Professor Schaffner Receives 2018 AALS Section Animal Law Award

Joan Schaffner
Professor Joan E. Schaffner (right) receives the Section on Animal Award at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego. Photo: Courtesy of AALS.
January 18, 2018

Professor Joan E. Schaffner received the 2018 Section on Animal Law Award by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) at the organization's annual meeting in San Diego. AALS announced the winners of its section awards for excellence in legal education last month.

The awards are hosted by several sections of the association which are organized around various academic disciplines and topics of interest. This year's winners were acknowledged during a specific section programming at the 2018 AALS Annual Meeting, which took place on January 3-6.

"Sections are a vibrant part of our association and serve as a forum for legal educators to connect, collaborate, support one another, and celebrate each other’s accomplishments," said AALS President Paul Marcus, Haynes Professor of Law, William & Mary Law School. "We are pleased to announce these honorees from our sections."

The award, Excellence in Animal Law: Scholarship-Teaching-Service, was established by the Animal Law Section of AALS in 2015 to recognize the outstanding contribution of law teachers in teaching, scholarship, advocacy and service on behalf of animals. Specifically, to recognize law professors who have made an impact in seeking greater protections for animals through the law, including through scholarship, education of law students and the public at-large, pro bono litigation, legislative advocacy, leading or consulting on public initiatives, and other public or private projects.

"It is an immense honor to have been selected as the third recipient of the award," Professor Schaffner said. "My passion is to work to secure greater rights for all non-human animals and it is very rewarding to be recognized by colleagues who themselves have done so much for non-human animals."

Professor Schaffner Shares Closing Portion of Her Acceptance Speech

"I accept this honor on behalf of all non-human animals for whom we work. For Cecil, the lion, and every wild animal who is needlessly killed by game and trophy hunters; for Lolita, the orca, and every exotic animal who remains in captivity for our mere entertainment; for Shankar, the 10-month-old 550 pound bull who escaped from a slaughterhouse in October and now lives in a NJ sanctuary and every farmed animal who is slaughtered for our palates; for Jerom, the chimpanzee who was born, lived, and died in a research laboratory and every other animal who is used in research; for Desmond, the dog brutally abused and murdered and every other victim of cruelty, for Oreo, the dog killed by a NY shelter although there was a rescue organization willing to take her in, and for my large family of rescued felines, from Acorn to Zoro, who changed my life and have given me such joy. I look forward to a time where we humans truly respect and protect the intrinsic value of all sentient life. Thank you."