Read our interviews with lawyers and legal academics who have taken different career paths working for better animal protection laws.
OUR ADVICE FOR DEVELOPING A CAREER IN ANIMAL WELFARE LAW
- It is helpful to have a working knowledge of EU law, which is relevant to many areas of practice.
- If animal welfare is included as a module on you undergraduate course this would be a good option and may place you at an advantage when seeking employment in this field.
- If you are interested in working for an animal charity, identify groups that you would be interested in working for and enquire about opportunities for voluntary work or a secondment.
- Where possible attend meeting, lectures, seminars and other networking opportunities where you can meet lawyers already practising in this field.
- Become a member of ALAW’s student group and keep informed about current issues through the Journal of Animal Welfare Law and ALAW’s e-bulletin, which are sent free to our student supporters.
- Demonstrate your legal, drafting and research skills by contributing articles on animal law to legal journals, such as the Journal of Animal Welfare Law.
- Think creatively. A career in law enforcement (such as with the Wildlife Division of the police force or as an RSPCA inspector) or campaigning may be just as rewarding and enable you to put skills gained during your law degree to real practical effect.
OPPORTUINITIES TO USE LEGAL SKILLS FOR ANIMAL PROTECTION
If you feel strongly about the treatment of animals in our society then a career in animal welfare law can be extremely rewarding. There are many lawyers who use their legal skills to help animals, although there is a relatively small number who are able to dedicate their career exclusively to animal welfare. This is in part because there are few opportunities to specialise, but also because animal welfare spans many different areas of law from trade, licensing, tort, crime and and administrative law. Whilst there are lawyers who specialise in animal (welfare) law, traditionally their practices focus on areas such as public and regulatory law, dog law and campaign related law. There are also lawyers who use their legal skills to work in animal advocacy groups or government departments and many more volunteer with groups such as A-law.
Read our interview with Gwendolen Morgan.
AREAS OF SPECIALISM
PRACTISING IN LAW AND LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP ANIMALS
Areas of specialism include:
Tort (veterinary negligence claims)
Crime (prosecution of animal cruelty offences)
Dog law (contractual disputes and criminal liability around dogs)
Housing law (no pet covenants)
Licensing and trade law (animal establishment licensing, puppy trade)
Public Law (judicial review challenges to decisions of public authorities concerning animals)
Environmental law (conservation and habitat protection)
Volunteer with us and use your legal skills to call for better animal protection law
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