David Reuben Clerkships
These clerkships are generously funded by Mr. David Reuben, a longtime Animal Legal Defense Fund supporter
Clerkships provide invaluable experience for students to be trained by top experts in animal law at the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The Clerkship Program spans across several of our program areas, including our Litigation, Criminal Justice, Pro Bono, Legislative Affairs, General Counsel, and Animal Law programs.
In 2007, longtime animal advocate David Reuben began a partnership with the Animal Legal Defense Fund to develop and fund a concentrated summer clerkship program where the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s legal experts train and mentor law school students in two key areas: criminal law and litigation. Student clerks work closely with staff and are immersed in live cases and research, participating hands-on to gain real life experiences in and out of the courtroom. To date, David Reuben’s generosity has enabled 29 students to complete the program. Throughout this time, David continues to be passionately involved. His belief in the importance of expanding the field of animal law and the value of mentorship has greatly impacted our work and the future generations of animal law attorneys across the country. David Reuben Summer Clerks have gone on to launch careers that champion animals’ legal rights in numerous roles at animal protection organizations.
We are proud of this successful program and grateful to Mr. Reuben for his visionary support in helping law students gain a unique understanding of the growing field of animal law.
My most rewarding experience was researching and writing a memo on a novel legal challenge for Caitlin Foley. My final product led to a potentially new litigation strategy! It was so rewarding to work on the project from its inception to the final memo.
My clerkship in the Legislative Affairs Program taught me how to effectively get involved in every stage of the legislative process, from finding sponsors for potential bills to writing memos about the novelty of potential bill language, to garnering support for bills already before the House and Senate, via support letters to legislators/legislative committees. I have even been fortunate enough to sit-in on strategy meetings for two bills in the early stages of inception, joined by the legislators who created and are bringing forward the bill.
Animal law can manifest in a variety of ways and for everyone who is interested in doing the work, whatever their skills and expertise, they can contribute in impactful ways. [The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s] Criminal Justice team was great and I loved the projects I got to work on.
I learned a tremendous amount about animal law from this clerkship. My school does not offer an Animal Law course, so I came into the clerkship only knowing what I was able to tie to other classes, such as International Law and Environmental Law. The clerkship provided me with an in depth understanding of litigation strategies and best practices when building a case. I also learned how to manage multiple projects with varying deadlines and how to work collaboratively through purely remote relationships.
My most rewarding experience was submitting my first public comment to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service requesting they deny a trophy import permit. It was very rewarding to be able to put my name on a legal document and submit it for review. It was also very rewarding to be able to attend virtual oral arguments for some very important animal law cases.
I would definitely recommend this clerkship program to other law students. This clerkship taught me to think about “What are our goals for the animals? Do we have a place for the animals to go once they are rescued? What if the only option is for the animal to be euthanized?” There are so many ethical and philosophical questions that one must address when working in animal law. That was a view I was unaware of prior to the clerkship.
I would recommend this legal internship to other law students. I had the privilege to help with the brainstorming of a potential mentorship program through Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Animal Law and Pro Bono Programs. I have personally benefited from the mentorships and am a strong believer in the benefits.
This clerkship has shown me that I can have a place within this field even if I decide not to practice law. There are endless possibilities to help animals through knowledge of the law and spreading valuable information and resources to the world. I want to thank the Animal Legal Defense Fund for allowing me to be a part of the Animal Law Program team and to contribute to such a powerful and significant program.
Animal Legal Defense Fund files motion for summary judgement with damning evidence against the universityMay 19, 2022 Press Release
Animal Legal Defense Fund offers reward for information leading to the arrest and convictionMay 3, 2022 Press Release
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a complaint urging the USDA to investigate and enforce the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and its implementing regulations to decline to re-issue the exhibitor license of Pennsylvania roadside zoo, Claws ‘N’ Paws.May 3, 2022 Press Release