Explore opportunities for students interested in animal law and policy
Students are a primary focus of the Animal Law & Policy Program. In addition to offering a variety of Animal Law courses, an Animal Law & Policy Clinic, and supporting Harvard Law School’s student Animal Law Society, we provide clinical placement opportunities, research positions, and more.
Harvard Law School further offers a generous student loan forgiveness program and houses a dedicated Office of Public Interest Advising that supports and encourages law school students to embrace careers that incorporate an ongoing commitment to public service work.
One immediate goal of the Animal Law & Policy Program is to provide Harvard students with the opportunity to take multiple Animal Law-related courses during their three years at the law school. Courses have included Animal Law, Wildlife Law and Farmed Animal Law & Policy. Learn more about these courses.
Harvard Law School’s Animal Law Society (ALS) is a student-run organization that hosts fun and engaging lunch talks with the best vegan food on campus. It works to protect animals through the legal system, collecting resources for students and facilitating learning and advocacy on behalf of animals.
The Animal Law & Policy Program awards an annual writing prize for the best papers written by Harvard Law School students in the area of Animal Law and Policy, or in a related field addressing a topic that directly pertains to animals (such as Environmental Law, Food Law, International Law). The papers eligible for consideration are ones written during the current academic year, in conjunction with a course, seminar, clinic, or as an independent study project at the Law School. The amount of the prize is $1,000.
The Animal Law & Policy Program has relationships throughout the Animal Law field, along with an educated sense of the particular cultures among leading organizations. That allows us to place our students in compatible clinical and internship settings that closely match their specific strengths and interests.
In addition to summer internships, Harvard offers the opportunity for law students to spend their three-week January term working in direct clinical placement environments, or performing independent writing projects. Both of these options can occur under the faculty supervision of Professor Kristen Stilt. The possibility to engage in externship work in conjunction with one of our Animal Law courses also is available, as is the ability to work directly as a Research Assistant.
The field of Animal Law is incredibly varied and evolving every day. Employment opportunities range from engaging in public law impact litigation at not-for-profit animal protection organizations, doing pro bono work at large corporate law firms, working within government agencies, representing individual clients as a sole practitioner, personally prosecuting animal cruelty cases, to directly participating in the legislative process.
Read a blog by Elizabeth Melampy ’21 about her internship at Animal Outlook.
Harvard Law School’s dedicated Office of Public Interest Advising is a career services office specializing in public interest law, whose primary goal is to encourage law school students and lawyers to embrace careers that incorporate an ongoing commitment to public service work. They offer guidance for students and alumni from staff and attorney advisers in the field, as well as a wealth of resources for planning a public interest career. An up to date list of current Animal Law job postings in the field is maintained by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Inspired by Harvard Law School alumni who have used their degrees and experience to pursue innovative methods of social change, the Public Service Venture Fund will award up to $1 million in grants every year to Harvard Law graduates pursuing careers in public service.
The first program of its kind at a law school, the fund offers “seed money” for startup nonprofit ventures to students and alumni, as well as salary support to graduating J.D. students and judicial law clerks for postgraduate work at nonprofit or government agencies in the United States and abroad.
Harvard’s Low Income Protection Plan (LIPP) was the first law school program to address the problem of education debt hindering students from devoting their careers to public interest work. It remains one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind.
The mission of LIPP is to enable Harvard Law School JD graduates to pursue a broad range of relatively lower income employment options while maintaining the ability to repay their educational loans. Through LIPP, Harvard Law School is committed to preserving freedom of job choice within the legal profession for its graduates.
We encourage any prospective students interested in Animal Law to apply for admission to Harvard Law School. We are building an engaged community of students, scholars, fellows and affiliates all with a strong interest and commitment to expanding and enhancing the field of Animal Law. Come join us! All of our events are open to the general public as well as all at Harvard Law School if you would like to meet us and learn more.
The application for the Class of 2024 is available through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Admissions decisions are based on the totality of available information about each applicant, and a careful evaluation of the candidate’s past accomplishments and future promise. We have no mechanical shortcuts or substitutes for careful consideration of each applicant. Learn more about J.D. Admissions at Harvard Law School.
The LL.M. (Master of Laws) program is a one-year degree program that typically includes 180 students from some 70 countries. The Graduate Program is interested in attracting intellectually curious and thoughtful candidates from a variety of legal systems and backgrounds and with various career plans. Harvard’s LL.M. students include lawyers working in firms or NGOs, government officials, law professors, judges, diplomats, activists, doctoral students, business people, and others. The diversity of the participants in the LL.M. program contributes significantly to the educational experience of all students at the School.
Harvard Law School admits approximately 10 to 12 applicants to S.J.D. candidacy each year. Students who have not received an LL.M. degree from Harvard or another leading U.S. law school are virtually never admitted to S.J.D. candidacy. Students who have received an LL.M. degree from another leading U.S. law school are only rarely admitted directly to S.J.D. candidacy. Applicants interested in the S.J.D. program ordinarily must first apply to and successfully complete the Harvard Law School LL.M. program. Successful completion of the Harvard Law School LL.M. program does not, however, guarantee admission into the S.J.D. program.