September 25, 2023

Announcing Our 2023-24 Brooks Institute Animal Law LLM Fellows

Rachel De Graaf and Annie Sloan are recipients of the highly competitive Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law & Policy LLM Fellowships.

Earlier this year, the Brooks Institute and the Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) at Lewis & Clark Law School announced a first-of-its-kind collaborative effort to create a cohort of premier fellowships leading to a LLM degree in animal law for the 2023-2024 academic year. Of the new collaboration, CALS Executive Director and Assistant Dean, Pamela Hart, says, “We are excited for this new pathway for attorneys who are committed to a career in animal protection to pursue the Animal Law LLM and are tremendously grateful to the Brooks Institute for making it possible.” The 2023-24 academic year Brooks Fellows are:

Rachel De Graaf

Rachel De Graaf is a lawyer from Canada, holding a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Victoria, Faculty of Law, as well as a Masters of Arts in Classical Archaeology and a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies from the University of Alberta.

During law school, Rachel joined and expanded a network of students, scholars, and practitioners who are dedicated to increasing awareness about the abasement of and improving legal protections for nonhuman animals. She also spent three years on the executive board of the University of Victoria’s Animal Justice Club and participated in the Canadian Animal Law Conference as a presenter, moderator, and observer in 2021. Rachel has also won multiple student essay awards as part of the Animal Justice Student Essay Competition.

Through the Fellowship, Rachel aims to gain the skills, knowledge and connections that will enable her to contribute to an animal advocacy organization as legal counsel. Rachel says: “Engaging with issues of theory, application, and practice at Lewis & Clark Law School, with its diverse array of animal law courses, will enable me to develop a reasoned and sustainable theoretical framework with which I could advocate for enhanced legal protection for nonhuman animals.

Annie Sloan

Annie graduated from the University of Michigan Law School with a Juris Doctorate degree in May 2023, where she was the 2023 recipient of the Wanda A. Nash Award for Excellence in Animal Law. Annie also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Food Studies from Evergreen State College.

During law school, Annie attended three animal law conferences, and presented at the Oxford Animal Ethics Summer School in August 2023. As a law student at Michigan Law School, Annie helped re-envision a student organization—now named the Food Equity & Ecological Diversity Society (FEEDSoc)—in order to examine how human society can be fed without causing animal suffering. Additionally, Annie has previously interned for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Farmworker Justice.

Annie has a keen interest in food systems, and intends to use her LLM Fellowship to bridge the gaps between academia and the realities of sustenance and the emotional and cultural aspects of food. Annie says, “The Animal Law LLM program at Lewis & Clark will allow me to immerse myself in courses like the Farmed Animal Protection Project, Food Law, and Animal Legal Philosophy. I would love to use my creative energy and enthusiasm for legal research and writing to change our food system and help connect animal consumption with cruelty, injustice, and climate change.

The inaugural cohort of LLM Fellows are expected to create synergistic relationships among the fellows and academic faculty that will carry forward throughout their careers. The Fellows will have the opportunity to establish a formal or recognizable scholarly, academic, and career mentorship with a CALS faculty professor. Furthermore, they will receive supervision for rigorous pursuit of research intended for either: (1) publication in a recognized journal or law review, or (2) establishing a demonstrable legal practice expertise that can also benefit the animal law community.

The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) was founded in 2008 with a mission to educate the next generation of animal law advocates and advance animal protection through the law. With vision and bold risk-taking, CALS has since developed into a world-renowned animal law epicenter. CALS’ Alumni-in-Action from over 25 countries are making a difference for animals around the world. CALS is a nonprofit organization funded through donations and grants.