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Concentration in Animal Law

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The schedule for summer animal law courses is published, registration will open soon!

It has long been the case that the environmental community is resistant to embracing animal protection as a central priority. As it becomes increasingly clear that environmental and animal protection issues are intertwined, it is even more important that the two movements join forces. Vermont Law School’s Animal Law Program, as part of the Environmental Law Center, trains animal advocacy leaders while also centering animals in the fight for environmental protection. 

Students, staff, and faculty in the Animal Law Program advance animal advocacy through legal education and training, scholarship, and policy development. Engaging with policymakers, journalists, advocacy organizations, and communities, the Program serves as a resource hub for animal law and policy issues. It also collaborates closely with Vermont Law School’s leading environmental law, food and agriculture, and environmental justice programs, encouraging the wider legal community to expand protections for all animals, in addition to the people and ecosystems in the environment that we share. 

The Animal Law Program was launched with funding provided by the Animal Welfare Trust, the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy, GRACE Communications Foundation, and Greenbaum Foundation. It is directed by Visiting Associate Professor of Law Delcianna Winders, a renowned animal law expert and advocate with a wealth of experience in a range of high-profile cases and issues. 

Meet some of the VLS Animal Law Administration

Students who successfully complete an Animal Law Concentration will be able to show prospective employers that the law school formally recognizes their concentrated course of study in animal law. In addition, this concentration will highlight for prospective students the array of classes and experiential opportunities that VLS offers in the field of animal law. 

The concentration requires a minimum of 14 credits of coursework in the area of animal law. Students are required to earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in all courses counted towards the concentration in animal law.

Required Courses – At least one of the following

  • ENV5307 Animals and the Law (3 credits) 
  • ENV5422 Animal Welfare Law (2) 
  • JUR7333 Animal Law and Ethics (3) 

Electives – Minimum of 6 credits

  • ENV5108 Intro to Law and Policy of Agriculture, Food and the Environment (3) 
  • ENV5307 Animals and the Law (3) 
  • ENV5336 Climate Change, Extinction & Adaptation (3) 
  • ENV5380 Food Regulation and Policy (3) 
  • ENV5408 The Law of Animals in Agriculture (3) 
  • ENV5411 Federal Regulation of Food and Agriculture (3) 
  • ENV5422 Animal Welfare Law (2) 
  • ENV5423 Ocean and Coastal Law (3) 
  • ENV5902 Constitutional Animal Law (SPTC Fall, 2021) (2)
  • JUR7333 Animal Law and Ethics (3) 

Experiential/Writing – Minimum of 1 credit

  • Advanced Writing Requirement on an animal law topic (JD students only) 
  • Independent Research Project on an animal law topic 
  • LLM thesis or research project on an animal law topic 
  • Masters or JD externship on an animal law topic 
  • Environmental Justice Clinic working on an animal law topic 
  • Food and Agriculture Clinic working on an animal law topic 
  • Environmental Advocacy Clinic working on an animal law topic 
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