Natasha Dolezal, J.D., directs the International Animal Law program at the Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS), including the Animal Law LL.M. program – the world’s first and only advanced legal degree in animal law.
Ms. Dolezal also directed the Kenya Legal Project through which she co-taught with Professor Kathy Hessler the first animal law course in Kenya in 2014. The Project focused on assisting Kenyan lawyers and wildlife professionals in their efforts to enhance and enforce legal protections for animals. The Project continues with a broader focus to include efforts aimed at inspiring and supporting the next generation of animal law attorneys in Zimbabwe and South Africa. In this capacity, Ms. Dolezal speaks widely to international audiences about animal legal education and animal law issues.
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. She 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. She continues to be involved in local state advocacy efforts on behalf of animals as 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.