April 13, 2010
Colorado Law recognized the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) as an official student group in March. The group hopes to educate law students and the local community about animal law issues.“I don’t know very much about what animal law is, but I know I’m interested in working with animals after I graduate and go into practice,” said SALDF president Jamesy Owen '12. “I wanted to give myself and the rest of the student body a chance to learn about this area.”SALDF is a chapter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which provides the students with resources and information about community opportunities involving animal law. There are SALDF student groups in 143 law schools nationwide.According to Owen, the group has approximately 15 active members. Despite its status as a new student group, SALDF already has brought two speakers: Professor Karin Sheldon, who teaches a “Wildlife and the Law” course at Colorado Law, and Jill Buckley, who lobbies state legislatures in 16 western states on behalf of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).Both Professor Sheldon and Buckley talked to law students and local attorneys about what the area of animal law is and what it takes to practice in that area. According to Buckley, animal law covers a wide variety of other types of law, ranging from contracts involving animals to pet trusts to the hotly debated area of animal rights.SALDF hopes to encourage Colorado Law to offer a course on Animal Law in order to give law students additional chances to learn about this area of law. In addition, SALDF hopes to organize “Doggy Dates,” chances for law students to take their dogs to play in animal parks or other local animal-friendly locations.“I would like people to see the group as a forum for education, and I would like SALDF to become a liaison to the community and the law school about animal law issues,” said Owen.