Harvard: How to fight for animal rights!


Harvard Law School has introduced a program which will teach law students how to fight for animal rights.

The course named Animal Law & Policy Clinic follows a national trend of schools offering animal rights legal training.

The course provides students with direct hands-on experience in litigation, legislation, administrative practice, and policymaking.

The clinic will work on a broad range of issues affecting farmed animals, wildlife, animals in captivity, and the overarching threat to all forms of life from climate change.

Harvard hopes the course will see ‘a new generation of leaders for the animal protection movement’.


Harvard University Motto


The clinic will be part of the Animal Law & Policy Program, led by Faculty Director Professor Kristen Stilt.

Announcing the clinic, Stilt said: “The Animal Law & Policy Clinic at HLS will train and prepare our graduates to embark on careers in the animal protection field, produce impactful litigation and policy analysis to benefit the animal protection movement, and provide an internationally renowned platform for educating the broader public about the many pressing issues involving animal law and policy.”


Growing field

Harvard said in a statement that animal protection is one of the fastest developing areas of public interest law.

The number of institutions in the US offering Animal Law courses has dramatically risen from just nine in 2000 to 167 in 2019.

“Animal law is a vitally important and rapidly growing field,” said Harvard Law School Dean John F. Manning ’85.

“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.

“I am delighted to welcome Katherine Meyer to the Harvard Law School community and congratulate her, Kristen Stilt, and Nicole Negowetti on the launch of this terrific initiative.”

The Animal Law & Policy Clinic was supported by major gifts from the Brooks McCormick Jr. Trust, the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy, the Animal Welfare Trust and other generous supporters.


My comment: I have never heard of such an offer anywhere.

What I knew was the offer of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, which provides students with the theoretical and practical tools needed to become familiar with legal protection for animals, so that at the end of the course students have a total comprehension of how the law works in this new subject area; It’s called Master’s Degree in Animal Law and Society and it is done as a distance learning course.

The fact that now the highly valued Harvard University offers a special course in training “Animal Rights” gives us hope that in the future there will be better legal expertise on this subject, which will consequently lead to more active and effective actions in the animal rights movement.

I believe that the historical moment has come to overcome the barrier of “speciesism” after nationalism, racism and sexism, which justifies discrimination against living beings only on the basis of their species.

Evolutionary biologists do not distinguish between humans and animals, but between humans and other animals.
Nevertheless! until now we have animals without rights.

And even if these “other animals” do not need the same rights as we humans (right to vote, freedom of religion, etc.) this does not deny their rights for freedom, life and autonomy.

We welcome very much the decision of the Harvard Law School !

Best regards to all, Venus


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