Natasha Dolezal, J.D., oversees all aspects of the Animal Law LL.M. program. She is the director of the world’s first and only advanced legal degree in animal law and teaches within the Center for Animal Law Studies animal law curriculum.
Ms. Dolezal is also the director of the Kenya Legal Project through which she co-taught with Professor Kathy Hessler the first animal law course in Kenya in 2014. The Project focuses on assisting Kenyan lawyers and wildlife professionals in their efforts to enhance and enforce legal protections for animals. She is also a board member of Humane Oregon, an organization whose mission is to help promote humane treatment of animals through participation in Oregon’s political process and elections. Ms. Dolezal speaks widely to international audiences about animal legal education and animal law issues in Kenya.
Ms. Dolezal began her legal career in the Oregon legislature as a senator’s legislative assistant. In this capacity, she was instrumental in bringing the Senate Judiciary Committee to Lewis & Clark for a public hearing on various animal related legislation and successfully shepherded a bill recognizing the link between animal abuse and child abuse into law. Ms. Dolezal then transitioned to a position as a deputy district attorney where she prosecuted felony and misdemeanor crimes, including animal abuse cases. Prior to joining the Center for Animal Law Studies, Ms. Dolezal was the associate director for government affairs at Oregon Health & Science University.
Originally trained as a biologist, Natasha’s interest in animal law began while studying wildlife management and conservation in Kenya and performing conservation genetics research on various species of birds.