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The Role of the Animal Law Clinic

2011.09.06

AUTHOR: Katherine Hessler, Director and Clinical Professor, Animal Law Clinic, Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis and Clark Law School.
TITLE: The Role of the Animal Law Clinic

DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2011
PLACE OF PUBLICATION: dA web Center, September 2011
SUMMARY


Kathy Hessler is the director of the Animal Law Clinic in Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, USA. In this article, Professor Hessler poses and develops the following questions:

What is an Animal Law Clinic and why do we need one? Why an Animal Law Clinic when there are more urgent legal necessities? Why work in animal topics when there is still so much human suffering? What role do lawyers have in this field?

This article underlines the importance of legal education. The author is a firm believer in the need for a Clinical Legal Education and the importance of the Animal Law Clinics. But before we speak of the Animal Law Clinics, Hessler broaches the main question: Why Animal Law? This is a common question which has many responses, the simplest of which is that animals suffer unnecessarily and currently find themselves without legal protection.

Historically human beings have conceded the legal right to treat animals according to their whims. With few exceptions, until now, the question of the adequate treatment of animals has been principally a social rather than legal topic.

The Animal Law Clinic is an important, emerging and necessary part of the Animal Law Program of Lewis and Clark College and professor Hessler develops this article based on her professional experience.

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