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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee College of Law has partnered with the Animal Legal Defense Fund to create a student chapter of the national nonprofit group, whose mission is to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system.

The new chapter will advocate for animal law courses to be added to curriculums; host speakers, debates, panels and conferences; write law review articles for journals dedicated to animal law; raise awareness on campus about animal issues; and volunteer to do legal research and write for local law firms.

In 2000, only nine law schools offered courses in animal law; today, the list has grown to more than 100, including UT.

Animal law looks at issues involving companion animals, wildlife, animals used in entertainment and animals raised for food and used in research.

The first Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter was established in 1992 at Lewis & Clark Law School; now there are more than 125 chapters at U.S. and Canadian law schools. The chapter’s Constitution is written to allow for membership from law students, staff and faculty, but others in the campus community are invited to participate in chapter activities. For more information about UT’s SALDF chapter, contact chapter president Tiffany Hagar at


Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,