The Animal Law & Policy Clinic was launched in 2019 to provide students with direct, hands-on training in legal advocacy on behalf of animals. Clinical Instructor Rachel Mathews is the Clinic’s Acting Director, Rebecca Garverman serves as Clinical Fellow, Carney-Ann Nasser as Clinic Research Fellow, and Kelley McGill as Regulatory Policy Fellow. The Clinic’s founding director Katherine Meyer still serves “Of Counsel.” Learn more about the Clinic’s latest news and media coverage.

Through the Clinic, students are introduced to the broad range of substantive areas of law that animal law advocates face in their work, including the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Animal Welfare Act, the Humane Slaughter Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Wild Horse and Burros Act, and state animal cruelty codes. Students learn how to pursue animal advocacy under several law and policy vehicles, including litigation, legislative initiatives, administrative rule-making petitions, open-government laws, and organizing strategies.

Clinic students receive course credit for working on projects that address issues across the spectrum of animals impacted under the law. For more information, you can watch this year’s Clinic Information Session and last year’s session’s featuring graduates Elizabeth MeLampy ’21, Rebecca Garverman ’21 and Susannah Benjamin ’21.

Clinic Research Fellow Carney Anne Nasser also prepares the Brooks Animal Law Digest, a weekly summary of the latest developments in animal law and policy, including federal and state case law, new and pending federal and state legislative initiatives, federal regulatory actions, published scholarship, and related international news. These weekly digests are then shared for use by other clinics and programs as well as practitioners in the field via the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law & Policy.

Students interested in enrolling in the Clinic for 2023-24 should sign up via Helios during the Clinical Registration period on March 30-31, 2023. Instructions are available on the OCP registration information page.

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

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.”