Meet ALDF LL.M. Scholar Aurora Paulsen

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) are pleased to announce that Aurora Paulsen has been selected to receive the first-ever ALDF LL.M. Scholar Award in recognition of her academic and professional achievements in animal law. This award provides tuition assistance toward the Animal Law LL.M. degree at Lewis & Clark Law School—the first and only postgraduate law degree program focused specifically on animal law.

Aurora Paulsen, first-ever ALDF LL.M. Scholar Award

Aurora holds a B.A. in linguistics from Reed College and a J.D. and certificate in environmental law from Lewis & Clark Law School. Additionally, Aurora was a judicial law clerk at the Oregon Court of Appeals and a legal fellow at the Center for Food Safety, where she litigated various sustainable agriculture issues. She has also held positions with ALDF and the Humane Society of the United States. While in law school, Aurora led Animal Law Review as Editor in Chief and instituted the journal’s first annual symposium. She has authored and co-authored five law review articles and two newsletter articles on legal issues around farmed and wild animals, as well as a book chapter on CAFO litigation (forthcoming).

She is currently pursuing an Animal Law LL.M at Lewis & Clark Law School, focusing on animals in agriculture. Through the Animal Law LL.M. program, Aurora will also edit a book on Swiss animal law, co-teach an introductory course in animal law, and continue with animal protection litigation, among other projects. According to Nicole Pallotta, ALDF’s Student Programs Manager, “Aurora exemplifies the bright future of animal law, and we are pleased to offer this scholarship to support her continued education in the field. She is a shining example of the talent and dedication of our growing network of SALDF members, who use their considerable skills and passion to find creative and affective ways to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system.”

In 2008, the Animal Legal Defense Fund entered into an exciting collaboration with Lewis & Clark Law School to launch the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis & Clark. As a result of this collaboration, CALS has educated and supported law students and legal professionals in the rapidly developing field of animal law through classes, conferences, scholarships, and clinical opportunities. The milestones that have been achieved at CALS have been nothing short of incredible, from the appointment of the first animal law dean to hiring the first full-time faculty member dedicated to an animal law clinic. These “firsts” complement an already impressive list of pioneering accomplishments at Lewis & Clark, including the formation of the first SALDF chapter, the first academic animal law conference, the first animal law journal, the first national animal law competitions, and launching of the first Animal Law LL.M. (Master of Laws) program in the world. The ALDF LL.M. Scholar Award is another of these “firsts” in support of the field of animal law. ALDF has a longstanding commitment to animal legal education, and providing CALS with the funds to offer this new LL.M. award to Aurora Paulsen is the next step in its continued support.

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