The Animal Legal Defense Fund is hosting their 7th annual Student Convention on Friday, October 20th  from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Biltmore Los Angeles Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles and online. In-person and virtual tickets are available. Law students registering for the Animal Law Conference are encouraged to attend the Student Convention as well! For more information, click here

6:00 – 8:30 p.m. PT

Welcome Reception

The conference will kick off with an evening reception in the Bowl Ballroom at the Biltmore Los Angeles Hotel, in downtown Los Angeles, California. Conference attendees will receive their event badge before being treated to a fun evening of networking with fellow animal advocates while enjoying tasty plant-based appetizers and drinks. The welcome reception will not be livestreamed.

Welcome remarks by:

Chris Green, Executive Director, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Pamela Hart, Executive Director and Assistant Dean, Center for Animal Law Studies, Lewis & Clark Law School

A special thanks to our Platinum Sponsor, The Brooks Institute for Animals Rights Law and Policy, for sponsoring the Welcome Reception.


All plenary sessions on Saturday, October 21st will take place at the Biltmore Los Angeles in the Biltmore Bowl Ballroom. All sessions will also be livestreamed via our virtual event platform. Breakfast should be planned for on your own, but coffee and tea will be served before the sessions begin and snacks will be available during each break. A delicious, plant-based, catered lunch will be served on Saturday and is included in your registration fee.

Join us Saturday evening for the banquet dinner and very special keynote presentation in the Biltmore Bowl Ballroom. The keynote presentation will also be livestreamed. Be sure to choose a “with banquet” ticket during registration if you’d like to join us for the banquet dinner.

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. PT

Registration and Coffee Service

9:00 – 10:15 a.m. PT

Animal Agribusiness Exposed: Harming Animals, Communities, and the Environment

Plenary Panel

Christine Ball-Blakely, Staff Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Jamie Berger, Writer and Producer, The Smell of Money

Speaker/Moderator: Joyce Tischler, Professor of Practice, Center for Animal Law Studies, Lewis & Clark Law School; Founder, Animal Legal Defense Fund

This panel will discuss the ways in which industrial animal agriculture has doubled down on its harmful business practices with full support from government regulators. Instead of facing much-needed regulation and reform, the industry is profiting from its harmful business practices via greenwashing, subsidies, and legislation aimed at protecting industry. Hear the latest on litigation, legislation and a groundbreaking documentary that exposes the environmental racism inherent in animal agribusiness.

A special thanks to our Gold Sponsor, Stray Dog Institute, for sponsoring the “Animal Agribusiness Exposed: Harming Animals, Communities, and the Environment” panel.

10:15 – 10:45 a.m. PT


10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PT

Interconnections Between Animal Law and Tribal Law

Plenary Panel

Speaker/Moderator: Jessica Chapman, Criminal Justice Program Fellow, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Gussie Lord, Managing Attorney of the Tribal Partnerships Program, Earthjustice

Janet MacGillivray, President and Founder, Seeding Sovereignty

Each tribal nation’s relationship with the United States federal government and state governments is unique and layered with complex forms of oppression and injustice. These relationships become more complicated with advocacy for companion animals, domestic animals, and wildlife who live on federally recognized reservations, when many tribal nations are still fighting for basic human rights, civil rights, and federal recognition. The panelists will discuss their approaches to collaborating with tribal nations to help them enforce their treaty rights; improve the lives of tribal members and the lives of animals who live on reservations, through a One Health perspective; and develop tribal nation-specific laws and programs that protect all beings who live within their jurisdictions.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PT


1:00 – 2:15 p.m. PT

Animals in Harm’s Way: Legal Arguments and Hands-on Intervention

Plenary Panel

Mary Corporon, Attorney, Christensen & Jensen

Speaker/Moderator: David Rosengard, Managing Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Vanessa Shakib, Co-founder and Co-director, Advancing Law for Animals

Join us as we discuss issues surrounding how the law deals with humans intervening in the face of animal maltreatment – whether from private or public actors. In addition to a discussion of the concepts implicated by these issues, this panel will spotlight a 2022 Utah piglet open rescue case, and a California case where law enforcement intervened to harm Cedar — a beloved goat – despite the wishes of the human who raised him and the human who purchased him.

2:15 – 2:45 p.m. PT


2:45 – 4:00 p.m. PT

Global Developments in Animal Personhood Jurisprudence

Plenary Panel

Speaker/Moderator: Ariel Flint, Senior Staff Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Hira Jaleel, Animal Law Teaching Fellow, Center for Animal Law Studies, Lewis & Clark Law School

Diego Plaza, Executive Director, Center for Animal Law Studies CEDA Chile

Over the past few years, there has been a concerted effort in many countries to change the legal status of animals through litigation. However, cases attempting to obtain personhood status for animals have had varying levels of success. While courts in some jurisdictions have gone so far as to grant personhood to the entire animal kingdom, others have been slower to sanction animal personhood. This panel will examine some of these global developments, discuss what recent animal personhood cases do or do not accomplish for animals, and consider why personhood litigation has resulted in such diverse outcomes across the world.

