Tuesday, February 20, 2007

2007 National Animal Advocacy Competitions at Harvard Law School Prove That Animal Law Is a Rapidly Growing and Respected Area of Law

A very excellent sign. As the article states, “Currently, over seventy-five law schools nationwide offer at least one class on animal law, whereas ten years ago there existed only a handful.”

To have such a competition held at the #1 law school in the nation signifies that it is seen as a legitimate form of law.

Even more, some law schools have entire curriculums dedicated to animal rights law. As mentioned below, Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, OR contains the National Center for Animal Law. It is this group that is responsible for putting this annual competition together.


Law Students Across the Nation Learn to Fight for Animals in Court


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 19 (AScribe Newswire) -- Law students from seventeen different schools will meet at Harvard Law School on February 24-25 to battle in court over animal law cases at the 2007 National Animal Advocacy Competitions. The students will make their cases for the true value versus the market value of a police service dog who was killed, as well as whether a hypothetical federal anti-animal fighting law is constitutional. This marks the fifth consecutive year that the National Center for Animal Law has organized and the Harvard chapter of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund has hosted the competitions.

Animal law is a rapidly growing area of law. Currently, over seventy-five law schools nationwide offer at least one class on animal law, whereas ten years ago there existed only a handful. Today, a Google search for "animal law attorneys" generates approximately 1.3 million hits. Some lawyers are now practicing animal law exclusively, and making a living at it. Jeff Petersen, a recent Chapman University School of Law graduate who won the 2005 closing argument competition, said, "I didn't know that animal law was a bonafide field of law before I entered law school. Thanks to the competitions, now I feel inspired to be an advocate for animals in court."

"The NAAC are carefully planned, expertly run, and attract gifted participants and judges alike. It represents a milestone in the development of the academic discipline of animal law," said Steven Wise, author and animal law professor.

The competitions are hailed as a training ground for the animal lawyers of tomorrow by animal law experts; the competitors are judged by some of the nation's leading authorities on animal law, a group that includes animal rights author Steven Wise, Animal Legal Defense Fund founder Joyce Tischler, and other noted animal law professors, scholars and practitioners from across the nation.

"Competing is one of the best ways that an animal law student can put his or her passion into practice," said Laura Ireland Moore, executive director of the National Center for Animal Law at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Ore. "By competing, these students learn advocacy skills that can only be developed with practice, and NCAL is here to help turn animal law students into animal law lawyers."

The public is invited to observe any of the rounds of the competition. For more information, please contact Jami Pannell at 503-768-6849.

About the National Center for Animal Law: The center was established in 2001 with the purpose of providing support to students pursuing careers in animal law. Today, the center provides training, resources, programs, and networking opportunities for animal law students. While housed at Lewis & Clark Law School, the center supports animal law students, administrators, and professors across the nation.

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CONTACT: Jami Pannell, 503-768-6849, jami@animallawattorney.info

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