Saturday, October 20, 2007

Another law school adds animal law curriculum


I'd previously posted here about the law schools in Florida that offer an animal law course. Here's an article in the Houston Chronicle about the trend toward every law school adding these classes. While the article mainly addresses the South Texas College of Law's addition of an animal law class, it also includes an interesting take and quotes on the broader societal change that is causing more law schools to add these courses:

Today, [Pamela Alexander of the Animal Legal Defense Fund] said, more large firms want to take on animal cases pro bono and that an animal law conference held this spring at Harvard was sold out.

"This decade, an attorney can go into court and not be laughed at for being an animal lawyer, when 10 years ago they would have been laughed at," said Alexander, who helps develop programs for law education and legal practices. "It's gone from the fringe to mainstream."

The recent headlines reflect the shift in society's views about animals and how to protect them, officials said.

"We're at the beginning of the coming of age in animal law," said Amy Bures Danna, an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center and an attorney who takes some animal cases.

"People are becoming more aware of animals and animal protection. Our social values are broadening and are becoming deeper and are accompanying animals in different ways."

"They are willing to go to court over animals," said Bures Danna. "They are willing to call attorneys over animals."

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