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Do you want to work as an Animal Lawyer?

  • Read about the most important info you need to decide on following this career.
  • ​Follow the 7 points below and search for a tertiary institution near you for future studies. If you already are graduated, you may also search through our list of Jobs in the main menu.
  • If you want to PLAN the way you need to prepare, then join our community in step 8 where you will learn everything, while chatting with other potential lawyers and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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UPDATED: 1 September 2020

1. What is an Animal Lawyer?

Animal lawyers are involved with legal cases and disputes related to cases of animal cruelty, tainted pet food products, veterinary malpractice, pet custody, and other animal-related legal concerns.

Also known as:

  • Animal Welfare Lawyers


The rights of animals have been upheld for thousands of years, even brought into religion

Animal Laws?

Thousands of people around te world are annually taken on for animal hoarding

2. What do they do?


Law & Enforcement


If you dream of protecting the interests of animals, you may be a good candidate to become an animal welfare lawyer. Animal law is the study and practice of law relating to animals. As an animal lawyer you apply your country’s legal system to speak for animals and their human associates and allies. You might be contesting animal exploiters, defending animal rights activists and campaigning for the legal status and rights of animals.

To practice as an animal welfare lawyer, you must first become a lawyer, which requires at least one post-graduate degree.

As an Animal Lawyer, you will also be able to:

  • Protect the right and civil liberties of people to protest for animals peacefully.
  • Prosecute violations of animal-related criminal law and cases of animal cruelty or neglect.
  • Provide legal advice about animal law to the public, animal humane societies and other organisations.
  • Improve, reform and strengthen animal law legislation.
  • Ensure that animal laws are enforced and are interpreted as intended.
  • Educate the public and welfare organisations about animal law.
  • Ensure that the public debate about animal rights from a legal point of view is informed and conducted impartially and fairly.
  • Take part in consultations and monitor developments in legislative bodies and relevant international institutions.
  • Publish scholarly articles in journals of animal law.
  • Disseminate information about animal law through professional seminars and popular channels such as radio broadcasts and the Web.
  • Plan animal law conferences and workshops and the training of students in animal law.

Daily Tasks:

  • Advise clients on their rights and those of their animals
  • Research cases that have already dealt with similar issues
  • Review and prepare legal documents, conduct depositions, file lawsuits
  • Create pet trusts
  • Appear in court and argue cases
  • Administration and filing

Where they work:


Most lawyers work in an office setting and in court, although some travel may be necessary to gather information for cases or to conduct meetings with clients.

Places of Employment –

They are mainly employed by private law firms, government and even forensic laboratories.

Average Yearly Salary:

They can earn a yearly average of US$65,000 per year. But the top earners can make almost 5 times that much! The salary will also differ between public and private employers, and from country to country.


They do have the opportunity to be promoted within the unit or department, or join a different organization at a higher position.

The possible sales rep levels:
Junior investigator > senior investigator > laboratory manager > departmental manager


Working with difficult and sometimes heartbreaking cases will definitely be the number one difficulty. They also work long hours, in difficult conditions, and might need to travel frequently.

​Future growth and Possibilities:

​The future growth of the sector is growing at around 11% per year.

3. Which Skills are required?

The skills required for a career as an animal lawyer can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills:

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship

Career Skills:

  • ​Excellent customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Excellent computer literacy
Life Skills
Career Skills

4. Which Subjects must I have at School?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

5. What will I need to Study?

Minimum Requirements:

In order to become an animal lawyer, one must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in Law at an accredited university.


Majors –

Animal Lawyers expand their studies by focusing on animal related law.

Short Courses –

They will also, when necessary, complete available short courses to further their knowledge.


The duration of College and Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 3 or 4 years. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

Possible Career Preparation Paths:

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Possible Combined Career Paths:

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Training and apprenticeship:

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as an animal lawyer will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions or junior lawyers require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior lawyer (barrister) or attorney.

Join the Animal Lawyers Group in STEP 8 to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education of all the people who enter the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

6. Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

Certifications to practice law will be required in all countries, which usually includes writing special entrance exams through the law regulatory body.

Professional Associations:

Learn more about requirements by joining OZT in STEP 8.

7. Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards animal law.

Animal Lawyer Career_opt

8. Join the OZT community

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an animal lawyer.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being an Animal Lawyer, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.

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Career Profiles and Resources

Career Mentors are Members who assist by volunteering to keep each Career Page factual and current, while mentoring Students in the related Career Group.

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Contributions by expert members are always appreciated to allow the Students to make informed decisions. Please add your contribution through the attached Form:

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List of Career Mentors/Educators who have contributed to this Career info:


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