This September, five Regent Law students launched a chapter of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, an organization that provides a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship aimed at protecting and advancing animal rights through the legal system. It is the only law student organization of its kind on campus.
SALDF President and Founder Leslie VanOrden says she has always been an animal lover and decided to start an SALDF chapter after joining the national Animal Legal Defense Fund.
“Students will have an opportunity to look at the issues animals face from a legal point of view,” she explains. “Our organization seeks to bring these issues to the public’s eye, address them from a legal perspective, and raise awareness.”
With animal interests impacting many types of law, including entertainment, food, and family law, the chapter’s founders say that SALDF provides an opportunity for students to understand that animal interests is a diverse and growing area of law.
“By making people aware of the correlation between animal abuse and human violence, I hope that lawyers will be cognizant of the signs of animal abuse when they deal with criminal, elder, and family clients,” states Jennifer Brown, SALDF public relations director and co-founder. “I hope that they will help our efforts to stop the initial abuse of animals before it escalates.”
Vice President and Co-Founder Stephanie Hartman says that when Leslie VanOrden first asked her if she wanted to start the chapter, she was one hundred percent on board.
“Simply put, Regent SALDF members are just students who love animals. We want to better understand animal laws and how to use the law better advance animal interests,” she says.
During the 2013-2014 academic year, the SALDF plans to invite several speakers to campus and support local animal shelters, humane societies, and charities. The SALDF’s first general meeting is on Monday, September 23.
Student officers include Leslie VanOrden, Jennifer Brown, Stephanie Hartman, Antwan Williams, and Amanda Boswell-Wallace.
Read more about the Regent Chapter of the SALDF here.