Student Convention – 2022
November 4, 2022
The Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Convention took place both online and in-person in Portland, Oregon, on November 4, 2022, before the Animal Law Conference. This one-day event provided an opportunity for law students to receive career advice from leaders in the animal law field. Participants also had a chance to network with law students from schools across the country.
Watch the full event recording
8:45 – 9:15 a.m. Open Registration & Breakfast
9:15 – 9:30 a.m. Break
9:30 a.m. Welcoming Remarks
9:30 – 11:00 a.m. Careers in Farmed Animal Advocacy
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Break & Networking
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Law Student Scholarship Panel Pt. 1
12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Lunch
1:30 – 1:45 p.m. Chapter of the Year Award
2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Law Student Scholarship Pt. 2
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Animal Legal Defense Fund Networking
Careers in Farmed Animal Advocacy
This is your chance to ask questions and hear insights from leaders in the field of animal law! Panelists from varying backgrounds will share stories and offer their advice on how to do what you love in a way that you’ll love. This panel will rely heavily on questions from all of you, so get your questions ready! There will be an opportunity for networking with the panelists immediately following.
Senior Director of Legal Advocacy, Animal Outlook
Piper Hoffman brings more than 20 years of legal experience to bear as the Senior Director of Legal Advocacy at national farmed animal advocacy group Animal Outlook, and as an adjunct professor of Animal Law at New York University Law School. She earned her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she led the ultimately successful campaign for the school to begin teaching Animal Law.
Legislative Affairs Manager, Animal Legal Defense Fund
As a Legislative Affairs Manager at the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Brian Hackett works to advance key legislative priorities to create stronger animal protection laws, as well as improve the awareness and enforcement of these policies with public officials and the community.
Brian graduated magna cum laude from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) with a bachelor’s degree in political science and public policy management. Before joining the animal protection movement in a professional capacity, Brian was a political consultant and operative. He briefly served on a local governing body, an experience that later helped him advance over 150 animal protection ordinances banning the retail sale of puppy mill animals.
Prior to joining the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Brian served as the New Jersey State Director for the Humane Society of the United States, where he engaged in all levels of government, placing an emphasis on effective collaboration with a variety of diverse stakeholders to advance animal protection policies.
He has directly led or strategically supported numerous campaigns to pass landmark animal protection legislation, seeing over a dozen new animal protection laws to completion in New Jersey, including a comprehensive ban on the use of wild animals in traveling shows and circuses, a prohibition on the sale and trade of shark fins, criminalizing the possession of animal fighting paraphernalia, stopping pet leasing schemes, reforming dangerous dog laws, prohibiting the sale of cosmetics tested on animals, and passing a major structural reform of animal cruelty law enforcement, ensuring that the state’s extensive animal cruelty and protection laws are properly enforced.
Brian has been repeatedly recognized by Insider NJ’s OUT100 List as one of the most successful advocates in the state.
On a local level, Brian has worked to save countless lives, advancing support for humane community cat management through Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) policies with counties and municipalities. He served on an ad hoc committee formed by the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners to study and promote TNVR and was appointed to chair the animal welfare mayoral transition sub-committee in the seventh largest city in the state. He is also a board member for People for Animals, Inc., a New Jersey-based network of low-cost spay/neuter and veterinary wellness clinics.
Brian is a proud lifelong resident of the Garden State, where he resides in South Jersey with his partner, Eric, and a large array of rescued cats and dogs. In his spare time, Brian is an avid reader and enjoys cycling, kayaking, going down the shore, traveling the world, meeting new people, and experiencing new places.
President, Mercy for Animals
Leah Garcés is the president of Mercy For Animals and author of Grilled: Turning Adversaries into Allies to Change the Chicken Industry. She has nearly 20 years of leadership experience in the animal protection movement and has partnered with some of the world’s largest food companies on her mission to build a better food system.
Leah oversaw international campaigns in 14 countries at the World Society for the Protection of Animals and launched Compassion in World Farming in the United States. Her work has been featured in national and international media outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, VICE, and the Chicago Tribune. Leah has an M.S. in Environment and Development from King’s College London and has presented at global forums including TEDx, RIO+10, and the World Health Organization’s Global Forum for Health Research.
Managing Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund
As a managing attorney at the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Cristina Stella litigates on behalf of farmed, wild, and captive animals who are subjected to systemic cruelty and exploitation in commercial industries. Her cases primarily focus on increasing transparency in the industrial agriculture system and challenging industrial agricultural practices that harm animals, the environment, and public health.
Before joining the Animal Legal Defense Fund Cristina spent five years as an attorney with the Center for Food Safety in San Francisco, where she litigated cases against the federal government to improve its oversight of the U.S. food system, and advocated for more humane, transparent, and sustainable food production practices. Cristina also teaches Animal Law as an adjunct professor at the University of California, Davis School of Law, and has previously taught at the University of San Francisco School of Law. She began her legal career as a law clerk for the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine.
