Student Chapter Spotlight

Brooklyn Law School Spreads the Word about Animal Law

Brooklyn Law School’s (BLS) Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapter established its presence on campus in the fall 2016 semester with its event on the law and ethics of industrial food production, “Food Industry: Sustainability & Business.”

This event successfully introduced animal law to over 60 attendees, including BLS students, faculty, and community members. Attendees ate plant-based sushi from Beyond Sushi, generously supported by an Animal Legal Defense Fund project grant from the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

The Brooklyn Law School Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter collaborated with the Environmental Law Society and Business Law Association to put on this event. The collaboration allowed the Brooklyn Law School Student Chapter to reach BLS community members who were unaware of the cruelty in the animal agriculture industry and of animal law’s intersections with business and environmental law. The audience was intrigued and full of questions and comments.

The panel included Chris Kerr, investment manager at New Crop Capitol; Cody Carlson, former undercover investigator, current staff attorney at Mercy for Animals, and BLS alum; Liz Dee, co-owner and executive vice president of Smarties Candy Co.; and Jason Foscolo, attorney at the Food Law Firm.

Each panelist brought a distinct perspective to the discussion of animal cruelty in farms and slaughterhouses. The success of the panel, in large part, rested on the diversity of the panelists’ background, interests, and commitment to the field. The panel’s diversity also encouraged audience members who may not think protecting animals is important to see the vast array of reasons to vehemently oppose animal cruelty, and how we all can do this.

In spring 2017, the Brooklyn Law School Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter will screen the film A Plastic Ocean, while serving plant-based snacks and handing out BLS Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter tabling materials to attendees. The Brooklyn Law School Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter board estimates that 30 BLS students will attend to learn about the effects of ocean pollution on the environment and aquatic animals.

Later in the semester, Brooklyn Law School Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter will host another event with the Environmental Law Society to discuss the film. The chapter is also planning a donation drive for local animal shelters, where students will be encouraged to donate food, blankets, or toys in exchange for immunity from being cold called on in class.

This summer, the Brooklyn Law School Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter will invite BLS alumni and BLS Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter members from nearby schools to take a trip to an animal sanctuary in the Catskills. Chapter members hope this trip will be an opportunity to develop new ideas for the chapter for next school year.

The chapter is also excited to create an animal law club this summer to become more involved in policy making as law students. In this club, Brooklyn Law School Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapters members will come together with other New York Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter members to discuss current and upcoming legislation that may help or harm animals.

This student chapter spotlight was submitted by Danielle Rimland ‘19, Reza Mohamadzadeh ‘19, Hannah Laufer ’18, & BLS Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter Board Members

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