Sat., March 29, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free, Penn Law School, Silverman 240A, 3400 Chestnut St., law.upenn.edu, RSVP to email@example.com
Unfortunately, animal law is a hot field these days. As dog-fighting scandals and foie gras debates make headlines, it takes a group of dedicated and knowledgeable lawyers to protect the creatures in question. In order to educate the public about contemporary issues in animal law and help people get involved, Penn Law is hosting a legal education forum.
Complete with workshops, a Q&A session and a vegan lunch, the day will cover topics such as ballot initiatives to address animal rights; pet custody in death and divorce; and CITES, an international treaty to protect endangered and threatened plants and animals. Penn is one of an increasing number of law schools across the country to offer courses in animal law, and devotes an academic journal to the topic. Lectures and presentations will be led by members of the school's Animal Law Project, a student-run group that works to improve the legal status of animals through policy lobbying, research and consulting. In addition to the annual legal forum, the group hosts events throughout the year, including an upcoming lecture on the welfare of animals in the food industry by Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary.
Prefer a burger to the vegan fare? Regardless of personal views or experience with animal rights, Animal Law Project co-chair Rachel Wechsler wants everyone to attend and contribute to the discussion. "You don't have to be an activist or in animal rights law," she says. "We encourage intellectual debate and want people to come with a desire to engage."