Animal Law Clinic

Law students enrolled in the Animal Law Clinic advocate for the interests of justice in cases of animal cruelty. Clinic participants are appointed by the court under a groundbreaking Connecticut law to appear in court proceedings, conduct factual and legal research and present recommendations to the court.

Information for the Public

With the passage of Connecticut General Statutes §54-86n, known as Desmond's Law, Connecticut became the first state in the country to allow courts to appoint advocates to represent the interests of justice in animal cruelty cases. The Animal Law Clinic accepts court appointments under the law. It does not take on legal representation of individuals.

The Animal Law Clinic at the UConn School of Law grew out of a groundbreaking law, passed with the help of Professor Jessica Rubin, that allows judges to appoint lawyers and law students as advocates for justice in animal abuse cases.

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Student Experience

The Animal Law Clinic focuses on teaching students how to actively participate in the legal system as court-appointed advocates for justice in animal cruelty cases. Students assess case files, interview veterinary and law enforcement experts, perform legal and factual research, write letter briefs to court, meet with prosecutors and defense counsel, attend and participate in pretrial hearings, judicial conferences and negotiations, and present oral arguments to courts.