Student Ambassador Spotlight: Dara Eisen

What are you studying and where?

I am studying for a PhD in Law at Durham University. My research focuses on cultural practices and how they interact with international law.

Has your Student Ambassador role had an impact on your research?

In my role as ambassador, I attended the last A-law conference at Liverpool John Moores University, where I learned about the ban on seal hunting and how it had impacted certain groups of people. The presenter asked the audience, as animal lawyers, do we want to consider the impact on humans? This inspired me to research whaling, the practice of hunting whales that has an extensive cultural history in some parts of the world. I am now exploring how best to balance the interests of human culture and animal welfare, alongside other issues such as human rights.

Why did you want to become a Student Ambassador?

During my undergraduate degree, I studied an animal law module, which opened my eyes to the many ways that law can be used to protect animals. I have been a vegan for many years, and I have a passion for protecting animals, so finding out that my passion for law could also translate to protecting animals was amazing! I then wanted to get more involved in animal law and help to raise awareness of the subject, which inspired me to become an A-law ambassador.

Do you think this is an important role for the development of animal law?

I think it’s so important. Animal law is still in the early stages of development in terms of legal fields. If we want to achieve longevity and create an impact with animal law, then students, the future of law, need to be engaged.

What are you most proud of in your role as a Student Ambassador?

As a team alongside the other Durham A-law ambassadors, we organised a really successful debate. We collaborated with the debate society to create an online live debate concerning cultural practices that harm animals. We had a wonderful turnout of audience members, and it was a fantastic opportunity for debaters who had not been exposed to A-law before to engage with the concept, and a great opportunity for many like-minded students to collaborate on a project.

What would you say to someone considering becoming an A-law Student Ambassador?

I think it is a fantastic opportunity to make a difference and raise awareness for animal welfare issues. You also have the chance to get creative and organise any events that you think might be beneficial. I would really encourage others to do this. Getting involved with A-law isn’t just an opportunity to help animals, it’s also a chance to meet people with the same passion and interests as you.

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