On this episode I will be speaking with Jessica Rubin, who is the Associate Dean of Experiential Learning and the Director of the Animal Law Clinic at the University of Connecticut School of Law. She will be discussing a Connecticut law, called Desmond’s Law, which allows law students, and lawyers, to be appointed to assist the court in certain animal cruelty cases in the hopes that these cases, which are often factually complex and not well-resourced, receive the attention they deserve. She’ll also tell us about the Animal Law Clinic, which trains and supports students involved in this work.
Plus, before we get to that interview, we also so fortunate to have Sherry Colb and Michael Dorf, both professors at Cornell Law School who you have heard from before on the Animal Law Podcast, as well as on the Our Hen House podcast, for a quick conversation about the Happy the Elephant case brought by the Nonhuman Rights Project, which, as you probably know, was recently decided in the New York Court of Appeals.
*We are thrilled to expand the accessibility of our podcast by offering written transcripts of the interviews! Click here to read Mariann’s interviews with Jessica Rubin and Sherry Colb & Michael Dorf.
Professor Jessica Rubin is the Associate Dean of Experiential Learning and the Director of the Animal Law Clinic at the University of Connecticut School of Law. She was instrumental in creating Desmond’s Law, which allows Connecticut courts to appoint advocates—law students under supervision—in animal cruelty cases. Professor Rubin actively supervises students and appears in court to advocate for justice in cases of animal cruelty. She created UConn Law School’s Animal Law Clinic, a clinic through which students appear in state courts as advocates under Desmond’s Law. She is widely regarded as an expert in the field of animal law and is a graduate of Cornell University and the Cornell Law School. Professor Rubin has taught in Istanbul, Turkey for the Open Society Foundation, and in Seoul, South Korea. In both locations, she supplemented her teaching activities with local stray animal rescue and relocation efforts.
Sherry F. Colb earned an A.B. from Columbia College (Valedictorian) and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Before joining the Rutgers University faculty, she clerked for Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the United States Supreme Court. She is currently the C.S. Wong Professor of Law at Cornell University. She has co-authored a book about the connection between animal rights and zygote rights, Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights, and a book about animal rights, Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger? And Other Questions People Ask Vegans. She composes a bi-weekly column on Justia’s Verdict as well as regular posts on the blog, Dorf on Law.
Michael C. Dorf is the Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell Law School, where he teaches constitutional law, federal courts, and related subjects. He has authored or co-authored six books (including, with Sherry Colb, Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights)and over one hundred scholarly articles and essays for law journals and peer-reviewed science and social science journals. He also frequently writes for the general public. In addition to occasional contributions to The New York Times, USA Today, CNN.com, The Los Angeles Times, and other wide-circulation publications, Professor Dorf has been writing a bi-weekly column since 2000 and publishes a popular blog, Dorf on Law. Dorf received his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard. He served as a law clerk for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court. He maintains an active pro bono practice mostly consisting of writing Supreme Court briefs.
- Happy the Elephant and Might Makes Right
- New York’s High Court Rejects a Habeas Corpus Petition on Behalf of a Captive Elephant
- State of New York Court of Appeals Opinion on Happy’s case
- Desmond’s Law: A Novel New Approach to Animal Advocacy
- Desmond’s Law: Early Impressions of Connecticut’s Court Advocate Program for Animal Cruelty Cases
- The Brooks Institute Animal Law Fundementals
- The Animal Law Conference
This episode of The Animal Law Podcast is brought to you in part by The Animal Law Conference. Co-hosted by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis and Clark Law School — this year’s conference marks the thirtieth anniversary of this premier animal law event. Save the date for November 4-6, 2022!
The Animal Law Podcast is proud to partner with The Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy, Inc., a US-based national independent think tank pursuing a paradigm shift in human responsibility towards, and value of, non-human animals by advancing animal law, animal policy, and related interdisciplinary studies.
As the Animal Law Podcast 2021 Exclusive Sponsor, the The Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy, Inc is dedicated to producing and disseminating outstanding, independent, academic, and public policy research and programming; and pursuing projects and initiatives focused on advancing law and policy pertaining to animals.
The Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy is excited to share a new FREE resource: The Brooks Animal Law Digest – CANADA EDITION! This premier online publication offers in-depth and up-to-date coverage on Canada’s most important animal law and policy issues. It is published twice monthly as a collaborative effort with the University of Toronto Faculty of Law’s research support.
Like the Brooks Animal Law Digest – US Edition, the Canadian Digest serves as a resource for anyone interested in learning more about the field of animal law – either as a high-level overview of developments, or as a jumping off point for digging into a specific current issue in the field. All content will be accessible on the Brooks Institute website and spotlights via email twice monthly.
You can listen to the Animal Law Podcast directly on our website (at the top of this page) or you can listen and subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcatcher. Also, if you like what you hear, please rate it on iTunes, and don’t forget to leave us a friendly comment! Of course, we would be thrilled if you would consider making a donation, or becoming a member of our flock (especially if you’re a regular listener). Any amount is hugely appreciated and Our Hen House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so it’s tax-deductible. Thank you for helping us create quality content!
Don’t forget to also listen to the award-winning, weekly signature OHH podcast — now in its twelfth glorious year!