The Animal Legal Defense Fund Accepts Gift Supporting the Animal Legal Education Initiative
The gift of more than $1 million will fund the program over the next four years
SAN FRANCISCO — Today, the Animal Legal Defense Fund announced it has accepted a gift of more than $1 million from Kathryn “Kathy” Casey in support of the Animal Legal Education Initiative (ALEI), a partnership with the George Washington University Law School, launched in 2022 and dedicated to developing animal law as a stand-alone legal discipline that is fully integrated into legal education. The gift, which is named “The Joseph and Rosemary Todino Assistant Dean, Animal Legal Education Initiative” in honor of Casey’s parents, will provide funding to the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Animal Legal Education Initiative for four years starting in 2024. Casey presented the gift to the Animal Legal Defense Fund in July 2022.
“We are deeply indebted to Kathryn Casey for her continued partnership with the Animal Legal Defense Fund to expand animal law as a legal discipline and prioritize diversity in the field,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Chris Green. “This generous gift will support efforts to have animal law fully integrated into all aspects of legal education. The Animal Legal Education Initiative is an ideal vehicle to foster the growing interest in animal law on campuses across the country by ensuring experienced faculty members are equipped to teach future attorneys in the emerging field of animal law.”
“The gift from Kathy Casey allows me to continue the Animal Legal Education Initiative work we started with the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s support at GW Law last year,” says George Washington University Assistant Dean for Animal Law Kathy Hessler. “It also supports my ability to further develop the program and its many projects. I’ve been delighted to work with Kathy, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s staff, on our Coolidge High School Project, which is just one example of her commitment to animal legal education at all levels of schooling. I am very grateful for her generosity and support of ALEI and I look forward to the exciting growth she has made possible.”
Already the primary funder of the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Diversity in Animal Law Project, Casey was excited when she learned about the partnership being forged between the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the George Washington University Law School. She decided supporting ALEI was the perfect opportunity to honor her parents’ lifelong legacy of care and compassion for animals. Her donation will underwrite the Assistant Dean and Director, Kathy Hessler. Dean Hessler has been a clinical law professor for 30 years and has been teaching animal law for 22 years. She was the first law professor hired to teach animal law full-time.
The initiative will provide opportunities for local, regional, national, and international faculty and students to collaborate on the development and integration of a comprehensive body of animal law and increase the capacity for, and rigor of, animal law education.
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