Student Chapter Spotlight

GGU Student Chapter Teams Up for Animals in 2018

The Golden Gate University (GGU) Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter had a busy year in 2018!

Animal law issues impact all attorneys at some point during their legal careers, therefore the chapter’s mission is to reach every law student during their time at GGU, regardless of their legal interests, by collaborating with other student organizations for its events and projects.

At the beginning of the year, the chapter participated in National Justice for Animals Week. It hosted a screening of the documentary Racing Extinction, a discussion of the Endangered Species Act, and gathered over 100 signatures to support Prop 12 with Prevent Cruelty California. (In the fall of 2018, Californians voted to enact Prop 12, taking a major step towards ending the intensive confinement of farmed animals in the state!). Chapter members also tabled in between classes to discuss how animal law relates to students’ career interests and to educate students on the myriad of options which make it easy to adopt a plant-based lifestyle.

In spring, the chapter hosted the annual California Animal Law Symposium. The event focused on family issues, including the impacts of factory farms on communities, keeping families and their companion animals together in emergencies, service animals, and issues of social justice in communities.

The symposium hosted guest presenters from the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Mercy for Animals, Beyond Fences, the Food Empowerment Project, Marin Hume Society, Operation Freedom Paws, Lewis and Clark Law School, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Convention 2017 presenter Christine Ball-Blakely. The symposium provided the chapter with the opportunity to team up with various student organizations at their school, including the Veterans’ Law Student Society, Youth and Family Law Society, Environmental Law Society, and the Environmental Law Journal, to reach students from various backgrounds.

During Speak Out for Farmed Animals Week, the chapter screened Death on A Factory Farm, a documentary that follows a criminal animal cruelty court case against owners and employees of Wiles Hog Farm. It also hosted Animal Legal Defense Fund Senior Staff Attorney Chris Berry to speak on how to legally protect farmed animals, and toured the sanctuary Animal Place to learn about the needs of farmed animal sanctuaries and visit with the pigs, chickens, turkeys, and goats.

The chapter was able to partner with the Environmental Law Society again in the fall for their Environmental Law and Animal Law Career Panel. Guest presenters included representatives from the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Environmental Protection Agency, and San Francisco Bay Keeper. In addition, over twenty alumni came back to campus to talk to students about their work experiences in environmental and animal law.

This spotlight was submitted by GGU Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter co-chair Tara Cooley.

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