The Animal Law & Policy Clinic, which was launched in 2019 under founding director Katherine Meyer, provides students with direct, hands-on training in legal advocacy on behalf of animals. Visiting Clinical Professor Mary Hollingsworth is the Clinic’s director, Rachel Mathews is its clinical instructor, and Rebecca Garverman, ’21, is its staff attorney. 

The Clinic operates as a public interest law firm working to advance the interests of animals through litigation, administrative rulemaking, policy initiatives, organizing, and similar legal advocacy avenues. Under the supervision of Clinic staff, students represent animal advocacy organizations and advocates to gain practical lawyering skills and build a foundation for ethical, reflective legal practice.  

The Clinic’s exciting docket has challenged the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s failure to conduct full inspections of animal research facilities, confronted a National Park Service fence that prevents elk from migrating to gain access to adequate food and water during drought, and urged the Supreme Court to uphold a California ballot initiative prohibiting the sale of meat from pigs held in extreme confinement. Learn more about the Clinic’s latest news and media coverage. 

Alongside their case work, clinic students complete a two-credit seminar introducing advocacy strategies used by animal lawyers under a variety of laws, including the Endangered Species Act, the Animal Welfare Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and laws pertaining to animal agriculture, consumer protection, animal cruelty, and more.  

Students interested in enrolling in the Clinic should sign up via Helios during the Clinical Registration period. Instructions are available on the OCP registration information page. 

Read more about the Clinic’s activities by semesters below. 



Octopus in a tank appearing pale

Fall 2023 end of semester report.

Pig leaning over a railing facing the camera.

Spring 2023 end of semester report.

Fall 2022 end of semester report.

Rhino in lush green grass.

Spring 2022 end of semester report.

Fall 2021 end of semester report.

Close up of the face of a Canada Lynx.

Spring 2021 end of semester report.

the head of a red and white rooster close up

Fall 2020 end of semester report.

Octopus tentacles surround a fish

Spring 2020 end of semester report.

Fall 2019 inaugural report.

Harvard Law School Dean John Manning

“Animal law is a vitally important and rapidly growing field. Our new Animal Law & Policy Clinic will give students real-world experience in this burgeoning field, build on Harvard Law School’s long tradition of innovative pedagogy, and prepare future graduates to address significant societal challenges.”