Cristina is co-author of the investigative report, America’s Secret Animal Drug Problem: How Lack of Transparency is Endangering Human Health and Animal Welfare, and has appeared on CBS News and in the documentary film What the Health? Her work has been covered in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Mother Jones, and Politico, and she has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and VICE News.
Cristina graduated with honors from Georgetown University Law Center in 2011 and earned her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Villanova University in 2007. She is admitted to practice in New York and California. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Cristina managed a nonprofit partnership between small-scale farmers and communities with low incomes in Portland, Oregon.
LL.M. Candidate, Lewis & Clark Law School
Jamie is a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, where she received her BA with a double major in English and anthropology. She began a career in finance with Ameriprise Financial in the San Francisco Bay Area and later obtained her Certified Financial Planner designation through the professional studies program at Northwestern University in Chicago. After serving as a financial advisor to Silicon Valley professionals for many years, Jamie transitioned out of her financial planning practice to pursue animal rights and welfare law. She received her JD with a Public Interest Law Certificate from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. In addition to her animal rights and welfare focus, Jamie has studied intersectionality, human rights, and critical social justice in Berlin through DePaul’s program with Humboldt University. She has also studied Latin American law including human rights and international business law through DePaul’s program at Instituto Universitario ESEADE in Buenos Aries. Jamie is the recipient of the Center for Animal Law Studies’ Animal Law LLM Leadership Award. Following completion of the Animal Law LLM program, Jamie will continue her studies through Lewis & Clark’s Environmental Law LLM program. Her concentrations are animal status and the impacts of U.S. industrial agriculture models on the environment and human and nonhuman animals. She has clerked for the Animal Legal Defense Fund Litigation Program in Cotati, California, Slaughter Free Cities in Chicago, Illinois, Humane Society of the United States Animal Protection Law in Washington D.C., and is currently a clerk for the Nonhuman Rights Project.
Moderator: Priscilla Rader Culp
Education Program Manager, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Priscilla develops and manages education programs and opportunities for law students, attorneys, and the general public, including the Animal Law Academy, academic outreach, scholarships, and events.
As a 2016 Lewis & Clark Law School graduate, Priscilla interned with Mercy for Animals, clerked for the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Litigation Program and the Center for Animal Law Studies, and acted as co-director for the school’s Animal Legal Defense Fund student chapter, winning Chapter of the Year Award for its work. Priscilla completed her bachelor’s degree at Pacific University where she studied philosophy, with a special focus on animal ethics.
Priscilla’s commitment to animal law has been recognized with the Animal Law Leadership Award, the Advancement of Animal Law Scholarship and the Richard J. Peppin Animal Rights Scholarship. Priscilla was also selected by professors and faculty of her law school to join its Cornelius Honor Society.
She shares her home in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their adopted cat, Wesley, who has them both wrapped around his paw.
Law Student Scholarship Panel Pt. 1
As the next generation of animal lawyers and policy makers, students are already doing great work exploring cutting-edge legal theories as well as considering practical ways to use the law to help animals. This year, the Law Student Scholarship Panel paired with the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s inaugural Student Scholars’ Workshop, which is an intensive year-long project. Five students were selected based on their proposals to research, draft, edit, publish, and present their papers on topics centered on farmed animals and natural disasters. During the AM and PM panels, hear from these students as they showcase this impressive work!
11:30 – 11:50: Trish Conlon, J.D., Willamette Law School
Trish Conlon graduated from Willamette Law School in Salem, Oregon in May 2022. After completing all of the animal law courses available at her school and completing internships in animal law and for a government agency, Trish found that she is very interested in using her legal education to help animals. Trish is interested in exploring all areas of law in order to find legal and administrative ways to improve the welfare of animals. Trish chose to participate in the ALDF Student Scholars Workshop as her heart breaks for farmed animals and because she also feels that there is a social injustice regarding the effects that CAFOs have on BIPOC communities and the environment.
11:50 – 12:10: Daria Bednarczyk, 1L, Vermont Law School
Daria Bednarczyk is a Juris Doctor Candidate, 2025 at Vermont Law and Graduate School (VLGS). A native New Englander, she has lived in Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont. She has recently completed a Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) degree where she found her passion in animal law. Her academic interests center around the most vulnerable and underserved animals in the animal law field including farm animals, laboratory animals, and wildlife. She aspires to bridge the gaps between otherwise polarized communities to navigate human-animal relationships.
12:10 -12:30: Q&A with moderator Hira Jaleel, Lewis & Clark Law School
Hira Jaleel is a lawyer from Pakistan specializing in Animal Law. She received her B.A-LL.B (Hons.) from the Lahore University of Management Sciences and her LLM in Animal Law from Lewis & Clark Law School, where she was a Fulbright Scholar and recipient of the Animal Law LLM Leadership Award. Hira previously worked as a Senior Associate at Axis Law Chambers – a full service corporate and commercial law firm in Lahore, Pakistan. As part of her practice, she regularly advised clients on animal-related legal issues, including issuing advice on the legal rights of clients threatened with eviction and seizure of their companion animals by housing authorities, advising on the prosecution of animal abuse cases, and assisting animal welfare nonprofits regarding registration and regulatory compliance issues.
