Nicole G. Paquette is the General Counsel and Director of Legal and Government Affairs for the Animal Protection Institute, in Sacramento, CA. In this capacity, she directs API’s litigation efforts and legislative efforts on the federal, state, and local levels; writes and introduces legislation; and lobbies Congress, State, and local governments on legislation affecting animals. Nicole is a recognized national expert on captive wild and exotic animal issues. She directs API’s campaigns on prohibiting the keeping of exotic animals as “pets” and the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses. Nicole has assisted several states and cities with introducing and passing laws relating to private possession and prohibiting the display of exotic animals. Prior to joining the Animal Protection Institute, Nicole was an associate attorney in a small civil litigation firm in Washington, DC. Nicole is a 1998 graduate of Vermont Law School. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with honors, in 1994 from San Francisco State University. She is a member of California, District of Columbia, and Massachusetts Bars.