Skip to content
Students work around a table with their clinical instructor

The Animal Law & Policy Clinic provides students with direct hands-on experience in animal advocacy on behalf of both captive animals and wildlife, including litigation, legislation, administrative practice, and policymaking.

Students will be introduced to the overarching issues that non-human animal law advocates face in their work, including rulemaking petitions, open-government laws, and basic litigation, legislative, administrative, and organizing strategies. Students also learn how to pursue advocacy under several substantive areas of the law, including the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Animal Welfare Act, the Humane Slaughter Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Wild Horse and Burros Act, and state animal cruelty codes.

How to Register

The Animal Law & Policy Clinic is offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. You can learn about the required clinical course component and clinical credits, in the Course Catalog.

Meet the Instructors

Portrait of Mary Hollingsworth

Mary Hollingsworth

Visiting Clinical Professor and Director

Mary Hollingsworth, Visiting Clinical Professor and Clinical Director of Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Clinic was formerly a senior trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, Wildlife and Marine Resources Section, where she has worked since 2011. She has more than a decade of experience litigating cases arising under the Endangered Species Act in federal courts across the country.

She received a B.A. in Political Science and Russian & East European Studies from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Arizona College of Law. After law school, she clerked for Justice Michael Ryan of the Arizona Supreme Court and Judge Murray Snow of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona before joining the U.S. Department of Justice through the Honors Program.

Rachel Mathews headshot

Rachel Mathews

Clinical Instructor

1607 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

Rachel Mathews is an animal rights attorney and activist. Prior to joining Harvard’s Animal Law & Policy Clinic, she served as Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement at the PETA Foundation, where she helped build a team of lawyers, veterinarians, captive wildlife specialists, and other professionals to fight industries that exploit wild animals for entertainment, such as circuses and Tiger King-style roadside zoos. She has particular expertise in elephants and traveling animal acts, and her legal advocacy has encompassed a broad range of laws at all levels of government, including the Animal Welfare Act, Endangered Species Act, Freedom of Information Act, state and local wildlife laws, worker and consumer protection laws, and more.

headshot of Rebecca Garverman

Rebecca Garverman

Clinical Fellow

1607 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

Rebecca Garverman is a graduate of Harvard Law School, class of 2021. Rebecca previously worked as a Junior Associate at Goodwin Procter, working primarily in the Life Sciences Intellectual Property and Strategic Transactions practice. As a 3L at HLS, Rebecca won both 2021 Animal Law & Policy Writing prizes and served as the Communications Chair of the Animal Law Society.

headshot of Carney Anne Nasser

Carney Anne Nasser

Clinic Research Fellow

1607 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

Carney Anne Nasser is a career animal protection attorney and big cat expert who has been described by Rachel Nuwer of the New York Times as “the go-to person in the country for laws pertaining to big cat ownership.” Indeed, it is Carney Anne who pitched the wildlife trafficking case against the infamous “Tiger King” Joe Exotic to the Department of Justice and federal investigators that triggered a five-year investigation leading to his conviction for multiple federal crimes.

headshot of Kelley McGill

Kelley McGill

Regulatory Policy Fellow

Kelley is a food and animal law attorney specialized in the regulation of alternative proteins. She has worked for the Good Food Institute, representing the nonprofit before the federal government, and consulted for organizations active in the alternative protein policy space. Kelley also worked for the Vermont General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Counsel, where she researched and drafted legislation related to food, agriculture, and the environment.

Previously, as a student in the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Clinic, Kelley co-authored a petition from the Clinic to USDA that helped spur the agency to issue a favorable advance notice of proposed rulemaking regarding cultivated meat product labels. Also while in law school, she served as a legal fellow for the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry and as a judicial intern for the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Kelley received a BA magna cum laude in International Studies and a BS magna cum laude in Business Administration from Trinity University. She holds a JD cum laude from Harvard Law School. Kelley lives in Vermont, her home state, where she is licensed to practice law.

Staff Members

Sarah PickeringCommunications
Marina ApostolClinic

In the News