The Animal Law program at GW Law provides an exceptionally broad range of educational and practical opportunities for law students while also providing pro bono services and support to the District of Columbia government, animal advocacy organizations, and community groups working to strengthen the protection of animals. GW Law offers instruction both in existing law (including the law affecting companion animals; animals used for food, research, and entertainment; and wild animals at the state, federal, and international levels) and in the promotion of animal protection and welfare through legal reform. The program also works to build bridges between local government and local and national animal advocacy organizations to support these entities in their efforts to change the perception of the relationship between human and non-human animals within our society and to improve the lives of animals.
The Animal Law program has several components, including the Animal Legal Education Initiative (ALEI), a strong curriculum, annual events, a field placement program that offers students opportunities to gain actual experience advocating on behalf of animals, an in-house program that allows students to affect change through legislative and regulatory avenues, scholarship opportunities to support students committed to the legal protection of animals, and a robust student chapter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
ALEI provides opportunities for local, regional, national, and international faculty and students to collaborate on the development and integration of a comprehensive body of Animal Law and increase the capacity for, and rigor of, Animal Law teaching.