Animal Law and Policy Institute
FAAC Assists in Drafting a Groundbreaking Farmed Animal Protection Bill
The Farmed Animal Advocacy Clinic (FAAC) empowers students to become effective advocates for animals while also developing skills that can be applied in a variety of arenas throughout their careers through hands-on experience with real-world matters. Under the leadership of Laura Fox (JD/MELP '13), students represent clients in litigation as well as legislative, policy, and regulatory matters aimed at improving the treatment and status of farmed animals. With billions of land animals and even more aquatic animals farmed for food annually in the US, animals implicate virtually every legal institution, from local prosecutors to various state and federal agencies with overlapping authority and responsibility, and everything in between.
The FAAC prioritizes legal matters with the greatest potential impacts for farmed animals while amplifying voices of those who are traditionally underrepresented, and those who are disparately impacted by industrial animal agriculture.
Students in the FAAC learn a wide range of legal advocacy skills that are central to farmed animal law, but that are also transferable to other areas, including navigating ethics issues that arise in the context of impact litigation, building and managing coalitions and clients with divergent interests, client outreach and communication, developing relationships with experts, and navigating the relationship between legal and media strategies.
FAAC students participate in every step of their matters, from interviewing potential clients/client representatives, drafting pleadings and other advocacy materials, working with experts, and beyond. Students have the opportunity to appear in court, and before legislative and administrative bodies on behalf of clients.
Cases range from fighting the USDA’s slaughter deregulation efforts, furthering efforts to require industrial agriculture to internalize their environmental and economic costs, assisting Vermont farmers to move from animal to plant-based agriculture, and advancing stronger protections for animals in the courts and legislature.
Our student clinicians are JD, Master’s and LLM candidates in Vermont Law and Graduate School’s top-ranking program.