Monday, April 9, 2012

Lewis & Clark Law School Welcomes Animal Activist and Lawyer

Lewis & Clark Law School's Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS), the nation’s premiere animal law program in Portland, Oregon, is expanding its lineup of professors to include renowned activist, lawyer, and writer, Mariann Sullivan, as a visiting professor for the Fall 2012 semester. 

Lewis & Clark broke new ground last year when it announced the launch of the world’s first advanced LL.M. program in animal law. Sullivan’s fall classes — “Animals in Agriculture: Law and Policy,” and “Animal Law Fundamentals” — will enhance the advanced degree program, and will also be available as part of the regular law school curriculum.

With increasing attention being paid to the treatment of animals, the field is quickly becoming recognized as the battleground for one of the central social justice issues of the 21st century. Offering the first full program in animal law, Lewis & Clark is at the vanguard.

Sullivan, whose passion for animal law recently led her to leave her long and successful career as Deputy Chief Court Attorney in the appellate courts of New York, is currently a lecturer in animal law at Columbia University School of Law and an adjunct professor of animal law at Brooklyn Law School and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University. She has served as chair of the American Bar Association’s TIPS Animal Law Committee as well as the Animal Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She has also written extensively about animal law issues, often focusing on cutting-edge issues affecting farmed animals, such as an analysis of the Supreme Court of Israel’s decision to outlaw force-feeding of geese for the production of foie gras, or the impact of exemptions for “customary farming practices” on the enforcement of laws protecting animals from cruelty in the U.S. Sullivan is also the co-founder of Our Hen House, a multimedia hub of opportunities to change the world for animals, which was named the “Indie Media Powerhouse of 2011” by VegNews Magazine.

The course on animals in agriculture holds special meaning for Sullivan. “By and large, the animals that [who] people eat have been erased from the law and hidden from sight,” Sullivan explains.It’s so exciting to focus on an area where the law is just starting to address an aspect of society that so many people feel has gone awry, and to be at Lewis & Clark, which is doing the legal scholarship that will underlie the policy changes to come.”

Pamela Frasch, executive director of the Lewis & Clark animal law program, jumped at the opportunity to bring Sullivan on board. “We are elated that Mariann Sullivan is joining the team here at CALS,” Frasch says. “Mariann is one of the nation’s foremost animal law scholars. Her experience in the field will be extraordinarily valuable to all of our students, but especially those who seek to pursue a career in animal law.”

For more information on the Center for Animal Law Studies, visit

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