Megan A. Senatori

Associate Director & Adjunct Faculty


Megan Senatori is the Associate Director of the Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS), where she is an integral member of the leadership team with a focus on key organizational goals, priorities, and innovations to support CALS. She previously served as Director of Strategic Initiatives and continues to focus on development, communications, and the expansion of animal law opportunities. 

A seasoned litigator with two decades of experience in private practice, Megan served as Litigation Practice Group Chair for five years for a 120 attorney law firm with litigators across three offices in Wisconsin and Minnesota just prior to joining CALS in 2019. Her litigation practice consisted of a wide-range of complex commercial litigation. She also litigated cases to advance protections for animals, including cases involving animal cruelty, breed specific legislation, the police shooting of companion dogs, tort cases involving companion animals, custody/placement disputes, domestic violence, and more. She was honored with the Animal Legal Defense Fund Pro Bono Achievement Award in 2013 for her animal protection work.

Megan has taught animal law for over a decade, including co-teaching the first-ever animal law course at the University of Wisconsin Law School (in 2003), and the first-ever animal law course at Marquette University Law School (in 2005). Both courses covered the fundamentals of animal law. She served as co-author of an amicus brief before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of a group of 43 law professors from across the country to argue in United States v. Stevens that preventing animal cruelty is a compelling governmental interest to be respected by the Court. She routinely presents to attorneys, veterinarians, humane officers and law enforcement regarding animal protection issues, including teaching a portion of the annual Wisconsin Humane Officer Certification Program for the State of Wisconsin for more than a decade. She is an Adjunct Professor at Lewis & Clark Law School, teaching in the online animal law advanced degree program.

Megan also has significant experience regarding the link between animal cruelty and human violence. In 2001, she co-founded Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims (SAAV) an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that recognizes animals as vital family members and arranges for their safe harbor when a domestic abuse victim seeks refuge from an abuser. She continues to serve as President and oversees services. Megan has been featured for her work on the link in O Magazine and a variety of other publications.

Specialty Areas and Course Descriptions

Animal Law Trial Advocacy

Companion Animal Law and Policy

Emerging Topics: Veterinary Animal Law

Academic Credentials

  • JD, University of Wisconsin Law School, cum laude
  • BA, University of Wisconsin - Madison, with honors in Political Science and a Certificate in Women’s Studies


Other Title(s)/Position(s)

Member (2004-present), Animal Law Committee, American Bar Association

Member (2021-present), Companion Animal Law Subcommittee, American Bar Association

Fellow (2015-present), Wisconsin Law Foundation

Fellow (2017-present), American Bar Association

Latest Awards and Honors

Rising Star, Law & Politics

Rising Star, Wisconsin Law Journal