Press Release

Animal Legal Defense Fund Offers Scholarship and Clerkship to U.S. Federally Recognized Tribal Member

The $25,000 scholarship will be awarded to a rising second-year eligible law student attending any U.S. law school, and includes a clerkship with the nonprofit’s Criminal Justice Program


SAN FRANCISCO — Today, the Animal Legal Defense Fund announced a $25,000 scholarship to be awarded to rising second-year law student from a U.S. Federally Recognized Tribal Member to help with tuition, textbooks and/or living expenses in addition to a paid clerkship with the nonprofit’s Criminal Justice Program that will provide experience in animal law. Animal law is the combination of statutory and case law that relates to or has an impact on nonhuman animals. 

The scholarship is part of Animal Legal Defense Fund’s mission to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal systemAs part of its mission, the Animal Legal Defense Fund also provides resources and opportunities to law students and other legal professionals to advance the field of animal law while moving toward the day when it is part of the curriculum at each and every law school. 

The clerkship with the Animal Legal Defense Fund will provide the student insight into animal law issues, a purview into the animal protection movement and will complement their resume if they choose to seek out additional animal law opportunities after they graduate in growing field of interest. Specific law experiences the student may have during the clerkship include trial-level assistance to criminal justice professionals striving to secure justice for animals victimized by crime, amicus briefing in cases implicating the position of animals within criminal law, and support for legislative efforts to improve animal cruelty laws, among other opportunities  

“The Animal Legal Defense Fund seeks to encourage law students from diverse communities to explore and invest in the growing field of animal law,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The student who is awarded this scholarship and clerkship will get first-hand experience in animal law not just as an observer but through participation in a variety of critical research projects to get a true sense of the field.”

 Law students have an opportunity to join or form an Animal Legal Defense Fund Law Student Chapter at their law schools. Through these chapter, the Animal Legal Defense Fund offers educational opportunities and grants to law students. Student chapters are a vital part of the growing animal law movement as forums for education and scholarship exploring the impact the law has on animals. 

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