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Taylor Waters profile

Updated: Mar 25

Taylor Waters is an animal law attorney and Supervising Attorney & Director, currently establishing the Animal Law Center at Cleveland State University College of Law in the United States. She was a litigation clerk for the Animal Legal Defense Fund and a practitioner in Ohio. Taylor brings rich experience and dedication to her current role in shaping the future of animal law education and practice.

Taylor's Path to Animal Law 

Taylor’s story is a testament to her strong passion for animals, smart decisions, and deep love for them. Her journey started in a supportive family that encouraged her to follow her dreams.

Even as a young student, Taylor knew she wanted to impact animals’ lives positively. She chose her college major focusing on animal law, and going to Michigan State University, known for its excellent animal law program, was a crucial step toward her success.

Taylor's first significant job was with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF). It wasn't just a job for her but a chance to dive deep into animal law. During her time at ALDF, she gained valuable experience and saw how she could bring about real change for animals.

When Taylor moved to Ohio, animal law wasn't as prominent there, but she didn't give up. She used the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Pro Bono Program to find cases to work on. These cases might not have brought in a lot of money, but they provided her with valuable learning opportunities in animal law.

Later in her career, Taylor took on a role that helped other lawyers get involved in animal law cases. This was a significant step, highlighting the diverse and rewarding aspects of a career in animal law.

Throughout her journey, Taylor always sought and seized opportunities that allowed her to stay true to her passion for animal welfare. Her story shows that you can turn your passion into a career that makes a difference with determination and wise choices.

Taylor's Successes in Animal Law 

  • Taylor used consumer protection laws to take legal action against a puppy mill broker, demonstrating how lawyers can effectively use laws not typically linked to animal welfare for animal protection. This approach demonstrates the flexibility needed in animal law and the significance of having comprehensive legal knowledge.

  • Taylor led a rescue operation for wolves in Ohio. As a newly practised attorney working with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Taylor led a team to remove wolves from a property in Northern Ohio. This operation safely relocated the wolves to a sanctuary, showing the diverse and sometimes unexpected nature of practising animal law. It's not just about courtroom battles; sometimes, it involves direct, on-the-ground action to ensure animal welfare.

Taylor's Challenge in Animal Law 

  • Taylor outlines animal law as a very competitive area, mainly due to the limited job openings available. She stresses the need for purposeful and active efforts in pursuing particular opportunities in this specialised field. To establish a career in animal law, one must make strategic choices in their education, gain relevant experience, and actively participate in cases and projects connected to animal law. The main challenge is identifying and securing these opportunities in such a specialised branch of law. This requires not only dedication but often a lot of commitment to animal-related issues.


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