4:00 – 4:15 p.m. PT


4:15 – 5:15 p.m. PT

Animals, Ethics, and the Attorney

Interactive Presentation

Russ Mead, The Shared Earth Foundation Visiting Professor, Center for Animal Law Studies, Lewis & Clark Law School

Moderator: Alyssa Crowell, Law School Programs Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Animal law often poses unique questions, challenges, and fact patterns for attorneys to work through, but how do the rules of professional responsibility apply? Join Russ Mead, leader in animal law and ethics, for an interactive, entertaining, and informative look at what to do – and not to do – when advocating on behalf of animals in the legal system. Russ will lead attendees through a series of hypothetical scenarios, which will examine ways to handle situations effectively while adhering to the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility.

5:15 – 6:30 p.m. PT


6:30 – 8:30 p.m. PT

Banquet Dinner, Awards Ceremony, and Keynote Presentation

Join us for a special keynote presentation featuring science journalist, Ed Yong, speaking from his book An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us. Books will be available for purchase and to be signed. The Animal Legal Defense Fund Advancement in Animal Law Pro Bono Achievement Awards will be presented before the keynote presentation.

A special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, Carol House Furniture, for sponsoring the banquet dinner.

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. PT

Registration and Coffee Service

9:00 – 10:15 a.m. PT

Emerging Frontiers in Animal Advocacy

Plenary Panel 

Jennifer Jacquet, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Studies; Director, XE-Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement, New York University

Speaker/Moderator: Rajesh Reddy, Assistant Professor of Law and Animal Law Program Director, Center for Animal Law Studies, Lewis & Clark Law School

Jeff Sebo, Director of the Animal Studies M.A. Program; Director of the Mind, Ethics, and Policy Program; Co-director of the Wild Animal Welfare Program, New York University

Andrés Jiménez Zorrilla, CEO, Shrimp Welfare Project (SWP)

As animals have historically seen their interests marginalized by the legal system, advocates have long had to map new and novel pathways to secure their protection. This, the trailblazing spirit of animal advocates, is as true today as it was at the movement’s founding. This panel of academics, advocates, and attorneys will survey the current landscape and point to some emerging frontiers in animal advocacy today that can lead to brighter horizons for animals tomorrow.  

A special thanks to our Gold Sponsor, Beyond Meat, for sponsoring the “Emerging Frontiers in Animal Advocacy” panel.

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. PT


10:30 – 11:45 a.m. PT

Animals at the United Nations: Sustainable Development and Climate Goals

Concurrent Roundtable Discussion

Daina Bray, Clinical Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School

Pamela Frasch, Founder, Center for Animal Law Studies, Lewis & Clark Law School

Moderator: Hira Jaleel, Animal Law Teaching Fellow, Center for Animal Law Studies, Lewis & Clark Law School

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. At its heart are the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries to address pressing issues through global partnership. In this pursuit of Sustainable Development for all nations, the United Nations has long prioritized care for the environment through the tackling of climate change and preservation of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. As the UN convenes in 2023, policymakers seek ways to incorporate animal welfare into SDGs, recognizing the importance of animal welfare as key to improving human and environmental health. This panel will provide a brief history of the SDGs and identify ways in which animal welfare language and goals can be integrated into them.

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. PT

Local Activism for Animals: What Can You Do?

Concurrent Panel

Rebeka Breder, Founder, Breder Law

David B Casselman, Founder and CEO, Ecoflix

Aaron Leider, Animal Activist; Plaintiff in the Billy the Elephant Lawsuit

Speaker/Moderator: Matt Rossell, Campaigns Manager, Animal Legal Defense Fund

The sheer magnitude and prevalence of animal exploitation in society can cause advocates to feel overwhelmed. One antidote to feelings of powerlessness and despair is to “think small.” By acting close to home, we can positively impact the individual animals who share our communities and create “trickle up” effects that enact and inspire large-scale social change. This panel will explore ways that you can apply your legal expertise and personal conviction to help animals locally. We’ll explore impactful actions for legal professionals acting as individuals and as part of a dedicated legal practice.

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. PT


12:15 – 1:30 p.m. PT

The Power of Pro Bono Work to Facilitate Change for Animals

Concurrent Roundtable Discussion

Tarak Anada, Partner, Jones Walker

Brian Saunders, Associate, Quinn Emmanual

Moderator: Andrea Rodricks, Pro Bono Managing Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

The need for pro bono work is evident as every year billions of animals across the country are subjected to near-unimaginable cruelty. Our system of law depends on access to protection, and every voice deserves representation. The Animal Legal Defense Fund works closely with a network of pro bono law professionals to advance the field and practice of animal law. This roundtable discussion will shed light on pro bono work by focusing on cutting-edge cases including protecting free speech in food marketing and freeing wild animals from inhumane captivity.

12:15 – 1:30 p.m. PT

Animal Law Education: Innovations, Impacts and Opportunities

Concurrent Roundtable Discussion

Speaker/Moderator: Pamela Hart, Executive Director and Assistant Dean, Center for Animal Law Studies, Lewis & Clark Law School

Matthew Liebman, Associate Professor and Chair of the Justice for Animals Program, University of San Francisco School of Law

Megan Senatori, Associate Director and Adjunct Professor, Center for Animal Law Studies, Lewis & Clark Law School

With more than 160 ABA-accredited law schools now offering a course on the subject, the study of animal law is no longer considered a fringe or niche field. Where do we go from here? This panel will explore innovations and opportunities in animal law education, such as: intersectionality, expanding degree options to non-lawyers, integrating DEI initiatives into the classroom, outreach to other professionals, experiential learning opportunities, and more. Although animal law may no longer be considered a fringe field, new discoveries and innovations that begin in the classroom can create positive impacts for animals in the real world.