The Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice (TIPS) section of the ABA offers judges, lawyers, law students and non-lawyers the opportunity to advance the legal profession as it pertains to animal/human interactions. This can be done by participating in the ABA TIPS Animal Law Committee (ALC), a unique national platform that brings together professionals from around the country, and the world, to share their compassion and concern for animals.
The ABA TIPS Animal Law Committee was founded in 2004. Since then, it has given animal rights lawyers and others concerned with animal rights a seat at the table in a completely voluntary professional organization. This committee is, in fact, one of the largest volunteer professional organizations in the world.
TIPS provides diverse opportunities for members to discuss the intersection of the law and animals, and to learn about legal issues that affect animals and the relationships humans have with them. The committee is also a platform for members to share their expertise as it relates to animals and the law.
TIPS is the ABA’s home for those focused on trial practice as well as tort and insurance law. They have nearly 18,000 lawyers, judges, law students and non-lawyers who are committed to advancing the legal profession and making a difference.
ALC Members Engage and Act for Animals
Members of the ALC participate in various animal advocacy and education endeavors including writing articles for the ALC newsletter as well as other TIPS publications. They take on substantial legal projects on behalf of animal rights advocacy and education. Members also attend ALC public service events, participate in ALC, CLEs, and either keynote or sit in on ALC “Lunch and Learn” Presentations.
The ALC’s LinkedIn and Facebook pages are important sources of information regarding resources and events that may be of concern to ALC members. Those who join the committee scour these channels regularly to stay up-to-speed on topics within animal rights law and to network with other interested professionals online.
The ALC’s Mission
Daina Bray, Chair of the ALC, wants those in the legal profession to know that animals need good lawyers too. She shares the ALC’s mission to address issues concerning animal rights and human/animal interaction as it pertains to the law. Bray askes lawyers to join her and the committee to create a paradigm shift that results in a just world for all living beings. She reminds lawyers that animals’ status in the legal system, and in society as a whole, is changing, and there is opportunity to advance animals’ legal rights.
Merging Passion with MCLE Requirements
The arenas up for discussion in the ALC are wide and vast. They include due process protections for animals in reckless owner/dangerous dog laws, estate planning and animal companions, compensation when animals are injured or killed, accountability and care standards pertaining to animals used in agriculture and industry, breed discrimination protections, the competing interest of humans and wild animals related to limited resources, and expanding the notion of what “cruelty to animals” actually constitutes.
As lawyers are searching for courses to satisfy MCLE requirements, it’s wise to look potential classes around subjects one is passionate about. Anyone with concern for animals should consider satisfying MCLE requirements with at least one course that delves into animal/human law topics. And, these lawyers would be prudent to become a member of the ABA TIPS Animal Law Committee.