Jessica Chapman

Jessica Chapman

Criminal Justice Program Fellow, Animal Legal Defense Fund
United States
LLM ’21

Jessica is a recipient of the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law and Policy Domestic Scholarship.

Jessica graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, where she double majored with a Bachelor of Arts in Slavic Languages and Literature and Native American Studies (Hons.). She graduated with a Juris Doctor (cum laude) from Michigan State University College of Law (“MSU”). During law school, Jessica interned/clerked for the PETA Foundation, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (“ALDF”), the Honorable Amy Ronayne Krause at the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the Center for Biological Diversity, St. Vincent Catholic Charities Immigration Law Clinic, and she was an Access to Justice Tech Fellow for Michigan Legal Help. She also spent a year working as a student clinician for MSU’s Animal Welfare Clinic. Jessica was President of MSU’s ALDF student chapter, notes editor for MSU’s International Law Review, a teaching assistant and peer mentor for Torts I and first-year law students, a research assistant for Professor Frank Ravitch, and a research assistant for MSU’s Immigration Law Clinic. Jessica received the 2020 Wanda Nash Award from the Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Jessica joined the LLM program to advance her existing legal training in animal law and wildlife preservation; to expand her practical experience; to have deep, meaningful discussions with experts who can shed light on lessons they learned throughout their career; and to strategize plans to educate humans and to protect non-human animals, in order to create a future in which all beings are liberated from human-induced exploitation. The LLM was the next step in her efforts to eradicate speciesism and spread compassion to all beings. As an LLM student, Jessica studied in our Animal Law Litigation Clinic, focusing on farmed animal protection and litigation training.

Jessica is also establishing a nonprofit that will focus on the relationship between past or learned violence – in animal agriculture, retail, research, and entertainment industries – and spikes in community violence, in order to prevent future abuse towards non-human animals, children, and domestic partners. The nonprofit will provide recovery and therapy programs to self-identified abusers or individuals whom courts convict of abuse, so they can heal from their personal abuse, trauma, and victimization, in order to end violence within communities. The nonprofit will also provide outreach programs to educate adolescent populations, community members, and individuals who work in agriculture, retail, research, and entertainment industries that use non-human animals, on the effects of work-related learned violence on human and non-human animal relationships.

Notably, Jessica is also the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Animal Law LLM Graduate Award, which is given in memory of Florence Kaufelt, a lifelong friend of animals.