Archive | October, 2010

ALDF Animal Law Institute Inaugural Litigation Fellowship

The ALDF Animal Law Institute is now offering an Animal Law Institute Inaugural Litigation Fellowship. The Fellow will learn to develop state and federal strategic impact litigation and legislation to better the lives and legal status of animals. The Fellow will operate as part of a team, but will ultimately be responsible for the innovation and success of his or her projects while developing litigation skills. The model applicant must have earned a J.D. within the past three years, excelled in school, earned strong work references, and have a sincere and proven interest in animal protection. The primary focus of this clerkship is on civil animal law issues, but Fellows will be exposed to criminal anti-cruelty cases as well.

The Fellowship will begin in January 2011 and last roughly thirty-three months. It will be based at ALDF’s headquarters in Cotati, California. The position offers a salary of $39,500 annually, full medical and dental benefits, and a casual office environment, including companion animals. Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2010, and should consist of a resume with at least two references, cover letter, and legal writing sample. Please send applications by email to Carter Dillard, Director of Litigation, at

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David Wolfson Talk at HLS

On October 4th, the Harvard Law School Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) hosted a lecture by David Wolfson on one of the most pressing issues in animal welfare: factory farming.

Mr. Wolfson has taught, lectured, and written extensively on animal law. As a partner in the Corporate division of the international law firm Milbank Tweed, he has also represented various animal protection groups in litigation and legislative lobbying.

During his talk, Mr. Wolfson gave those in attendance an introduction to the legal, economic, and social issues relating to the booming practice of factory farming in the United States.  Mr. Wolfson explained that factory farming has extremely far-reaching effects, affecting animal welfare, health, labor, environmental sustainability, food policy, and energy efficiency.

He also discussed the legislative framework governing factory farming, describing how the piecemeal arrangement of state and federal laws and the sensitive politics surrounding farming practices present challenges to activists and lobbyists who seek to change the way the industry operates. In particular, Mr. Wolfson discussed the advantages of ballot initiatives, such as California’s Proposition 2, which have offered a more direct and effective route to improving industry standards.

The lecture was very well attended, and the students enjoyed a homemade vegan lunch prepared by two SALDF board members.

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Animal Legal Defense Fund Summer Clerkships

Animal Legal Defense Fund Summer Clerkships
Summer 2011 in Cotati, California or Portland, Oregon

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system. Since 1981, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has won precedent-setting victories that have expanded legal protections for companion animals, wildlife, animals in research labs, and those in factory farming situations.

During the summer of 2011, six promising law students will be given the opportunity to learn more about animal law by participating in the ALDF Summer Clerkships. The clerkship positions are described below.

Criminal Justice Program Clerkship
Responsibilities include reviewing cruelty reports, communicating with law enforcement officers, animal welfare investigators and prosecutors, assisting in the development of proposed legislation, researching a wide range of legal issues, and drafting pleadings and research memoranda. The successful applicant must have a sincere interest in animal protection and be willing to accept a variety of assignments within the expanding field of animal law. The primary focus of this clerkship is on criminal cases involving animal cruelty, but there will exposure to civil animal law issues as well. This clerkship position is offered at the ALDF Office in Portland, Oregon.

Litigation Program Clerkship
Responsibilities include legal research, working with ALDF’s litigation department in developing new cases, and assistance in preparation of pleadings in cases currently being handled by ALDF. The successful applicant must have a sincere interest in animal protection and be willing to accept a variety of assignments within the expanding field of animal law. The primary focus of this clerkship is on civil animal law issues, but there will be exposure to criminal anti-cruelty cases as well. This clerkship position is being offered at the ALDF national headquarters in Cotati, California.

Clerkships are for a period of 10 weeks with a flexible starting date (dependent upon the student’s schedule). They are open to second-year students only. There is a $6,000 stipend for the summer.

Deadline for applications is October 15, 2010. The law clerk will be chosen by November 12, 2010. Law students interested in applying should forward an application form, cover letter, resumé (including 2-3 professional references), original writing sample, and transcript (unofficial is okay) to  Only complete applications will be considered. In the alternative, materials can be sent to:

Animal Legal Defense Fund
Law Clerk Position
170 E. Cotati Ave.
Cotati, CA  94931
Attention – Kay Wood

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2011 National Animal Law Competitions

The 8th Annual National Animal Law Competitions will be held on February 25-27th, 2011.  The board of SALDF wants to encourage anyone who is interested to participate and pass on a few items from the organizers at the Center for Animal Studies at the Lewis & Clark Law School.

  • There are 3 separate competitions: a Legislative Drafting & Lobbying Competition; a Closing Argument Competition; and an Appellate Moot Court Competition.
  • The dates of the event are Friday, February 25th (starts in the evening) through Sunday, February 27th.
  • Federal judges will preside over the final round of the Appellate Moot Court Competition.
  • Registration opened on Thursday, October 7th at 10 a.m. (PST).  We hope that once again this year, Harvard will have an Appellate Moot Court team and perhaps other competitors. Spots fill up quickly!
  • The official website is  Registration forms are already available.
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