Animal Law

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
THU 1:05 - 3:45 pm JON 6.207

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


Is there a place in the law for the consideration of the interests of animals? Throughout the semester, we will examine the jurisprudential basis and theoretical underpinnings of the current status of animals in our legal system. Students will read a diverse cross-section of legal theory and case law delving into controversial moral, ethical, and public policy considerations in balancing the interests of animals and humans. Thus, we will study animal law through the prism of traditional legal disciplines, including tort, contract, criminal, regulatory, administrative, and constitutional law. This is not an animal rights course. Rather, students will be expected to come to class prepared and ready to challenge one another to consider whether the law has a place for animals, and if so, where we should draw the line. From time to time, guests with expertise in relevant legal areas will be invited to address the class. One-third of each student’s course grade will be based on regular class attendance and substantive participation demonstrating thoughtful review of the assigned materials prior to class. (Students who arrive substantially late or leave early may not be credited for having attending class. Anyone experiencing or anticipating excessive absences is strongly encouraged to contact the instructor.) As a final project, students will apply their knowledge from the course to prepare an original law review-style research paper at least 20 pages long on an approved topic of their choosing. The paper, which is not graded anonymously, will constitute two-thirds of the course grade. Each student also will make a brief presentation on his or her paper during one of the final two class sessions, which will be considered in evaluating class participation.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

No materials required


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