Student Chapters

How to Start an Animal Law Class at Your School

Animal Legal Defense Fund

The following are a few steps to starting an animal law course at your law school. A list of schools currently offering a class in animal law can be found here.

  • Schedule a meeting with the Dean of Academic Affairs to determine requirements for adding a new course to the curriculum.
  • Collaborate with other students interested in animal law. Consider starting an Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter at your school.
  • Sponsor student events to generate interest in animal law.
  • Identify and discuss animal law with faculty and/or adjunct faculty members who have an interest in teaching such a course offering. Be prepared to suggest interested instructors to the law school administration.
  • Petition the law school administration to add animal law to the curriculum. This may include a formal proposal for the administration or submission of a student body petition.
  • View a sample petition (PDF). 
  • The Animal Legal Defense Fund has course guides for farmed animal law, companion animal law, and wildlife law that professors can use to hep design a new course. We have supporting memos available for each class to include with your proposal.
  • The Animal Legal Defense Fund also offers seed grants for first-time animal law course offerings at ABA-accredited law schools.
  • While working to add an animal law course to your school’s curriculum, you can educate yourself and other students interested in this dynamic field by starting an animal law reading group. You can use the above course guides to help structure your group and decide what to read and discuss.
  • If you are a professor, work with the Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter at your school, as students are often the driving force behind getting a new class approved. A full list of chapters can be found here.
  • For information about seed grants, or additional resources to assist you in getting a course added at your school, please contact us.

How We Work


  • There are no “bad dogs”

    As the Animal Legal Defense Fund combats dogfighting by working with state officials to create stronger laws and more effective penalties for those who engage in this crime, we’re also hard at work to ensure the best possible outcomes for dogfighting victims.
    August 5, 2020 News
  • Animal Legal Defense Fund and Humane Rescue Alliance Offer $10,000 Reward in Case of Dog Stabbing

    The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, and Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the abandonment and stabbing of a senior-aged dog named Ladybell on July 12, 2020.
    August 4, 2020 Press Release
  • The Animal Agriculture Industry: Liability Proof?

    Earlier this summer, the driver of a pig transport truck struck and killed longtime animal advocate Regan Russell. The circumstances regarding her death are not fully known to the public, but top to bottom, the animal agriculture industry is rarely held accountable.
    August 4, 2020 News