Joan E. Schaffner is an Associate Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School. She received her B.S. in mechanical engineering and J.D. from the University of Southern California and her M.S. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She worked at the law firm of Irell & Manella in Los Angeles California and clerked for the Honorable Marianna Pfaelzer in the Central District of California before coming to GW.

Professor Schaffner teaches Civil Procedure, Remedies, Sexuality and the Law, and Animal Law Lawyering and writes in these areas as well. She is the faculty advisor to Lambda Law, the GLBT student organization at GW, and is faculty advisor and editor-in-chief of the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal.

Professor Schaffner directs the GW Animal Law Program which consists of the GW Animal Welfare Project (AWP), a pro bono effort of faculty and students devoted to researching and improving animal welfare laws in the District of Columbia; the Animal Law Litigation Project, a partnership with the Humane Society of the United States, designed to provide clinical litigation opportunities to GW law students on HSUS projects; seminars in animal law; and a student chapter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF). Professor Schaffner co-directs the Animal Welfare Project, supervises and teaches within the Litigation Project and is the faculty advisor to SALDF. Additionally, Professor Schaffner has testified on behalf of non-breed-specific dangerous dog laws and has presented on animal law panels at conferences world-wide. She is active in various organizations including: Chair-Elect (8/08), Publications Chair, and Editor of the newsletter of the ABA TIPS Animal Law Committee, Founding Chair of the AALS Section on Animal Law, consumer member for the District of Columbia Board of Veterinary Medicine, and recently selected as a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.