Hira has also extensively litigated on behalf of animals in Pakistan. Hira was co-counsel in a case before the Honorable Lahore High Court against indiscriminate culling of street dogs by state authorities. The case ultimately resulted in the formulation of a provincial dog birth control policy, which ended the barbaric practice of culling dogs and replaced culling with a province-wide Trap Neuter Vaccinate Release program. She was also appointed amicus curiae by the Lahore High Court in a case regarding wild animal welfare, in which the petitioners sought to ban the possession of wild animals as exotic pets by individuals. Additionally, Hira was appointed amicus curiae in a case challenging the Punjab Wildlife Department’s ban on the use of electronic decoys in hunting. In a win for wild animals, the ban was ultimately upheld by the Lahore High Court.
As part of her work, Hira has worked with all four provincial governments in Pakistan to update their animal welfare legislation. Hira has also been a consultant for Pakistan’s Federal Ministry of National Food Security & Research, and has worked on a new Federal Animal Health Bill for Pakistan in collaboration with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
Hira was a recipient of the CALS Global Ambassador Program grant for the year 2021-2022. As part of her GAP project, Hira successfully designed and taught Pakistan’s first ever animal law course at the Lahore University of Management Sciences in Spring 2022.
Law Student Scholarship Pt. 2
2:00 – 2:20: Jamie McLaughlin, LL.M. candidate, Lewis & Clark Law School
Jamie is a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, where she received her BA with a double major in English and anthropology. She began a career in finance with Ameriprise Financial in the San Francisco Bay Area and later obtained her Certified Financial Planner designation through the professional studies program at Northwestern University in Chicago. After serving as a financial advisor to Silicon Valley professionals for many years, Jamie transitioned out of her financial planning practice to pursue animal rights and welfare law.
She received her JD with a Public Interest Law Certificate from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. In addition to her animal rights and welfare focus, Jamie has studied intersectionality, human rights, and critical social justice in Berlin through DePaul’s program with Humboldt University. She has also studied Latin American law including human rights and international business law through DePaul’s program at Instituto Universitario ESEADE in Buenos Aries. Jamie is the recipient of the Center for Animal Law Studies’ Animal Law LLM Leadership Award. Following completion of the Animal Law LLM program, Jamie will continue her studies through Lewis & Clark’s Environmental Law LLM program. Her concentrations are animal status and the impacts of U.S. industrial agriculture models on the environment and human and nonhuman animals. She has clerked for the Animal Legal Defense Fund Litigation Program in Cotati, California, Slaughter Free Cities in Chicago, Illinois, Humane Society of the United States Animal Protection Law in Washington D.C., and is currently a clerk for the Nonhuman Rights Project.
2:20 – 2:40: Tjitske Dekker, 3L, University of Washington School of Law
Tjitske Dekker is a 2L at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle. She is interested in animal law, labor relations, government, and municipal law. After graduation she would like to do a clerkship and work as a litigator. Tjitske is participating in this workshop because she wants to work on behalf of animals, improve as a writer, and meet other like-minded students.
2:40 – 3:00: Robin Bariel, 3L, McGeorge School of Law
Robin Bariel is a third-year law student at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California. She was drawn to this workshop because of the pressing challenges presented by inaction on climate change, particularly for livestock living on large farms.
3:00 – 3:20: Q&A with moderator Rajesh Reddy, Director of Animal Law Program, Center for Animal Law Studies, Lewis & Clark Law School
As the Director of the Animal Law Program at Lewis & Clark, Rajesh Reddy helps drive the Center for Animal Law Studies’ mission to educate the next generation of animal law advocates and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. To this end, Raj oversees Lewis & Clark Law School’s animal law curriculum and in-person and online advanced animal law degree programs, as well as advises its animal law student groups: the Animal Law Review and the Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter. In his role as a professor, Raj teaches International Animal Law and Animal Legal Philosophy, among other courses.
- From the Civil War to Civil and Animal Rights, Trish Conlon
- Behind Closed Doors – the Fettered Lives of Farm Animals: Deficits of Legal Protections Afforded to Farm Animals in Natural Disasters, Daria Bednarczyk
- ESG, Jamie McLaughlin
- Any Emergency Assistance for Animal Deaths Caused by Extreme Weather Events Should Be Conditional on Disaster Precautions, Tjitske Dekker
- The Livestock Indemnity Program: Using a Program That Pays for Death to Save Lives, Robin Bariel
Animal Legal Defense Fund Networking
Animal Legal Defense Fund staff and friends will join us for an end-of-event networking opportunity before the Animal Law Conference reception kick off, co-presented by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark Law School. A great way to say hi to old friends, meet new ones, and to get ready for the conference weekend!
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