Animal Legal Defense Fund is Hiring a Litigation Staff Attorney and Litigation Clerks!

For more than three decades, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has been fighting to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. Founded in 1979 by attorneys active in shaping the emerging field of animal law, ALDF has blazed the trail for stronger enforcement of anti-cruelty laws and more humane treatment of animals in every corner of American life. Today, ALDF’s groundbreaking efforts to push the U.S. legal system to end the suffering of abused animals are supported by hundreds of dedicated attorneys and more than 110,000 members. Every day, ALDF works to protect animals by:

  • Filing groundbreaking lawsuits to stop animal abuse and expand the boundaries of animal law;
  • Providing free legal assistance to prosecutors handling cruelty cases;
  • Working to strengthen state anti-cruelty statutes;
  • Encouraging the federal government to enforce existing animal protection laws;
  • Nurturing the future of animal law through Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapters and our Animal Law Program;
  • Providing public education through seminars, workshops, and other outreach efforts.
  • In addition to our national headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Animal Legal Defense Fund maintains an office in Portland, Oregon.

I. ALDF Animal Law Institute Litigation Staff Attorney

Position Objectives:

An ALDF Staff Attorney is responsible for the day-to-day litigation of ALDF’s civil caseload, proactively developing new cases, assisting with ALDF’s legislative needs, as well as representing the organization out of the courtroom. He or she will work closely with the Director of Litigation as well as ALDF’s other Staff Attorneys and Litigation Fellows.


To represent ALDF in its civil strategic impact litigation, to develop new theories and cases, to assist with legislative needs, and to otherwise represent ALDF. He or she will: Research and develop legal theories and strategies for lawsuits; Research and develop fact patterns for lawsuits; File and handle lawsuits; Oversee drafting, editing and submission of amicus curiae briefs on behalf of ALDF; Assist with the review and development of legislation; Coordinate and collaborate with Criminal Justice Program staff on cases that have, or could have, both civil and criminal components; Coordinate, as needed, with Animal Law Program staff; Prepare and deliver presentations for professional conferences, fundraising events, etc. when needed; Work with Communications and other departments to answer questions on civil legal issues and procedures, and to propose, draft, proof read and/or edit content on cases and legal developments for ALDF website, blogs, e-Update, e-alerts, newsletters, donor mailings, etc.; Provide in-house expertise for staff on questions concerning Litigation Program cases, animal law civil cases in general and civil procedures and legal strategy.


Must have a Juris Doctor degree, excelled in law school, and be admitted to practice law in at least one state; Must have a minimum three years litigation experience; Must have excellent organizational and prioritization skills and be able to meet deadlines; Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills; Must be “computer literate” and have experience with basic software application, including, Outlook, Word, Excel and internet browsers; Must understand and be committed to the mission of the Animal Legal Defense Fund; Must have excellent references relevant to similar positions held; Must have a positive attitude and be able to work cooperatively with others and function well in a team-oriented work environment; Must have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to communicate effectively with members, supporters, co-workers, etc.; Travel required.

Term of Employment: Full-time

Reports to: Director of Litigation

Position Location and Application Period: The Staff Attorney will be based at ALDF’s headquarters in Cotati, California. Applications will be accepted through April 1, 2014; the position will begin no later than May 1, 2014.

Salary and Benefits: Salary: $55,000. Excellent benefits package. Casual office environment includes companion animals.

How to Apply: Applicants should email a cover letter, resume [including Bar registration number(s)], law school transcripts, legal writing sample, and the names and phone numbers of three professional references to the attention of Wendy Cromwell.

Only complete applications will be considered. Visit the website for additional information.

II. ALDF Animal Law Institute Fall/Spring Litigation Clerkships

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system. Since 1981, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has won precedent-setting victories that have expanded legal protections for companion animals, wildlife, animals in research labs, and those in factory farming situations.

During the 2014-2015 school year a select group of promising law students will be given the opportunity to learn more about animal law by participating in the ALDF Clerkships. The clerkship positions are described below.

Litigation Program Clerkships (Cotati, Calif.)

Responsibilities will include legal research, working with ALDF’s litigation department in developing new cases, and assistance in preparation of pleadings in cases currently being handled by ALDF. The successful applicant must have a sincere interest in animal protection and be willing to accept a variety of assignments within the expanding field of animal law. The primary focus of this clerkship is on civil animal law issues, but there will be exposure to criminal anti-cruelty cases as well.

Clerkships are for fourteen weeks each semester. Students are expected to commit ten to twenty hours per week to the clerkship, all of which may be done remotely. The start date is flexible (dependent upon the student’s schedule). Clerkships are open to second and third-year students only. Compensation is $15 per hour. (Subject to the student’s preference, we may instead structure the clerkship as an unpaid, for-credit externship or as a volunteer position to meet a curricular pro bono requirement.)

Deadline for applications is March 15, 2014. Law students interested in applying should forward an application form, cover letter, resume (including 2-3 professional references), original writing sample, and transcript to the attention of Wendy Cromwell.

Only complete applications will be considered. Visit the website for additional information.