The Brooklyn Law School Student Animal Legal Defense Fund is a growing chapter that is bringing its message to the greater student body.

Since 2006 the Brooklyn Law School Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter has carried on a vibrant tradition of sponsoring regular events, educational panels, chapter meetings, and other on-campus activities, as well as our well-attended off-campus alumni dinner. Our biggest on-campus event each year is our vegan Thanksgiving, which Animal Legal Defense Fund supported with a project grant. This past year the event was a huge success, providing students with a holiday feast of some of the best vegan food in New York City, including dishes by Red Bamboo, Food Swings, and The Cinnamon Snail.

Last year our chapter hosted a panel about Ag-Gag legislation featuring Compassion Over Killing’s Cheryl Leahy, former undercover investigator Cody Carlson (’13), and Equal Justice Litigation Fellow at HSUS Lewis Bollard. We also screened the movie “Mine,” which tells stories about custody disputes of companion animals after Hurricane Katrina. Earlier this year we heard about the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act during a presentation from Equal Justice Alliance’s Odette Wilkins (’00). This spring our panel focused on urban wildlife conflicts in New York City, featuring SALDF vice chair and GooseWatch NYC founder David Karopkin (’15), veteran aviation expert Ken Paskar, and animal law professor Piper Hoffman.

In the past, our annual alumni dinner has brought back notable graduates of Brooklyn Law School, and we are looking forward to our reception this year.

In 2013, our chapter’s Vice Chair David Karopkin received a grant from Animal Legal Defense Fund to attend the Animal Law Conference at Stanford Law School, and he hopes to return with additional representatives from Brooklyn Law School Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter to the 2014 Animal Law Conference at Lewis & Clark Law School.

At the conference, David connected with representatives from Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapters at law schools across the country about shared experiences and ideas for programs and events. So far this year, our club helped promote events sponsored by other New York City law school Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapters, such as the screening of “Blackfish” at NYU. We hope to have more jointly hosted events with other Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapters in the New York City area.

Our chapter has partnered with other student organizations within Brooklyn Law School to cross-promote events with intersecting subject matter, such as ACLU, National Lawyers Guild, and the Environmental Law Society. We have also encouraged our chapter’s members to join the New York City Bar Association Animal Law Committee as well as the newly formed National Lawyers Guild Animal Rights Committee, and we promote other events relating to animal law and animal activism which are constantly taking place throughout New York City.

This student chapter spotlight was submitted by David Karopkin, vice chair of the Brooklyn Law School Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter.

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