Student Chapter Spotlight

Spotlight: Mary-Bailey Frank

Mary-Bailey Frank is a 2020 recipient of the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Advancement in Animal Law Scholarship.

Mary-Bailey Frank is a 2020 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.

Mary-Bailey (Bailey) Frank is a rising 2L at Duke University School of Law. Bailey became interested in animal rights during her undergraduate years at Georgetown University, where she helped lead the student group Animalia: Animal Rights at Georgetown and interned with the Humane Society Legislative Fund. After graduating college, she spent two years teaching in Mississippi through the Teach for America program, but she ultimately came to realize her heart belonged to the animal rights movement. She enrolled in Duke University School of Law to pursue a career as an animal rights attorney, and she currently serves as the incoming president of Duke’s Animal Legal Defense Fund Student Chapter. Over the summer, Bailey is honored to be working as a legal intern for Animal Outlook (formerly Compassion over Killing).

What Animal Legal Defense Fund student chapter activities are you proudest of and why? Any other noteworthy experience?

During her 1L year, Bailey served as the 1L representative for Duke’s Animal Legal Defense Fund Student chapter. In her role as representative, she established a new pro-bono project and led a team of students that worked with Harvard’s Animal Law Clinic (pictured). She plans to continue this partnership during her remaining time in law school and while serving as a mentor after graduation. She also facilitated student outreach during National Justice for Animals Week and began discussions with Duke about launching animal law clinical opportunities.

What is an animal law related goal of yours for the upcoming academic year?

In the upcoming year, Bailey plans to launch a seminar course focused on big cat possession, inspired by the Netflix docuseries “Tiger King.” She is working with the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Duke professors to develop a syllabus, and she is hoping to launch the course in Spring 2021. Through the course, Bailey hopes to offer classmates more state-specific exposure to animal law issues, particularly in North Carolina where road-side zoos are prevalent. She is also working to have her chapter host an event on wild-life trafficking with Kathi Lynn Austin, the Executive Director of the Conflict Awareness Project, bring attorneys from the Non-Human Rights Project for a Q&A and film screening of Unlocking the Cage, and collaborate with the Federalist Society to set up a debate on private ownership of exotic animals. Bailey also hopes to gain clinical experience in animal law through Duke in the next year and expand those offerings to other students.

What are your plans/goals for post-graduation?

After graduation, Bailey plans to work as an animal rights attorney. She has a particular passion for farmed animals and their legal status and protections in the United States. Bailey will also work with Duke’s student chapter after graduation to build up animal law clinic initiatives.

What is one piece of advice that you’d like to pass on to other Animal Legal Defense Fund student chapter leaders?

Bailey’s best advice to Animal Legal Defense Fund student chapter leaders is to be present and vocal for the animals wherever possible. There are so many brilliant law students and professors who simply don’t know about animal law opportunities. Speaking up in classes and hosting events, film screenings, panels, debates, or even vegan potlucks can expand outreach in unexpected ways.

Learn more about the other 2020 Advancement in Animal Law Scholarship winners.

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