication, both of which Matt has in large supply. Thus, in order to achieve the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s mission Matt will rely heavily upon these assets, as well as his empathy for the pain and suffering that animals endure. When Matt enrolled in law school, he did so because he wanted to become an animal law attorney, and now, almost two years later, Matt is absolutely certain that practicing animal law is what he was meant to do with his life. In the event that Matt is unable to secure an animal law job upon graduation, he will take on animal law pro bono work, patiently waiting until a full-time animal law job becomes available. Matt also hopes to teach Animal Law courses in the future, so that he can share his passion with the next generation of animal advocates.
Storm Estep is entering his third year at South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas, and is president the Animal Law Society, the school’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter. Over the past year, the Animal Law Society has raised over $13,000 for local animal organizations and causes within the community of Houston, including the Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP), aniMeals on Wheels, and the Animal Law Clinic at South Texas College of Law. The group has also continued to present an impressive catalog of animal law speakers. Accordingly, the Animal Law Society was awarded Student Organization of the Year by the law school.
Additionally, while in law school Storm served as a legislative intern with the Best Friends Animal Society, and assisted in lobbying efforts during the Texas legislative session. He also served as an editor of the Texas Animal Law Journal. In his personal life, he is involved with companion animal fostering and vegan outreach and advocacy. In the future, Storm hopes to use his law degree to lobby for changes in the law that will provide greater protection for animals, as well as providing legal assistance to animal rights activists.
Vincent Campanaro is entering his second year at Villanova University School of Law in Pennsylvania where he helped reestablish an inactive Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter. Vincent currently co-chairs the organization with three other students and has helped to make the organization one of the most active at the law school. As co-chair during the chapter’s first year, Vincent organized, among many other events, an animal abuse panel featuring Barbara Paul, an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, who prosecutes animal cruelty cases, Gregg Miller, of counsel for Pepper Hamilton and pro-bono attorney for the Pennsylvania SPCA, and George Bengal, Director of Human Law Enforcement for the Pennsylvania SPCA. Additionally, he raised money for local nonprofits and no-kill animal shelters and implemented a volunteer program at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals.
Throughout the past 3 years, Vincent has been an active foster parent through the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and Delaware County SPCA and before starting law school he volunteered at PAWS as a clinic and adoption volunteer. He has also been in contact with local legislators and other leaders voicing his concerns with different legislation and policies concerning puppy mills, breed specific legislation, and farm animal welfare.
Vincent hopes to use his law degree after graduation in any way possible to help advance the legal rights of animals. His focus will be to support local animal rights and welfare organizations in a legal capacity and to educate his community and peers about the issues surrounding animal rights. Further, Vincent will attempt to lobby his state legislators to implement stronger laws against puppy mills and the abusive treatment of farm animals, and will continue to advocate on behalf of all animals to provide them a safer and more enjoyable life.
Taylor Duty is entering her third year at Lewis and Clark Law School in Oregon where she serves as the co-director of the school’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter. This past year she worked with the other Co-Director and SALDF board to spearhead and allocate funding for events such as MeatOut, a visit to a local farm animal sanctuary, Humane Lobbying day at the Capital, the Victim to Verdict conference, as well as coordinate commenting workshops, speaker events, action alert emails and even the occasional happy hour. She is thrilled that SALDF students will have the opportunity to serve as humane educators in the upcoming year, with a humane education training planned for fall of 2013.
In addition to her activities with SALDF, Taylor has had the incredible opportunity to be a conference coordinator for the Lewis and Clark Animal Law Conference. She was selected to give the introductory speech for the keynote speaker, Carol Adams, an honor she treasures as both a feminist and an animal rights activist. Taylor also wrote briefly as the staff animal-rights and vegan food writer for Bikya Masr, an independent news organization and currently runs her own vegan, animal rights and nutrition blog titled “Evolve Vegan.”
Taylor plans to use her law degree to continue fighting for animals in the criminal justice system. At her current job working at the Washington County District Attorney’s office, Taylor works extensively under a deputy district attorney who handles all misdemeanor and felony animal cases and who has shown her that bettering cruelty laws and prosecutions in Oregon are realistic, achievable goals. She believes bringing visibility to animal issues within the criminal justice system at the county level can offer a model for other state and federal institutions—as well as the public—which will help society at large to institutionalize and prioritize the rights of animals.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has awarded Alexis Braun one of ALDF’s Advancement of Animal Law Scholarships for her outstanding work in the growing field of animal law Alexis is entering her third year at the University of Houston Law Center, where she founded and currently serves as the President of the school’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter. In the chapter’s first year, the group co-sponsored an event hosting the assistant district attorney for the Animal Cruelty Division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and raised over $800 for Houston’s municipal animal shelter. Members of the chapter attended the Texas Humane Legislation Network’s Annual Conference in Austin in order to familiarize themselves with state legislation impacting animals and attended other local and state events regarding animal welfare. Alexis was thrilled to attend her first, but not last, Animal Law Conference this past year.
Outside of her SALDF activities, Alexis volunteers for the Texas Humane Legislation Network and for BARC, the municipal animal shelter for the City of Houston, for which she serves as a volunteer grant writer and adoption counselor. She is currently a remote intern for Animal Welfare Institute’s Wildlife Department, focusing on marine mammal welfare. Following the end of Spring Semester exams, Alexis traveled to Austin in order to lobby in support of a bill that, had it passed, would have banned the sale and purchase of shark fins in Texas.
Alexis came to law school with the goal of using her degree to pursue legal protections and rights for animals and hopes to find work with an animal welfare organization after graduating. Alexis hopes one day to be able to find work protecting farm animals in her home state of Texas.
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