Daria Bednarczyk is a 2023 recipient of the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Advancement in Animal Law Scholarship.

This award honors students who demonstrate a commitment to the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s mission: “to advance the interests and protect the lives of animals through the legal system.” Recipients are actively involved in their Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter while in law school and show promise in the field after graduation.

Daria Bednarczyk is rising 2L at Vermont Law & Graduate School (VLGS). Daria holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Science, a Master of Business Administration degree, and a Master of Environmental Law and Policy degree. She is currently the Social Media Coordinator of the VLGS Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter.

What Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter activities are you proudest of and why?
The Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter activity that I am proudest of is Vermont Law & Graduate School’s Vegan Thanksgiving. Vegan Thanksgiving has been a tradition at VLGS for many years and is a time for students to gather around the Thanksgiving holiday. In addition to connecting as colleagues and friends, we raise awareness about industrial farming and its impact on the welfare of animals.

Any other noteworthy experience?
An experience that is noteworthy to me is Vermont Law & Graduate School’s Annual Animal Law Symposium featuring guest speakers. At my first VLGS Animal Law Symposium, what most stood out to me was hearing from Professor Randall Abate, GW Law and Professor Heather Rally, DVM, who have both greatly inspired me and have since become prominent role models to me as a student and animal advocate.

What is an animal law related goal of yours for the upcoming academic year?
My current main goal is becoming more familiar with the litigation aspect of Animal Law and how to practically apply various areas of law to animal welfare matters. I also hope to participate in the National Animal Law Competition prior to graduation.

What are your plans/goals for post-graduation?
My post-graduation goal is to find a fulfilling career where my duties require me to make a difference in the lives of animals — regardless of species. I hope to hone my abilities to help, improve, and save animals while informing our communities about the harm and oppression faced by animals on a daily basis. My ultimate goal is to spread awareness of how animals deserve to be treated as they are the non-human animals that we heavily rely on to continue our existence.

What is one piece of advice that you would like to pass on to other Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter leaders?
One piece of advice that I would like to pass on to other Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter leaders is that the Animal Legal Defense Fund is a wonderful organization, continually providing support and guidance for animal advocates in all stages of their careers. Working with members from the Animal Legal Defense Fund feels like working with supportive family members and friends who share a similar passion for advancing animal welfare, laws, and policies for current and future generations. The Animal Legal Defense Fund is a great organization with lots to offer animal advocates. Make sure to take advantage of all they have to offer!

Learn more about the other 2023 Advancement in Animal Law Scholarship winners.

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